Intent – What is the purpose of our English curriculum?
At Tranmere Park Primary, we aim to develop a love for the English language in its written and spoken forms. We have a rigorous and well-organised curriculum that provides purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and the development of oracy skills. By making these experiences meaningful and exciting, we aim to foster a love of the subject and encourage our children to develop the skills necessary to succeed. Our pupils are taught to: communicate effectively through spoken language and writing, to listen with understanding, and to be enthusiastic, knowledgeable readers. A progressive systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme underpins the teaching of early reading at Tranmere Park Primary School, and we aim to drive progress through regular assessments and where needed, focused and carefully targeted intervention. Our curriculum should expose our children to a wide array of carefully selected texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. These not only enhance all areas of the reading/writing curriculum, but provide further opportunities to enhance children’s vocabulary and Oracy skills, where children are given opportunities to develop prosody and perform poetry. We recognise English as an important core subject and as a pre-requisite for educational and social progress. We aim to provide an environment which promotes language development, which is stimulating and characterised by high expectations of success for every child. Through a clear pathway of progression from EYFS to KS2, we aim to ensure all children are working at or above age related expectations in English and acquire a secure knowledge-base in preparation for KS3 and beyond. Pupils’ individual needs and abilities are recognised and developed in a caring and supportive environment, in partnership with parents.
Our Children will:
Our Teachers will:
Implementation – How do we do it?
The Learning Journey
We ensure that there is a consistent approach to planning across the school. The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) follows the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and works from the EYFS Development Matters document. In KS1 and KS2, we use Hamilton Trust materials as the basis for our English planning. Key objectives and ideas are taken from these materials and placed into our own ‘composition framework.’ This framework follows the process of read, review, analyse, practise, write and edit and ensures that key learning objectives are targeted.
We recognise that reading is at the heart of a great curriculum and so we ensure that our children have many opportunities for reading in school which include whole-class reading sessions, group reading with their peers, sharing a class book and individual reading.
A rigorous approach to the teaching of reading, develops learners’ confidence and enjoyment in reading.
Phonics is taught through a systematic approach and is taught from Letters and Sounds, through the planning provided by Phonics Play. We implement key aspects of the Jolly Phonics Scheme, which enable our lessons to be visual, audial and kinaesthetic. Utilising all of these pedagogies increase the likelihood of rapid progress in early reading. In EYFS and KS1 phonics is taught daily on a whole class basis. Interventions are put in place for those children who are working below age related expectations to accelerate progress.
In EYFS and KS1, children read independently on a frequent basis. We recognise that pupils require sufficient time to read and re-read books containing the GPCs that they already know. Re-reading is key to children becoming fluent readers as fluency aids reading comprehension. It also increases confidence and helps to develop reading stamina. In KS2, children who are working below age related expectations will receive additional reading support on a one-to-one or small group basis.
In EYFS and KS1, children access a wide range of books from the Oxford University Press. These include Floppy’s Phonics, Traditional Tales and Project X. These early stage reading materials are finely levelled, progressive and closely linked to a child’s phonic knowledge. The Tree Tops reading scheme is used in KS2 to support their reading journey, as well as a wide range of chapter books for the children to choose from.
Whole class reading is taught through weekly reading lessons also known as RIC sessions (Retrieve, Inference, and Choice). These lessons are usually linked to a class reading text or the English unit the children are currently working on, but may also be linked to other areas of the curriculum such as Topic, Science or Maths. The stimulus for the RIC lesson may be taken from a variety of sources, including text extracts, film clips and songs. We want our children to experience a broad range of engaging texts across a range of curriculum areas: embedding key reading skills and developing a love of reading. To support this, we have invested greatly in reading spine sets and KS2 class sets of inspiring texts to support the effective teaching of RIC lessons. Throughout RIC lessons key skills of retrieval, inference and identifying the writer’s use of language are modelled and misconceptions addressed. Each class has a vibrant reading area containing a wide array of genres for the children to experience. We feel passionately that developing a love of reading from an early age will benefit our children hugely: personally, socially and educationally.
We want our children to be confident and articulate speakers. In order to develop this, the children have frequent access to a broad range of speaking and listening opportunities. To ensure progression, each year group teaches objectives set out in the Oracy knowledge progression document. Our children use drama techniques to learn more about the characters within a text, sequence a story or to present ideas. Cross-curricular links are also made with our topic learning, where each half-term, classes identify a key speaking and listening focus as part of their unit’s work. Performances are a big part of life at Tranmere Park Primary school and the children are frequently afforded opportunities to present in front of an audience.
Throughout the academic year, children speak in class assemblies, at parents’ evenings, Christmas and End of Year performances, entry and exit points.
At Tranmere, we feel that Grammar should be taught intrinsically as part of our writing lessons (e.g. Grammar for a purpose). To ensure progression, each year group has a set of non-negotiable Grammar expectations which we expect to see evidenced in writing.
We follow the National Curriculum statutory requirements for spelling from Y1 to Y6. In KS1 we have devised our own spelling scheme for both Y1 and Y2. This provides children with a weekly spelling list to learn, comprising of the specific spelling patterns and high frequency words that children should know by the end of KS1. Children in KS2 also have weekly spellings to revise at home. These spellings may contain specific suffixes, prefixes, high frequency words or topic related words. Spelling is also taught and reinforced through daily lessons. For example, Maths and Science.
Effective vocabulary teaching is essential for our children to become proficient speakers, readers and writers of the future. At Tranmere Park Primary School, pupils are frequently given opportunities to extend their vocabulary across the curriculum. Topic and Science units start with a vocabulary lesson which highlights key terminology that will be used in subsequent lessons. This exposes children to new vocabulary and enables them to draw on it for future learning. Prior to weekly spellings being sent home, the children complete relevant activities to establish the definitions for each of the given words. Often, these words are placed into sentences so that the children can ascertain context and meaning. Vocabulary also forms an intrinsic part of our English lessons, and is taught within lessons and in context. Our English planning follows the requirements set out within the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and National Curriculum. Our planning shows progression across the year groups and across phases.
- Short term assessments aim to assess the children’s learning informally on a lesson by lesson basis and are key to our curriculum. These could include observations of groups, analysis of whole class feedback, the marking of work or short tests either in written or oral form.
- Ongoing assessments in phonics enables teachers to identify those children who are working below age related expectations. Targeted interventions are put in place immediately to support progress.
- Each term, children complete pieces of assessed writing (EYFS x 2, KS1 x 3 and KS2 x 4). Each piece assesses the children’s attainment against key learning objectives addressed throughout the term. Three assessed writes per year should be topic based to evidence cross curricular writing.
Throughout the academic year each of the key objectives will be assessed and progress towards these is monitored. Following assessed writes, teachers work with specific groups on key areas. This should include extending greater depth writers. Assessed Writing folders are used to file work, evidencing year on year progression.
- Over the course of the year, each pupil in Y1-Y6 will submit an independent piece of writing to the ‘No More Marking’ scheme. This is then independently assessed and a report is forwarded to school. Results are used to inform future planning and ensures the credibility of our own assessments.
- Medium term assessments are completed at the end of a half-term and individual pupil results are placed on O-Track (a data management system). In EYFS, the class teacher also keeps a highlighted grid, to show progress within the age bands outlined in ‘Development Matters.’
- PIRA (Progress in Reading Assessment) tests are taken by the children termly. These reinforce our own assessment judgements and feed in to future planning.
- Long term assessments assess our children against national expectations. These are also used to provide extra information about individual children’s attainment and progress so that the teacher can report to the next teacher and the child’s parent. Furthermore, data will be used by SLT to brief the governing body, the staff and the LEA on overall progress towards the school’s end of year targets.
- Through ongoing assessment, children who are working below age-related expectations are quickly identified. Targeted interventions are then put in place to accelerate progress.
The English subject leaders will use their expertise to support other teachers. A regular programme of monitoring will take place throughout the academic year, enabling the subject leaders to monitor the subject effectively. Monitoring will take the form of book scrutinies, pupil and teacher interviews, data analysis and learning walks. In Writing, staff also take part in the ‘No More Marking’ scheme, across year groups. This reaffirms our judgements and enables staff to see the children’s prior and post learning in addition to the learning of their own year group. Staff can also evidence progression across year groups and phases. The monitoring cycle will evaluate current practice and the subject leader will be responsible for providing timely feedback, coaching and support.
Impact – What knowledge and skills are obtained?
Our children become fluent and confident readers, who display a love of literature and a desire to expand their vocabulary. Having been exposed to a broad range of performance opportunities, both in class and in front of larger audiences, our children leave Tranmere Park as proficient speakers; able to communicate effectively as they continue their educational journey. Our progressive writing curriculum also results in a community of highly accomplished writers who are able to adapt their writing to suit different audiences and purposes. Cross-curricular writing opportunities ensure that our children are transferring these skills into other subjects; this enables them to develop a deeper understanding of grammar, punctuation and vocabulary. As a result, our attainment in English is above the national expectation at each key stage. It is our aim that children at Tranmere Park Primary School move on from us with highly developed English skills and a passion for literature, enabling them to access the next chapter in their learning journey.
Further to the above, our Curriculum, at Tranmere Park, is designed to ensure that each and every child achieves or demonstrates the following:
The Team Tranmere Way Be Yourself Be Your Best Be Team Tranmere Our children will learn to like who they are; they respect themselves and live their lives in their own way, regardless of the opinions of others. Our children ‘give it everything they have got’ to achieve their full potential across the curriculum. Our children are a part of a community and have respect for the resources and people in it and that surround it. Our Learning Values and Behaviours Self-Manager Effective Participator Independent Enquirer Team Worker Resourceful Thinker Reflective Learner Our children set their own goals and manage their own time, motivation and concentration. Our children participate in lessons and persuade and encourage others to do so. Our children set goals for their research with clear success criteria. Our children understand that we are stronger together and implement this. Our children are problem-solvers who can adapt to new or difficult situations. Our children critically analyse their work ensuring future improvements.