English Curriculum Statement
English Curriculum Intent
At Cusgarne we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and spoken language. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
English Curriculum Implementation
These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Teachers adapt the Hamilton Scheme as appropriate to their classes, but also ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
● 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.
During daily English lessons, we develop a range of writing skills, using a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children to become excellent, engaging writers. As they go through our school, they develop the ability to structure, produce and edit writing which is fit for purpose and engages the reader. Through this writing, each year group will be exposed to the spelling and grammar age related objectives from the National Curriculum, which supports the children in being able to learn and apply them in their own writing. We teach the children cursive letter formation and later, how to join letters to ensure that they develop a fluent, joined up style of handwriting.
We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, from taking part in the Storytelling competition as part of the Truro Music Festival each year to running a poetry and creative writing competition. Cusgarne School is also a supporter of Gorsedh Kernow with our pupils submitting entries aimed at maintaining the spirit of Cornwall. Our pupils also read lessons at the Chapel services, take part in assemblies and our School Council participate in meetings and representing the school at events. This ensures that children benefit from access to positive role models from the local and wider locality.
At Cusgarne, we ensure that our children develop a range of reading skills, as well as a love of reading through our curriculum. Our pupils read daily and explore a range of genres within their reading ability. We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and our children also have access to texts and books that support reading across the curriculum. At Cusgarne we have weekly library sessions which are hugely popular with our pupils and we love to support World Book Day and our Book Fair. In addition, we buy into the Cornwall Library Service enabling us to maintain a fresh and current stock of reading materials for the children. The library van visits us termly and our school librarians help to re-stock our library. The Library Service also visit us in the Summer Term to promote the Summer Reading Challenge and is normally a big success for the children attending from Cusgarne. We use reading bands as rewards to encourage all children to read at home and set reading challenges and tasks to embed outside of school the love of reading.
Our children also excel in reading through the use of our phonics programme from reception to year 6. In EYFS and Key Stage 1, the children are taught grapheme-phoneme correspondence through Letters and Sounds phonics to develop their understanding of the links between sounds and letters. Word recognition, matching and patterning letters are introduced, and the children are introduced to daily reading and a home/school reading record. The children have early reading books, matched to the sound sequences and phase they are learning, so that they are phonically decodable.
In Key Stage 1, the children build upon their prior knowledge and continue with daily reading and phonics alongside patterns, spellings, statutory words and grammar. In Key Stage 2, the children learn about spelling rules and grammatical structures and how to apply them and are now reading a wide range of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire them. They learn weekly spellings alongside statutory spellings and exception words and are encouraged to apply these skills when writing.
English Curriculum Impact
As a result, we have a school of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas.
Our staff are equipped with resources and on-going CPD training and work alongside our SENDCo to ensure appropriate support is given where and when it is needed, including any intervention from Speech and Language.
The impact of our English offer is measured through our monitoring cycle. This includes book scrutinies, learning walks, pupil conferencing, planning scrutiny, assessments and national testing.
Our attainment at the end of EYFS, KS1 and KS2 is above that of the national average.