Aims of the Subject
The developing use of English underpins children’s achievement across the curriculum and lays the foundations for active involvement in cultural life, society, work and lifelong learning.
Literature in English is rich, varied and influential. It helps children to develop their imagination, see the world through the eyes of others and read and write for pleasure.
Children learn to communicate effectively in a range of media. They become increasingly fluent and accurate in expressing their thoughts and emotions, orally and in writing. They become more skilled in generating ideas, solving problems and thinking critically and creatively.
Creating and responding to all kinds of texts, including those which combine words, images and sounds, offers access to the world of knowledge and imagination and generates lasting enthusiasm and enjoyment.
Our scheme is based upon the National Literacy Framework, ensuring continuity across all Year Groups and Key Stages.
Speaking and Listening:
Our boys are given the opportunity to speak in a range of contexts, appropriate to purpose and audience. Taking varied roles in groups allows them to contribute to situations with different demands and they learn to respond to others. Much of this can be linked to PHSE and the SEAL programme that the School follows; also the weekly Drama lesson.
In Years 3 and 4, the boys’ reading progress is closely monitored as they continue to follow Reading Schemes. By Year 5, we would expect the boys to enjoy free reading; mostly of their own choice but with some guidance where appropriate. All boys maintain a Reading Record Book in which they are encouraged to comment on what and how they are reading. There is enormous benefit in the boys reading whole novels together in class, as well as being read to by the Class Teacher, during which they can develop an appreciation of literature. Each class has timetabled lessons to make use of the well-stocked Junior Library and each Form Room holds a stock of age-and topic-appropriate books. We adopt a flexible approach whereby we can read books which are of particular interest to our boys.
Regular ‘Readathons’ are also organised to further encourage reading.
Within lessons, our boys read a range of materials – modern and established fiction; modern and classic poetry; myths, legends and traditional stories from a variety of cultures; playscripts; diaries, auto/biographies and letters; reference and information materials; newspapers, articles, brochures and advertisements. They learn to focus closely on looking for ways to understand text and respond to the meaning. They reflect on, analyse and discuss the texts.
During KS2, our boys learn to write for a variety of purposes – writing lists, recipes, instructions, reports, diaries, and a range of imaginative stories. Mostly, written tasks follow on from the Reading inspirational material. We aim to choose tasks which are of immediate interest to our boys, fostering an enjoyment of writing.
Boys are taught the grammatical structures which add interest and variety to their writing and they are encouraged to punctuate correctly.
We teach Handwriting, following the Nelson Scheme and Spelling rules are taught and learnt weekly.
Methods of Assessment
We adopt a variety of Assessment methods – continuous classroom-based teacher assessment; termly tests covering content taught; formal comprehension; annual end of year INCAS tests.
Five hours are timetabled weekly to the teaching of English. In addition, the boys have one 40-minute Drama lesson.
Emphasis on Boys’ Learning
Boys are taught in teaching styles and approaches that are appropriate to boys’ learning. The lessons are planned to be lively and stimulating providing opportunities for active participation and a variety of activities within lessons.
Content can be flexible allowing boys to learn through boy-friendly and/or current topics.
Our scheme is based upon the National Literacy Framework, ensuring continuity across all Year Groups and Key Stages. Regular departmental meetings are held across the school.
Planning for the Subject
Planning consists of detailed weekly plans. Long and medium term plans are flexible and can be adapted to fit in with festivals, like Christmas, and/or important current events such as Football World Cup.
Work is differentiated as appropriate.
Gifted and Talented
Talent is recognised and more challenging tasks are given to those boys who can progress at a faster rate. Through specific tasks, teachers encourage boys to develop their knowledge and literacy skills further.
Support for Learning
The Junior School has a strong SEN programme and all teachers differentiate tasks best suited to each boy’s ability.
Cross Curricular Links
There is opportunity for linking English with most other subjects, mainly History, Geography, ICT, PHSE and Science.