English at BPS
Our aim is to foster a life-long love of language, literature and communication in our pupils so they leave us with a strong command of both the spoken and written word, underpinned by a passion for and appreciation of reading a wide variety of texts
Understanding and confidently using language is essential to success across the curriculum, and indeed in school and the wider community. It is therefore our aim at BPS to develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject.
Our English curriculum is built around a wide range of high quality texts which excite and engage children. Opportunities to develop skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing are rooted in language and literature which inspires the children to secure and deepen their knowledge, their understanding and their learning.
From the moment they start their learning journey at BPS, children are encouraged to speak clearly and confidently in order to articulate their thoughts and ideas. They are taught the importance of listening carefully and sensitively to others and responding appropriately. Drama activities are a regular part of the English curriculum and provide opportunities to empathise with and to explore a range of characters, issues and situations from a variety of perspectives; create and sustain a range of roles; script and perform ideas for an audience and respond sensitively and critically to drama performances. Children have opportunities to learn, recite and perform poetry using expression, intonation and actions creatively.
Talking about their thoughts and ideas through discussion and drama not only allows children to become effective communicators, it also provides the opportunity to orally rehearse their writing before putting pencil or pen to paper.
Reading at BPS not only teaches children the skills to read with confidence, fluency and understanding, but also promotes an enjoyment of reading. The curriculum is built around high quality texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry to ensure all children have a rich and varied literary experience. Children have opportunities to develop their reading through individual, guided group and/or shared reading with adults, depending on age and what is appropriate in order to ensure progress and enjoyment. Discussion about reading forms an integral part of learning and encourages the children to think deeply about possible inferred meaning as well as considering how an author’s word choice impacts on the audience. Children visit the school library once a week where a wide variety of literature (including newspapers, comics, magazines, picture books) is available for the children’s enjoyment. To further develop children’s understanding of the texts they read, comprehension activities are carried out weekly from key stage one.
At BPS, we teach children that we write for a a real purpose and audience. Through reading, children are taught to identify the features, language choices and tone appropriate to different genres and audience. They then have a clear model upon which to base their own writing. Teachers model good writing practice to the children to show the process involved and that final drafts are not produced without trial and thought. Most writing opportunities stem from the reading material being used in lessons which ensures children have opportunities to write for a meaningful purpose. Other opportunities for experiential writing are created through trips, visitors and events in and out of school. At all times, children are encouraged to be creative with their work and use it as a medium of expression. Children are taught to edit their work using a red pen to demonstrate that they are able to proof-read accurately and to develop their work after an initial draft. Grammar and punctuation skills are taught contextually wherever possible to enable children to understand their importance in writing. In addition to weekly spellings in line with the National Curriculum, children have a personal spelling card on which they record frequently misspelled words and note their progress.
We have high expectations for all our children at BPS and the work is pitched to ensure challenge for all. Throughout every aspect of the English curriculum however, teachers ensure that every child has the opportunity to make progress and to feel proud of his / her achievements. We encourage resilient and curious learners who are prepared to take a risk and challenge themselves with their work. Children have regular opportunities to ‘lead’ learning and to work in pairs and small groups as well as individually. At BPS we believe children learn from each other as well as from teachers. Having high quality texts at the heart of our curriculum means children are immersed in rich and exciting language which ignites their love of English and promotes success across all areas of learning.