What makes a good English student at Sacred Heart
A passion for reading and writing, an ability to think and work independently, an ability to persevere, an enquiring mind, a good knowledge of grammar, an ability to share ideas, is able to attempt new things and explore creativity. The children will demonstrate traits from our Learner Profile, including being inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, risk takers, caring, balanced, reflective and resilient.
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. 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.
We are now entering our third year of having a whole-school text-based approach, having successfully trialled it in Years 5 and 6 for one year and then all year groups employing the same approach last year. This approach that allows a greater opportunity for the children to write, along with linking grammar, punctuation and spelling into their work more closely, as well as developing our inference and retrieval skills through whole class work.
Whilst we have worked closely with The Literacy Company to ensure that this approach provides the best opportunities for the children of Sacred Heart, we also recognise the importance of being flexible and adapting to the needs of the children. As so, we are supplementing these units with additional writing opportunities, where the children are being given the change write, edit and re-draft at length, as well as investigate poetry in detail, including learning to recite a poem by heart.
In addition to this, extended writing opportunities are planned throughout the wider curriculum so that the children have more opportunities to work towards greater depth writing. This approach had a fantastic impact across the curriculum last year and we are looking to build upon this in 2019-2020.
We know that some of the vocabulary around Primary English can be very confusing, so please click on the link below to see a handy jargon buster:
To see how skills in English progress across the school, from EYFS to Year 6, please click here.
Reading is at the heart of Sacred Heart, and we strive to raise the number of children who leave our school with this basic right. We recognise that reading is an important life skill, but we also wish our children to leave the school with a love of reading that will stay with them for life.
Within class, children will read regularly, including through guided reading sessions, where the children build up their decoding, retrieving and inference skills, amongst others. The children are also given opportunities to read regularly throughout the school day.
Children learn at different rates and we recognise that children will be at different points on thier reading journey. To support them on this reading journey, children may be given addition 1:1 reading time with an adult or may take part in our Reading to Progress intervention (through The Literacy Company). Both of these approaches help to develop word recognition and language comprehension, in line with the ‘simple view of reading’. Children from across the whole school may also have additional phonics support to support their class sessions.
At Sacred Heart, we have invested heavily in our school library, which was updated and refurbished last year. The room is now a haven for those who love to read and provides an amazing selection of fiction and non-fiction for all age groups within the school. This year we are going to be nominating School Librarians who will look after the library and support children in choosing new books to read, checking them in and out using our online system. To see images of the library, please look through the gallery below.
Reading at home is important to each child’s progression, and if you click on the links below you will find some handy guides to support reading at home.
As well as investing in our school library, we have looked to develop the reading books used across school. We have books that are high interest for all abilities, and we match books that are sent home to phonemes learnt and ability so as to continue to support reading away from the classroom.
Whilst we realise that spellings is only part of the writing process, we also realise how important it is in order to communicate effectively. Spellings continues to be a focus within school to mprove both communication skills and to develop a wider vocabulary. We will continue to use the Read, Write Inc spelling programme from Year 2 to Year 6 that builds upon the Read, Write Inc phonics programme currently used throughout EYFS and KS1. This has already had an impact upon the children’s work in a positive way, and as the programme continues to be embedded this year, we will then build upon it by reviewing the spellings on the spellings lists contained within the National Curriculum.
If you have any questions about the English curriculum within school, please come into school and ask to speak to Mr Smith, our English Lead.
“Reading is important because it improves your grammar, helps you to learn new vocabulary and you can escape to another world.” Ria, Aged 11
“Reading is important because it can improve your spelling, it can pull you in and make you feel new things, and can change the scenery if you are not feeling happy.” Serena, Aged (nearly) 10
“Reading is important because it helps you to learn new things and it helps you to write more.” Wendy, Aged 7
“Reading is important because I can read about friends and I like it.” Reeva, Aged 4
Here you can find out what your child will need to know in order to achieve age related expectations.
Reading and Writing End Of Year Expectations: