Holy Name is proud to be part of a richly diverse community and we want all of our children to flourish. Appreciating that language has a leading place in education and society, we provide a high-quality curriculum in English. We teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas, researched facts, opinions and feelings to others and, through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.
At the heart of Holy Name’s English curriculum, high-quality literature ensures that every lesson is engaging and purposeful, enabling our children to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. The content has been carefully selected to complement and deepen the understanding of other curriculum areas to inspire children’s speaking, listening, reading and writing opportunities. In addition to the main text chosen to inspire each unit, resources such as digital texts, picture books, paintings, songs, poems, lyrics, TV, film and media clips are also used as a stimulus to engage our children. Effective teaching strategies are employed so that every child can build upon their successes. Through developing the fundamental skills of language as a means of communication, including the acquisition of new vocabulary, we give our children access to all of the other subjects taught and provide vital skills for future learning as well as life beyond the classroom.
A love of reading is shared from the moment pupils begin their education at Holy Name. Our youngest children are immersed in language through books and environmental print as well as listening to and sharing songs, poems and stories. Using phonics as their first strategy, we teach children to become fluent readers and actively encourage reading for pleasure. We believe that every child can love reading and we inspire in them a want to read for themselves. We teach children to be curious about our world, to ask questions and to engage with texts to form their own ideas.
Children have opportunities to write every day to develop their confidence, fluency and voice. With genuine links to their reading, we endeavour to engage all writers, but especially those who may at first appear reluctant. While a range of genres are modelled in order to develop children’s knowledgebase, there is some flexibility within the curriculum for children to choose their own written response to a stimulus and children are guided through the planning, drafting, revising, editing and publishing process for whatever type of writing they choose to do. At Holy Name, we understand that children learn best when there is a purpose to their learning. Therefore, whenever possible, the writing that children are asked to produce, will have a genuine purpose and audience.
Statutory requirements for the teaching and learning of English are laid out in the ‘Communication and Language’ and ‘Literacy’ sections of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage (2021) and in the National Curriculum in England: English Programmes of Study – Key Stages 1 and 2 (2014).
Building on the aims of the statutory frameworks and considering the unique context of Holy Name, we intend our children to:
• be interested in books and read for pleasure and for information both in school and at home;
• appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage;
• have an interest in words and their meaning and a growing vocabulary, including a suitable technical vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading and writing as well as other areas of their learning;
• have fluent and legible handwriting;
• understand the sound and spelling system and use this to read and spell confidently, fluently and with understanding;
• develop an awareness of purpose and audience for both written and oral language and develop an understanding of how purpose can dictate form;
• be able to reflect on and accurately evaluate their own and others’ contributions, feeding back sensitively and acting on advice as appropriate;
• write confidently in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to a range of situations;
• be confident, competent and expressive users of the language with a developing knowledge of how it works, e.g. grammar, spelling and punctuation;
• plan, draft, revise, edit and publish their own writing;
• be competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.