At Holy Trinity Primary C of E School we believe that the skills in English: reading, writing and speaking and listening; provide the foundations for pupils' achievement throughout the whole curriculum and all other areas of learning for now and the future. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
English is a core subject of the National Curriculum, with reading, writing and speaking and listening being taught and practised in a range of situations and across all subjects. Through a range of situations, we believe that pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. All the skills of the language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
The overarching aim for English at Holy Trinity C of E Primary School is to promote high standards of language and literacy 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.
At Holy Trinity C of E Primary School, the teaching and learning of English aims to ensure that all pupils:
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.
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.
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.