English Curriculum Intent
The English curriculum is not only the foundation of education but also of society. At Cupernham Junior School we are proud of our English curriculum, which promotes high standards of language and literacy. We enable children to become well-rounded readers and writers across the whole curriculum. Through building on the skills they have developed in the Key Stage 1 curriculum, we provide rich and varied learning opportunities that foster the skills they will need to become lifelong readers and writers. The skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing enables children to succeed across the curriculum, at home and in the wider world. This in turn leads to improved life opportunities.
At Cupernham Juniors, we strive to develop a culture that instils a passion for reading in all children, helping them to develop the life skill of reading habits, both for information and pleasure. Children are enabled to become enthusiastic and critical readers through their independent reading, as well as in engaging and challenging reading lessons, driven by high quality texts. All children are supported in becoming fluent readers and our extensive Library is at the heart of our school.
How do we teach reading at Cupernham Junior School?
Reading is at the core of the curriculum at Cupernham Junior School and skills are developed across all subjects. In specific reading lessons, classes enjoy reading a high-quality text that will not only develop reading and comprehension skills, but also provides opportunity for rich discussions. Over the course of a week, Guided Reading lessons will teach and develop a specific reading skill such as comprehension, retrieval, summarising or predicting through a variety of creative tasks and lessons.
Developing a love and passion for reading in all the children is a high priority for all staff. We use Accelerated Reader to support independent reading and the children are motivated to pass their comprehension quizzes once they have read their book. Teachers monitor individual reading closely to ensure children are choosing appropriate books for their age and ability. Children, staff and parents can monitor progress of independent reading using Accelerated Reader and it is a valuable tool that is used effectively.
At Cupernham Juniors, we aspire to develop an enjoyment for writing for a range of purposes and audiences, empowering children with an understanding of how their vocabulary, structure and composition choices can influence those who read their work. Our English curriculum strives to inspire all learners through exciting hooks and purposeful cross curriculum links.
These skills, together with confidence in the use of technology, are increasingly necessary in today’s world, which our English curriculum strives to prepare all children for.
How do we teach writing at Cupernham Junior School?
The English Writing Curriculum at Cupernham Junior School is taught through a three-step learning journey approach. The learning journey will be focused on teaching children to write for a range of purposes and in a range of forms. The learning journey will also consider the audience of pieces of writing, as well as the viewpoint of the author.
Each new unit of work begins with the Explore Phase, which is about immersing children in the unit driver, which is often linked to the half-termly topic. The driver could be a rich text, a film clip, a visitor or a school trip. In the Explore Phase, developing vocabulary is a high priority through creative language development lessons. This phase also looks at model texts to help children decipher the writing skills required for the outcome.
The second step to the writing journey is the Apprentice Phase. In this phase, children are taught how to use the skills required for the writing outcome that the journey is focused around. They will write short pieces in this phase, to give opportunities to practise the skills. In the final phase, they will be encouraged to look back at their apprentice pieces. Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar sessions will also enhance this part of the learning journey.
Once the skills required for the unit have been taught, the journey moves to Phase 3: the Application Phase. This will give the children the time and opportunity to carry out a longer piece of writing, applying the skills and vocabulary they have learnt across the learning journey. Teachers use a range of strategies, including shared writing, to support children in becoming confident writers. This phase includes developing the children’s editing, redrafting and polishing skills. In lower Key Stage 2, these skills are heavily scaffolded but by Year 6, this will be more independent and will also include collaborative peer editing. Children will reflect on the outcome of their work through self-assessment. This will help them to understand their targets for the next journey.