It is our intent at Holy Cross Primary Academy to provide children with a high-quality education in English; a curriculum that will teach them 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.
We aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The curriculum consists of many planned experiences within and outside of school. These include but are not limited to: lessons, topic days, visitors and visits, assemblies, clubs and sports.
Our vibrant and rich curriculum is designed to build a love and enjoyment for learning. Quality texts are used to engage and inspire. In order to ensure that progression and balance is maintained, the programmes of study are developed into medium term plans. Teachers then translate these plans into smaller units – weekly and daily plans where the specific needs of the learners are addressed. We are continuously reflecting on how we assess children’s development and skills and measuring impact on progress and attainment as we aim for all children to achieve mastery.
Phonics teaching takes place daily across EYFS and KS1 and all children in school will take part in daily English lessons.
Reading is a key tool for life. Teaching children to become excellent readers and nurturing, in them, a love for reading is the essence of what we do at Holy Cross.
A variety of class novels, including children’s literature classics, contributes to nurturing that love for reading, whilst also offering the opportunity to make links with a wider range of genres and text types. Parents and carers are encouraged to listen to children read at home, and in school we ensure reading books are carefully matched to ability.
Writing is an essential and important part of our curriculum at Holy Cross. We use a wide range of strategies to engage and inspire children to enjoy the process of writing, and excellent teaching and support to help ensure children make excellent progress.
In EYFS, children learn how to hold a pencil correctly and begin to form letters, words and sentences. We explicitly teach cursive handwriting daily, and use ‘pen licences’ for those children who have improved their handwriting. We link our writing context to phonics and spellings in Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2, whilst our more mature writers in Upper Key Stage 2 use handwriting to enhance the presentation of their work.
Children enjoy reading regularly, for information and for enjoyment/pleasure.
Children discuss books with excitement and interest.
Children enjoy writing and use the features of different genres and styles.
Children are proud of their writing.
Children use their phonics skills confidently to decode and spell unfamiliar words.
Children are adventurous with vocabulary choices.
Children express themselves through confidently speaking and listening to what others say.
Progression in skills (grammar and punctuation) is evident throughout the school in children’s books.
Writing across the curriculum is in line with that subject and the skills required to write as a Geographer, Historian, Scientist or an Author.
A range of genres are taught across the school.
Next step marking provides positive support and directs the child on their next steps to improve their writing.
Children are ready for the next stages in their learning.
Teachers track children’s progress each half term in Reading, Writing, Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar. This informs planning and any intervention needed. Pupil progress meetings with the Headteacher and teachers ensure that the progress of different groups and individuals is monitored, and interventions are organised to support progress.
Intervention sessions enable a greater proportion of children to be on track to meet year group expectations or, in the case of those working significantly below expectations, to make better than expected progress.
The English Subject Team conducts learning walks, lesson observations, pupil interviews and book monitoring throughout the year. These inform future areas for improvement and the impact of new initiatives.