Within the whole curriculum, the pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary are integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
The English Curriculum at Fixby
Pupils are taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication. They are taught to give well-structured descriptions and explanations and develop their understanding through speculating, hypothesising and exploring ideas. This enables them to clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing.
Pupils are taught to read fluently, understand extended prose (both fiction and non-fiction) and be encouraged to read for pleasure. We provide library facilities and set ambitious expectations for reading at home.
At Fixby, reading skills in KS1 are taught through discrete phonic lessons, learning the mechanics of decoding and through Guided Reading lessons which teach comprehension skills and provide the opportunity to practice decoding. With the newly introduced Power of Reading, pupils have the opportunity to explore texts in detail, understading the characters and the structure of powerful texts.
Pupils are encouraged to develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They are taught the correct use of grammar, building on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. Through the Power of Reading, pupils have the opportunity to explore and write narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations: such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.
Pupils’ acquisition and command of vocabulary are key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. At Fixby we develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on pupils’ current knowledge, making links between known and new vocabulary and discussing the shades of meaning in similar words. This way, pupils expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when they write. In addition, it is vital for pupils’ comprehension that they understand the meanings of words they meet in their reading across all subjects.