‘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. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. 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; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.’
National Curriculum Statutory Guidance for English – Purpose of Study, 2014
English Curriculum Intent at St Joseph's
At St Joseph’s, our vision is for academic excellence in all that we do. Our ambitious English curriculum has high quality texts as the beating heart of a lesson. We believe that pupils are entitled to read literature and texts that challenge them to imagine a world beyond the limiting confines of their own. A text should provoke a student to consider times, places, people and ideas that they would not encounter in everyday life. We understand that some pupils’ only experience of reading will be in school. We choose texts that foster a love of reading and inspire pupils to write. During their time at our school, pupils experience a wide range of carefully chosen, high quality picture books and novels which also help pupils to experience and learn ambitious tier 2 and tier 3 vocabulary.
We teach the National Curriculum supported by a clear progression of knowledge and skills. This ensures that knowledge and skills are built on year by year and sequenced appropriately to maximise learning for all pupils. Careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that pupils’ English learning is relevant, and wherever possible, reading and writing links to the wider curriculum. Alongside carefully chosen texts, we encourage educational visits to enhance cultural capital amongst our pupils, to widen vocabulary, and to develop a greater knowledge and understanding of the world around them.
We are currently adapting our English curriculum, with more texts that reflect the diversity of our world and our community, and encourage pupils to have a more global outlook. All texts used in teaching are evaluated to ensure they promote equality, diversity and inclusion. We intend for all children to have as equal access as possible to good quality books through the use of reading books, class libraries, the school library and books purchased for children eligible for Pupil Premium.
We know that a good grasp of English, and the associated knowledge, skills and understanding, enables children to be successful in other areas of the curriculum. We therefore provide EAL teaching for identified children to develop vocabulary and support knowledge acquisition of the conventions of the English language and to support their achievement in English and literacy across all curriculum areas.
At St Joseph’s, pupils will be exposed to a bespoke, language rich, creative and progressive English curriculum which will not only enable them to become primary literate, but will also develop a love of reading, a deeper knowledge, understanding and appreciation of the world around them and the ability to question others and develop their own informed points of view. We encourage talk, debate and discussion as part of English lessons so that children know how to effectively articulate their opinions and ideas. We know that a good grasp of English, and the associated knowledge, skills and understanding, enables children to be successful in other areas of the curriculum and prepares them for their life beyond our school.