English at Mudeford Junior School
The Primary Curriculum and the Teaching of English at Mudeford Junior School.
‘Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum.’
At Mudeford Junior School, it is our intent that the teaching of English develops the ability of all pupils to communicate, as effectively as they are able, in speech and writing whilst they learn to read and listen with understanding.
We particularly promote the importance of reading - both for pleasure and learning and strive to foster a strong home/school relationship with parents to support our pupils’ reading development.
Our pupils learn to read as writers and write as readers. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction – including poetry- and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. We expose our pupils to a rich and varied range of texts that develop and deepen their vocabulary and experience of the world we live in. As many opportunities as possible are created for adults to read to the children and model themselves as readers with the intent of developing a culture of enjoyment in reading across the school.
We initially provide a book banding approach to develop children’s progression in word reading and comprehension and, as we follow the Key Stage 2 curriculum, the children are taught the specific skills of reading comprehension and given timetabled opportunities to read in order to allow them to become the best readers they can be. We quickly identify children who need extra support and provide targeted intervention teaching in order to close the gap in their learning. We have high expectations of all our pupils and teachers also carefully plan lessons to challenge and develop all children including the more able readers and writers.
As well as specific teaching of comprehension, the skills of reading and writing are developed together, in our English curriculum, with units of work planned around core texts or a variety of shorter extracts. We also provide well- planned opportunities for children to develop their writing skills linking work with the other subjects in the curriculum, particularly to our history and geography topics. Our intention is that children learn that reading and writing have a purpose and that the skills used depend on that purpose and the audience.
The texts that the children have opportunity to access - on class bookshelves, in our well-stocked library, in other curriculum lessons and within the units of work that the teachers plan for in English - encourage the development of our pupils culturally, morally, socially and spiritually as well as emotionally and intellectually. Some of the reading and writing opportunities we give the children especially reflect our proximity to the sea and forest in order to build on and further develop their knowledge and love of our local environment. Others are explored to give children an insight to circumstances that they may not normally encounter or to open up opportunities for discussion around personal and social issues.
We recognise that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. We teach our pupils to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas. Children are given time to talk, share ideas and take part in drama activities to enhance their understanding of reading and develop ideas for their writing. We provide opportunities that enable pupils to become competent in the arts of speaking and listening including making formal presentations to audiences, demonstrating to others, working regularly with partners and in groups and participating in debate.
At Mudeford Junior School, we work particularly hard to develop our pupils’ sense of pride in their work, encouraging them to present their spoken and written ideas clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
Pupils are explicitly taught spelling knowledge and skills in separate lessons and then this learning is reinforced in English and other subjects across the curriculum in order to give children the skills they need to communicate effectively. Children are taught a continuous, cursive style of handwriting and we encourage a high standard of presentation in all subjects at our school.
We celebrate and inspire speaking, reading and writing whenever possible: we have exciting displays in classrooms, shared areas and the library; each class have Reading Ambassadors that work with the librarian e.g. to set up competitions; author visits are planned in; a live performance from a visiting theatre group takes place each year; speakers are invited into school e.g. to present about topics; we have links with our local community library and World Book Day is celebrated every year.
Children at Mudeford Junior School have access to a full, stimulating, well-structured and broad curriculum. Our pupils will have fluency in the English language as an essential foundation for success in all the other subject areas and, because of this, all the skills of effective communication are also given importance throughout all the other curriculum areas we teach.
By the time your child leaves our school, we will have provided them with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and have developed their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment and learning thus equipping them with the skills of language that are essential for them to be able to continue on their secondary educational journey and participate fully as respectful, positive and active members of their local, national and global community.