English Curriculum Overview
The teaching of English at Hadrian is designed to instil in children a love of speaking and listening, reading and writing that will last them a lifetime. Giving pupils the key skills in English enables them to access material in all curriculum areas, and provides a foundation for their learning throughout their school career. To achieve this, teachers are focussed on making English interesting and exciting, engaging the pupils with the joy and wonder of books and piquing their imagination and creativity. At Hadrian we view the teaching of English as a fundamental part of the holistic development of the pupil, fostering positive behaviours and attitudes toward learning, and providing key knowledge and skills, to benefit pupils throughout their education and beyond.
At Hadrian Primary School we develop children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. Children learn to use language to communicate ideas, views and feelings. This enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively both verbally and through the written word. We aim to share with children the joy of reading and to help them to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. We are proud to have been awarded the Basic Skills Quality Mark. The revised English National Curriculum is followed.
Reading and Phonics
Children are given daily opportunities to develop their reading skills. Children learn to read using the Letters and Sounds synthetic phonics program. This consists of six phases. This is carried out daily in the foundation Stage and KS1. Reception and Year 1 children have enjoyed Football Phonics with South Shields FC. Where necessary phonics will continue into KS2. Once children master accurate decoding , a greater emphasis is placed on comprehension. Through reading independently, guided, shared and paired reading children learn to read with confidence, fluency and understanding. Reading takes place with a variety of adults, peers and mixed age groups. Younger children are paired with a reading buddy, an older pupil who listens to them read. Home/school reading partnerships support every child to become an independent reader. Bug Club and Reading Plus are accessed at home and school. At Hadrian Primary School we encourage a love of Reading through a well resourced library, special events, themed days, author visits, book fairs, clubs and a very strong partnership with The Word in South Shields. Year 4 children enjoyed the Michael Rosen workshop. DEAR time (drop everything and read) engages the children with reading at the end of each day.
This year every class will enjoy a poetry workshop with the children's librarian. Our school's Poetry Slam was a great success! Or World Book Day theme of Heroes and Villains was supported by the storyteller Tony Wilson.
As children enter the Foundation Stage there are writing opportunities in all areas of learning. In KS1 and 2 transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) form the basis for what is taught. Children apply the skills they have been taught in all areas of the curriculum. Children are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Writing takes place in many forms - through word and sentence level activities, independently, modelled, shared, paired and requires an awareness of audience, purpose and context. IPADs and technology are used to engage pupils and give a purpose to their writing. Song lyrics and film clips are used as a stimulus for pupils' writing.
Our youngest children are enjoying making their own helicopter stories. On World Book Day children enjoyed writing stories using the plot structure "capture, rescue, escape".
Through synthetic phonics children are taught the different ways of spelling sounds and then apply their growing knowledge to write words, captions and sentences. Alongside decodable words, the reading and spelling of common exception/tricky words (those which can't be sounded out) are taught. Phase 6 of the Letters and Sounds program focuses on spelling strategies. We encourage children to explore words and think about the origins and connections between words. Wordlists for Years 3&4 and Years 5&6 are taught and contain a mixture of frequently used words as well as those that children often misspell. We aim to embed spelling opportunities in all areas of the curriculum.
In the Foundation Stage children develop many pre-writing skills. Correct letter formation is taught in a variety of enjoyable ways. As they become able, children begin to write letters using a variety of materials. Children are taught how to hold their pencil correctly. Children learn to regulate the size of letters which leads to neatly presented work. When children are ready they are taught to join letters which leads to fluent, legible and speedy writing. Children are working very hard to obtain their "Pen Licences".
Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Through talk, reading and topic work, children's vocabulary is developed. Children are taught grammatical concepts and then encouraged to apply and identify these in the written and spoken word. Specific punctuation and grammatical terminology is taught in each year group.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening are not taught as discrete subjects, but are embedded in all aspects of school life, across all areas of the curriculum and are part of everything we do. Pupils are provided with many and varied contexts for talk enabling them to communicate confidently and effectively. The School's Christmas productions in all Key Stages develop children's language, speaking and listening and drama skills and gives them the opportunity to perform to an audience.
At Hadrian Primary school we believe that the acquisition of basic skills is the foundation of all learning. We aim to provide a curriculum which is broad and balanced with an emphasis on the basic skills which is intrinsic to every aspect of the curriculum and everyday life.
We are committed to ensuring that every child who attends Hadrian Primary School, no matter what their academic ability, has high expectations set for them.
Using the basic skills rainbow, targets will be set for all pupils on an individual basis and will be shared with parents and carers as deemed appropriate.
The school is committed to maintaining and enhancing Literacy throughout the school and providing support and information to parents about basic skills and how they can help their children.
We were very fortunate to spend a whole day working with Tony. Children from nursery to year six had personalised workshops. "Hadrian Primary is one of those schools where you are made to feel welcome from the instant you walk in and the level of concentration, participation and cooperation from the staff and pupils is exemplary. My visit was made all the more enjoyable with the warm enthusiastic response from all of the classes I received. Well done!" - Tony Wilson (Storyteller)
You can find out more about Tony on his website.
Reading for pleasure- useful websites on children’s books to help promote a love of reading.