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English

 

Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow... Lawrence Clark Powell

 

At Holy Trinity School, we believe that English and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively through both spoken and written language to become lifelong learners.

 

English has an essential role across the curriculum and helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive.  We want children to enjoy, appreciate and immerse themselves in literature and its rich variety of vocabulary. Children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts.

 

English is at the heart of all children’s learning. English at Holy Trinity is taught through dynamic topics and ideas inspired by Cornerstones, ensuring English is delivered, where possible, as cross curricular.  The topics are engaging and challenging for both boys and girls and ensures a range of genres are covered whilst embedding grammar and spellings.

 

At Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, the teaching and learning of English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read, write and communicate orally with confidence, fluency and understanding adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Have an interest and love of books and literature; whilst practising reading for enjoyment
  • Develop and foster a love of words, phrases and sayings, develop their meanings; and use a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms
  • Discuss reading and writing comprehensively: expressing opinions; explaining techniques and justifying preferences; about a wide range of literature, using appropriate vocabulary
  • Understand a range of text types and genres; develop knowledge to appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage; read easily, fluently and with good understanding

  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

     

Spoken language

Pupils at Holy Trinity C of E Primary School are taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. They are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This enables them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.

 

Pupils should be taught to:

  • listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers

  • ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge

  • use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary

  • articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions

  • give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings

  • maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments

  • use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas

  • speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English

  • participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates

  • gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener(s)

  • consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attending to and building on the contributions of others

  • select and use appropriate registers for effective communication.

 

Reading and writing

At Holy Trinity C of E Primary School we aim to develop pupils’ reading and writing in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge. Pupils are taught to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and be encouraged to read for pleasure. At Holy Trinity C of E Primary School we promote wider reading providing library facilities and set ambitious expectations for reading at home. Pupils develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They are taught the correct use of grammar. They build on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. The writing they do includes narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations: such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.

 

Vocabulary development

Our pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. We therefore develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on pupils’ current knowledge. We increase pupils’ store of words in general; simultaneously, we also make links between known and new vocabulary and discuss the shades of meaning in similar words. In this way, pupils expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when they write. In addition, it is vital for pupils’ comprehension that they understand the meanings of words they meet in their reading across all subjects, and older pupils are taught the meaning of instruction verbs that they may meet in examination questions. We feel it is particularly important to induct pupils into the language which defines each subject in its own right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language.

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