“Write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow...” Lawrence Clark Powell.
The National Curriculum (2014) clearly states that teaching the English language is an essential role of a primary school. We know that we have a duty to ensure that English teaching is a priority and we recognise that this is fundamentally cross-curricular and a constant throughout school life and beyond. It is part of the ‘essential knowledge’ (p6 National Curriculum) that is needed in society: ‘Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as 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.’ (p10 National Curriculum). English provides an essential means of communication, both in and out of school, because it enables pupils to express themselves creatively and imaginatively. We believe that children need to develop their use of language in order to learn, and to play a full and active role as individuals within society; it is the key to independent learning. Primarily, we aim to support our children in achieving these goals when speaking, reading and writing. We understand the importance of our children actively acquiring and developing language skills as a major part of the school curriculum. English is therefore given a high priority at Perry Hall.
The study of English is imperative because it develops children’s abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. More importantly, it is the foundation for almost all the learning which takes place within our school. Children are encouraged to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Through the mastery of English, our children are empowered as learners; this is essential for independent learning, the world of work and most other aspects of everyday life. Our aim in teaching English is that all children will develop the necessary skills to use the English language confidently, appropriately and accurately to the best of their ability. This will be achieved in a variety of ways using a selection of different stimuli as well as including extra-curricular activities, where children will be encouraged to speak clearly, fluently and coherently, as well as be able to listen attentively with understanding. Furthermore, we aim for the children to develop a life-long love of reading, in order to engage with the wider world. Moreover, exposure to rich vocabulary, through texts and language, will enable children to write effectively for a range of audiences and purposes using spelling, punctuation and grammar accurately and confidently.
Aims and Purposes
The principal aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. 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.
· Encourage children to reach their potential in a language rich environment in English lessons and throughout other curriculum areas.
In order to achieve these challenging and ambitious aims, we implement a wide range of initiatives to support our teaching in order to stimulate the children’s language, creativity and imagination including:
At Perry Hall we aim to ‘develop exciting and stimulating lessons to promote the development of pupils’ knowledge, understanding and skills as part of the wider school curriculum,’ using English as a basis to allow them to access the knowledge to develop into independent, confident and resilient learners.