A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
Our aim is promote high standards of language and literacy through the National Curriculum by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
It is our intention that pupils become fluent, creative and technically-skilled writers with the knowledge and understanding to adapt their work for a range of purposes and audiences. The process starts in EYFS where mark-making and letter formation are taught. High-quality texts spark a passion for expression; children become increasingly secure with grammar, punctuation and spelling. Children are taught to spell with accuracy through our effective Phonics and Spelling programmes. The process of editing and redrafting is coached so that final outcomes are of a high stand - either typed or written in a fluent, legible handwriting style. We encourage our learners to aim high and find a public outlet for their work.
A love for reading is key to the development of writing. The skill of decoding begins with our systematic synthetic phonics programme in the Early Years: children are supported to develop their reading throughout each key stage through a mix of whole class sessions and interventions to groups and individuals as required. Our children experience engaging texts across a range of genres from our extensive class libraries and also through Cumbria Library Service.
Speaking and listening skills are nurtured progressively from Early Years upwards. As we are a very small school, we believe it is particularly important for pupils at Crosby to have opportunities to develop the ability to speak in public to an audience beyond their peers.
Our English curriculum is designed by our teachers to inspire a love of reading, which in turn enhances the quality of writing. Our schemes deliver the National Curriculum through broad, challenging and inspiring themes. Where possible, we explore literacy through cross-curricular themes, which helps to pupils to connect their learning in a meaningful way. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations to ensure breadth, balance, continuity and progression. As our pupils work in mixed-age settings, they have regular opportunities to revisit previous learning which allows key points to be committed to the long term memory.
In Key Stage 1, we develop early writing and story-telling skills with the might writer resource which helps pupils to develop expansive and descriptive sentences in their work. In Class 2, our mixed-age Key Stage 2 pupils are supported to develop grammar, punctuation and spelling at an age-appropriate level. These skills are applied as the children are coached through open-ended writing tasks. In both classes, pupils' reading and spelling is also developed through regular independent study-time using the on-line platform 'Lexia'.
As a result of our well-developed curriculum, we have a community of enthusiastic speakers, readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. Our children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas across the wider curriculum. On leaving Crosby, they are ready to fully engage in the next step of the journey, learning the secondary curriculum.
The impact of our English curriculum is measured through formative and summative monitoring in school, in our school clusters and through standardised testing. All learners are making progress with their writing, including SEND learners. Monitoring is also used to identify gaps in the curriculum that may need to be addressed across the school. Our ongoing assessments and attainment at the end of EYFS and KS1 demonstrate our impact and our well-planned curriculum will ensure this continues throughout KS2.