The foundation which underlies our children’s experiences at Carclaze, and future success in life, is the development of their English language skills. At Carclaze we have an English curriculum which centres upon exposure to high quality texts, builds a love of reading and provides the early experiences needed to enable every child to become a confident reader and writer. We aim for our pupils to develop confidence in speaking and listening, and a love of language, which they then transfer confidently into their reading and writing.
In reading, we teach the National Curriculum progressively, with daily access to high quality texts, to teach the required skills and foster a love of reading. We also place a high value on developing the vocabulary needed to flourish with reading in all contexts.
In writing, we teach the National Curriculum in a way that is structured and progressive, giving children varied opportunities to apply their writing skills.
Our curriculum is driven by high quality texts and novels, which the children enjoy and study in order to develop their skills in reading and writing. Our novel study curriculum is based on our belief that reading and writing are inextricably linked, and that developing a passion for literature and language is a prerequisite to achieving in English.
Through the exposure to, and teaching of, the vocabulary embedded within our novel study curriculum, we aim to meet the needs of all learners, to ensure that every child is taught and has access to the vocabulary they need to achieve. Our staff are passionate about developing children’s love of reading, and are enabled to share their enthusiasm through their novel studies and by supporting children’s wider reading. We believe that there is no greater privilege than sharing the worlds found in literature with children.
Our novel study curriculum also aims to support children’s development beyond the English curriculum: the opportunities for deep exploration of complex issues, which provide a safe vehicle to discuss values, empathise with others and understand their own feelings. The range of novels covered throughout the children’s primary experience ensure that every child will experience stories, ideas and feelings, which leave an impression on them.
English curriculum - Implementation
- Children will be taught the full range of phonics knowledge, and word reading skills required, systematically through daily teaching of the Read Write Inc. (RWI) programme in EYFS and KS1.
- Children will take home reading books matched to their RWI assessment to allow them to practise reading in order to progress.
- Children developing this knowledge will also develop their wider reading skills, such as comprehending and responding, through the novel study curriculum.
- In addition to RWI, children will be taught the National Curriculum for reading through their novel study, using whole class reading lessons.
Children with language deficits on entry to foundation stage receive targeted support, through the Nuffield Early Language Intervention, to develop their language skills so they are not held back in learning to read.
Those who find it difficult to learn to read will be supported through the following interventions, with additional provision made for some individual needs:
- EYFS/KS1 - RWI rapid catch up
- Year 3—Project X
- Year 4—Code X
- Year 5/6—RWI Fresh Start
These interventions are often in addition to 1-1 additional reading time, and group comprehension sessions, for those finding learning to read challenging.
The National Curriculum will be taught through: RWI, spelling, handwriting, novel study lessons and through applying English skills in the wider curriculum.
- Children will learn to spell words correctly in RWI.
- Children will be taught handwriting in handwriting sessions in every year group.
- Teaching of grammatical concepts will usually be woven in with the novel study teaching, with other elements being taught discretely as necessary.
- Children will be taught using models from a range of high quality texts, to develop vocabulary, write for a range of purposes and compose their own writing using these skills.
English Curriculum - Impact
- Children at Carclaze can all talk about books which that they have read, enjoyed and related to.
- Children build a love of reading and recognise its importance.
- Children draw from their reading in their writing, showing a high level of acquired vocabulary.
- Pupils gain knowledge about the world from their reading.
- As demonstrated in school data outcomes, children at Carclaze are achieving in line with, or above, national expectations. The most recent statutory data shows that, in reading, children’s average score of ‘105’ is above the national average. Progress for reading also quickly moved in line with national averages, following the changes to the novel study curriculum approach.
- The 77% of children reaching the expected standard for reading at KS2, exceeds the national average of 73% for the 2018/2019 year.
- Most recent phonics attainment data shows that with 90% of pupils in year 1, compared to the national average of 82%, passing the phonics check our pupils are benefitting from the phonics approach.
- 72% of KS1 pupils reached the expected standard for reading.
- 76% of EYFS pupils reach the expected standard for reading.
- This information relates to the 2018/2019 as 2019/2020 data was not formally published due to the COVID 19 pandemic, however in school tracking demonstrates that children’s love of reading and attainment in reading continues to improve.
- Children at Carclaze enjoy writing and have a strong understanding of how writing is used to communicate meaning.
- Children know that there is a strong link between reading and writing, and their written work shows that they have drawn on their reading.
- Children can write for a range of purposes with strong scope for individuality in their written work.
- Children know and use a range of ambitious vocabulary in their written work.
- Pupils attainment in writing is consistently improving since the curriculum change, with the two most recent KS2 results showing that progress and attainment are in line with national expectations.
- 77% of pupils reached the KS2 expected standard in writing in 2018/2019 (national attainment was 78%).
- 69% of KS1 pupils reached the expected standard in writing, mirroring national averages.
- 72% of EYFS pupils reached the expected writing standard.
- The COVID19 pandemic means that this data is taken from 2018/2019. There has been a strong upward trend in writing attainment, both at the expected standard, and for the number of children working beyond the expected standard, since the curriculum change, and internal assessment confirms that this continues to be the case.