English is at the heart of both education and society. Our intent at Sylvester Primary School is to nurture pupils who can speak, read and write confidently and fluently, communicating their ideas and emotions to others. Our English curriculum is based largely on the study of, and response to, a wide variety of complete published texts which have been specially selected to engage and excite our pupils. Through these texts we intend to foster a life-long love of reading. Also, through reading, and responding to, these texts we intend to develop our pupils culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Our English curriculum aims to enable pupils to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know. We feel that all the skills developed through our English curriculum are essential to our pupils being able to participate fully as a member of society; and we are committed to developing these skills as we know that those who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
HOW WE TEACH ENGLISH
At Sylvester Primary Academy, English is taught in accordance with the English programmes of study set out in the National Curriculum for Key Stages 1 and 2.
At Sylvester, English is taught as a subject in its own right, but it is also used as a medium to teach all other curriculum subjects. As a result, children receive five daily English lessons each week (based largely upon texts provided by The Literacy Tree) as well as three short Reading lessons each week (based largely upon texts provided by Literacy Leaves), but children also gain regular opportunities in the other core and foundation subjects to practise, revise and further develop their reading, speaking, listening and writing skills.
Our English curriculum is taught through a whole text model. Real books, complete novels, short stories and class readers are central to all English teaching at Sylvester. Whenever possible, English teaching is linked to real books or class readers and the children also have many opportunities to listen to and respond to books, short stories and poetry outside the regular English lessons. Teachers are encouraged to read regularly to the children for enjoyment and have a set list of stories to read each year.
Weekly English Lessons
Each year group receive five dedicated English lessons each week. These lessons are based largely upon the texts provided by The Literacy Tree however we also use other selected published whole texts which best supplement the English curriculum. Each English unit offers the child the opportunity to read a complete book or novel (fiction, non-fiction and poetry). Each unit follows the reading to writing planning model and incorporates a selection of the following: shared reading, guided reading, SPAG, speaking and listening, shared writing, guided writing, independent writing, editing and redrafting.
Every week, each class receives three dedicated short Reading lessons. These lessons are based largely upon the texts and resources provided by Literacy Leaves however we also use other selected published whole texts throughout the year. For Reading lessons, each child has their own copy of the book which is being studied and each unit again offers the child the opportunity to read a complete book or novel (fiction, non-fiction and poetry). Reading lessons can take the form of guided reading in small groups or whole class reading lessons. The focus for each Reading lesson will include one of the following: reading for pleasure, vocabulary enrichment, inference, deduction, retrieval, summarising or prediction. Each class will also receive one weekly online Reading Eggs lesson which will also be available as a remote learning lesson.
Every week, each class receives a dedicated spelling lesson following the Assertive Mentoring Spelling Scheme. Each lesson focusses specifically on one spelling rule. The children are tested on these rules each week. The pupils may also be set one weekly Reading Eggs spelling lesson which will also be available as a remote learning lesson.