The English Lead Teacher at St Joseph and St Teresa Catholic Primary School is Mrs Nicola Willmott.
At St Joseph and St Teresa’s Catholic Primary School we have developed a curriculum that encourages our children to communicate effectively and listen with understanding. We want our children to be strong communicators and develop confidence in their speech and language skills in order to express their feelings and emotions. We work hard to create a curriculum that enables our children to become fluent and responsive readers as well as enthusiastic and engaged writers. Through our English curriculum, we endeavour to teach the importance of reading, writing, speaking and listening and embed skills that are transferable across our whole curriculum.
To develop our pupils as speakers and listeners we use the Talk for Writing approach to develop oral language and give the children opportunities to express their ideas to a range of audiences. Our English lessons give the children opportunities to take part in group discussions and drama activities that further encourage their oral language. We give our children the opportunities and confidence to listen and respond appropriately to others as well as encourage them to evaluate their own speech.
To develop our pupils as readers we employ systematic and consistent strategies. We teach our children to read using the phonics scheme ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ and ensure children learn to read as quickly as reasonably possible. Our children are thoroughly and systematically assessed to ensure progress throughout phonics phases and additional support is given for those children with gaps in their knowledge. Children further develop their Reading comprehension skills from Year 2 onwards through the use of First News and/or Destination Reader schemes. Teachers are enthusiastic about engaging the children in high quality fiction and non-fiction texts embedded within our Talk for Writing curriculum and we prioritise reading for pleasure through ‘Whole Class Texts’ that are read daily. We help our children to understand and respond to what they are reading using inference and deduction within their English lessons and through explicit teaching of reading skills. We are enthusiastic about engaging our children with local and national reading workshops and opportunities such as the Wells Literature Festival and National World Book Day.
To develop our pupils as writers we are committed to using the Talk for Writing approach. We ensure progression across our year groups through our Writing Curriculum Map where a variety of text types are studied. We prioritise writing for a range of audiences and purposes to ensure our children are engaged within their writing, adapting their vocabulary and style as appropriate. We explicitly teach the children how to evaluate and edit their writing in order to improve their work and show them how to use punctuation to make meaning clear to their reader. Teachers are committed to giving their children the knowledge and strategies to become accurate spellers through regular explicit and embedded spelling lessons. We teach our children the cursive style of handwriting from Year 1 onwards and promote an understanding of how to present their work appropriately. Writing skills are further prioritised within our curriculum through our ‘Writer of the Month’ certificates as well as visits from authors through our link with the Wells Literature Festival.
We know our reading curriculum is successful through the monitoring procedures we have in place. The reading lead teacher monitors the impact of reading across the school on a termly basis. This includes and prioritises the use of pupil conferencing as a way of measuring the attitudes and affects our reading curriculum is having on our children. Additionally, Reading teaching is regularly observed and next steps for the reading curriculum are regularly identified. The impact of our reading curriculum is that the majority of our children are fluent readers by the end of Year 1 and are therefore ready to access the curriculum at a more independent level. As children move throughout the Key Stages, they are exposed to many high quality texts that ensures a passion for reading and develops a positive reading culture within our school.
Please find below our writing curriculum map which details the writing genres that will be taught for the Year 2022/23.
Within Early Years and Key Stage One we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised Programme to teach phonics to our children. This is an approved systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme.
Please find below a Phonics Information video for parents and carers produced by Ruth Thompson (Phonics Lead Teacher) and Nicola Willmott (English Lead Teacher).
Please find below a link to the Parents Page on the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds website. There are some really useful videos which provide details about how we teach Phonics and the books that will be coming home.
We use Destination Reader to teach reading in Years 2-6. Destination Reader is a pedagogical based approach to teaching reading through engaging daily, structured sessions that support children to read with greater understanding, enjoyment and purpose.
For further ideas on how you can support your child at home with Spelling, please see the following booklet:
For further ideas on how you can support you child at home with their language and vocabulary development, please see the document below.