English Intent Statement
At Holly Hill we believe that English is fundamental to the overall development of the child and their access to the whole curriculum. A quality English curriculum should develop children’s passion for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening. Our English curriculum provides the children with purposeful reading, writing and speaking opportunities which are driven by high quality texts and rich vocabulary.
The English curriculum at Holly Hill enables children 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. Our children ‘learn to read’, predominantly in Key Stage One, and they ‘read to learn’ as they progress through Key Stage Two. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
Through our English curriculum we make links to our whole school curriculum intent statement. The aspects which are particularly significant to English are:
Rich vocabulary and quality texts
Preparation for adult life and work
Balance of knowledge and skills
Emotional well-being and healthy relationships
Experiences and opportunities
The National Curriculum outlines the following aims for English:
read easily, fluently and with good understanding
develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
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
At Holly Hill the English curriculum is designed so that we meet the National Curriculum aims through a progression of skills and knowledge taught using the texts and genres below:
See EYFS Development Matters statements (appendix 1).
At Holly Hill, texts are carefully selected for their year group suitability, challenge and content. These texts drive specific focus aspects of the curriculum. For example, in KS1, ‘Vlad and The Great Fire of London’ is chosen as a vehicle for strengthening the history teaching and to allow for the reading and writing of purposeful diary entries.
In KS2, the text ‘Hugo Cabret’ has been selected to drive the Clockwork topic which leads to action, newspaper and explanation writing. Mechanical devices are made within Design Technology and an exciting visit to an automaton museum creates a stimulating, purposeful and worthwhile experience for the children. High quality texts within English lessons are our vehicles for learning with enjoyment, engagement and purpose.
Text types and genres are organised to ensure coverage and progression across the key phases. Year group specific genres allow subject areas to be taught in a cross-curricular manner and to be text driven.
In the Foundation Stage, core books are selected to be age appropriate and appealing for our youngest children and to drive the EYFS key areas.
KS1 texts have been selected to ensure a balance of modern, classic and prize-winning picture books. There is an emphasis on fiction to capture the young imagination and to allow for exciting text immersion sessions. We do, however, ensure that there is a fair representation of fiction and non-fiction. Vocabulary development is a key consideration when our texts are selected.
Throughout KS2, texts become progressively more challenging and include an increasing number of novels, allowing for the very close and essential reading and writing link. At Holly Hill, Reading and Writing go hand in hand and along with the spoken word, form our holistic English curriculum.
Our children are immersed in text and saturated in speaking and listening experiences before embarking on the writing journey.