Our English curriculum is innovative and drives excellence in reading and writing. Details of the curriculum can be found on The Warriner Trust Website.
English has been a focus for development over recent years, and we are proud of the opportunities that our children benefit from in reading and writing.
It is our intent to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. We want to equip our pupils with the skills and knowledge of an excellent writer who:
- Has the ability to write with confidence
- Can consider the purpose, impact and structure of their writing on the reader
- Has a vast knowledge of different vocabulary choices they can draw upon
- Presents writing that is well presented and punctuated appropriately
- Can read, reedit and improve their writing to their best of their ability
During their time here, pupils will explore and write within a range of different genres, exploring the grammatical features and punctuation required in order to create their own. We want our pupils to develop a real love of writing and be able to demonstrate this within any subject.
Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. Writing lessons happen almost daily throughout the school. Our curriculum drives our writing and often trips, visitors and immersive launch days act as a stimulus. Where pupils have not had the experiences to write, we provide engaging and memorable ways to ensure they develop their vocabulary, equipping them with a key skill to write.
Our writing curriculum links closely to our reading, with each year group having access to a high-quality modelled text or stimulus. This provides conversation and scaffolding at the first point of our writing journey: reading. From here, pupils learn to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. To be able to do this effectively, teaching focuses on developing core composition skills. The pupils also use purple editing pens which help them to check their work throughout the writing process and changing as they see fit.
At Bishop Loveday, we develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Our success criteria, which is used throughout the school, allows the children to do this. There are four key purposes that our writing links to: entertain, persuade, inform and discuss. Every piece of writing links to one of these purposes, and staff have been supported in training on this from the literacy lead and school improvement director.
Through reading, we want our children at Bishop Loveday to gain knowledge and understanding of the world around them; to be equipped with vocabulary to develop life skills and communication; to foster a love of language and to broaden their cultural experience through a variety of different reading contexts and authors.
We want to ensure our children have access to a high-quality literacy curriculum that is both challenging and enjoyable, therefore we provide our children with a variety of high-quality reading materials, which will enable them to develop as lifelong readers with a love of reading. This also helps to ensure that all children become confident, independent readers who can speak with a good use of standard English. We also want to develop inquisitive readers who ask questions about the text – making them active learners and developing their growth mindset. For example: Child response: “I think…, because…, In my option…, The writer…so that…, …led me to think that…”
Throughout their time at Bishop Loveday our children are exposed to a breadth of literature, non-fiction and poetry from a variety of classic, new and diverse authors. We recognised that it is important for all children to see themselves in books and therefore prioritise updating our school and classroom libraries with new books termly.
Reading is given a high priority in our curriculum as it the ability to read and understand that opens learning for children. We teach reading as a whole class with the teachers modelling the role as expert reader. This links closely with our growth mindset and allows a ‘high ceiling, low threshold’ approach and ensures that every child is heard reading at least three times a week. During lessons, teachers model the reading text to children, who repeat, practice, then perform the text before engaging in discussions and reading activities about the text.
We strive to instil in our children a sense of excitement, fun and pleasure that can be derived through reading. It is recognised that reading permeates the curriculum, so texts are matched to challenge and engage all learners in all subjects. Where possible, reading lessons link to the topic theme for the term, allowing our children to access further texts that link to the non-core subjects.
We believe the development of children’s vocabulary is a vital tool in learning in understanding the full curriculum and have provided every child with a reading journal, which is used to support their reading skills. Every teacher refers to content domains for key stage one and two and provides activities for every child to develop their understanding of these. We use VIPERS, from The Literacy Shed, to support with this. VIPERS stand for:
Sequence (in key stage one) or Summarise (in key stage two)
We believe that every child should have access to quality, inspirational reading material in order that they develop a keen interest in the written word, which will stay with them throughout life. This was why we have invested - and continually invest - time in updating our school library with the support of school librarians from years two – six. We update our school library regularly, taking our librarians on a yearly trip to Waterstones to select some books. We also have a school twitter account that allows us to contact authors, ask them questions and send them images of our learning about a text. We strive to make reading as much fun as possible through visiting authors and initiatives such as World Book Day.
Books for Keeps is the UK’s leading, independent children’s book magazine. It was launched in 1980 and ever since has been reviewing hundreds of new children’s books each year and publishing articles on every aspect of writing for children. You can view their website here