At Halam Church of England School, we believe English is at the heart of all learning and that our high quality, exciting and challenging English Curriculum develops children’s love of reading, writing and discussion.
We aim to instil a lifelong love of reading, encouraging all children to develop good habits of reading independently, often and for pleasure. We have high expectations of engagement and children take a pride in their reading and writing. Through the development of positive learning attitudes, such as resilience, which they acquire from metacognition and character education, they become confident writers who have the skills to adapt their language and style for a range of contexts.
Our children have excellent communication skills which not only allow them to articulate their ideas and opinions, but also help them to express their feelings spiritually and support them in forming successful relationships with each other. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to giving children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society and to allow them the opportunity to experience “Life in all its fullness”.
In our school skills and knowledge follow a clear pathway of progression and children build on prior learning as they move from Foundation through Key Stage 1 and 2. Teachers follow the aims of the National Curriculum for English. Teachers use high quality texts suggested in ‘The Learning Challenge’ topic which may be linked to Science, History, Geography, Art, Music or DT are used to plan purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion.
Teachers ensure children experience a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including traditional tales and poetry. They plan that within their choices children will experience diversity and multicultural aspects as well as learning to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage. Through these texts teachers ensure all pupils acquire the vocabulary, as well as an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions, to express themselves creatively, clearly, accurately and coherently through spoken and written forms.
Phonic skills are taught daily through ‘Read, Write, Inc’ and reading books are matched to the Phonic levels of the children. The program also introduces them to correct letter formation so that they can progress onto joined writing using the Nelson handwriting scheme.
A wide range of interventions (Dancing Bears, Switched on Reading, Nelly, Hornet, Toe by Toe) are used to ensure all children make rapid progress with reading and writing as they move through school.
Children are inspired by the provision of enrichment opportunities such as celebrating World Book Day, performing plays and concerts to people in the community, entering writing competitions, hosting authors, poets and illustrators.
Progress is monitored regularly through national tests (SATS, Phonic screening, and EYFS end of stage data) as well as regular spelling tests and age related reading assessments. Writing is levelled and moderated across school and with other local schools.
By giving our pupils access to a high quality and varied English Curriculum, we have children who are keen and confident readers and writers. Most children leave Halam Church of England primary school with good Literacy skills and the percentage of those reaching greater depth in national tests for reading and writing is above national average. As a result most children leave our school with the communication skills needed to prepare them for secondary school and their lives ahead.