English - Key Stage 2
English – the subject at the heart of the National Curriculum – is taught by our passionate teachers with dynamic enthusiasm. Our aim is to develop knowledgeable readers and writers that are inquisitive, full of confidence and overflowing with creativity. We have high standards and expectations for all pupils.
Our flexible curriculum is based around the needs of the children and our pupils are grouped into ability-based sets. After investigating a text, pupils have opportunities to develop their reading comprehension skills and glean effective techniques for their own writing. Interwoven to the curriculum are grammar, punctuation and spelling lessons, which support pupils’ reading comprehension and writing. Alongside English lessons, we also offer all pupils twenty minutes of additional shared class reading time each day with their form class. In addition, pupils are encouraged to read at home and complete a reading record, whilst at school they are guided towards selecting appropriate texts from our school library that both challenge and inspire them
Pupils are discreetly monitored to ensure that progress is being made. Writing is completed regularly when pupils complete specific key pieces within English lessons and a formal reading and GPS test takes place every term. Additionally, pupils are given STAR reader reading age quizzes which enable us to match them with suitable books to read. We aim to respond quickly if a pupil is not making expected progress and offer them suitable opportunities to consolidate their learning. Children are encouraged to develop their self-assessment skills by using comparative judgement to assess their own writing at least once per unit.
We offer many opportunities for enrichment throughout the year. For those that have an interest in performing, there is a weekly drama club that takes place after school. Many of these pupils will be involved in the school’s annual play which is always incredibly popular. Keen writers can join our creative writing club which takes place weekly during lunch times. Pupils relish the chance to dress up as their favourite book characters as they participate in literary-themed activities in celebration of World Book Day. In a drive to promote reading for pleasure, we offer pupils reading points for regularly reading, as well as rewards such as extra playtime! In addition, we organise a residential trip to the creative arts centre at Ingestre Hall.
Visual Literacy (David Wiesner)
During this unit pupils are taught how to skim and scan a text for information. They learn the difference between literal, inference and evaluative questions and how to answer them effectively. Alongside this, they explore two David Wiesner picture books (Tuesday and Flotsam) using their newly-acquired literal, inference and evaluative skills to extract meaning from them. The written work they produce is underpinned by their understanding of basic word classes and punctuation. Opportunities for speaking and listening are integrated throughout.
Pupils study a range of traditional tales, taking in fables, myths and legends from a range of authors in addition to Rudyard Kipling’s Just-So Stories. They explore their key features, apply their understanding of literal observations, inference and evaluation to answer comprehension questions and compose and perform their own short stories. Children get the chance to prepare and perform shadow-puppet plays and re-write well-known myths and legends in their own style. Throughout this unit, their written work will be underpinned by a GPS focus on sentence construction, including their length, structure and engaging openers.
There’s a Boy in the Girl’s Bathroom (Louis Sachar)
Set in the USA, this book has as its main character a pupil who is always in trouble. In this story, children are offered ways to discuss issues of friendship, bullying and the links between self-esteem, behaviour and learning. Many children relate to these questions and welcome the chance to discuss them throughout the novel. Writing an ongoing diary for Bradley, emailing and letter writing form the main writing outcomes for this unit. The pace of the novel, its humour, twists and turns support children who are gaining confidence as readers, helping them to empathise with characters and to infer feelings, thoughts and motivations over the course of the narrative.
Pupils investigate a number of persuasive texts and media offering insight into the techniques used to persuade. They explore the audience, purpose and language of existing persuasive texts.
The Power of Imagery
Pupils explore a range of poetry and poetry styles by a variety of authors. As a class, they share their thoughts, ideas and feelings on them. They are introduced to new figurative language techniques whilst also having opportunities to practice using the techniques they have already been taught by producing poetry of their own. Pupils end the unit by examining the narrative poem The Highway Man and applying the poetic devices they have explored to a short story based on it.
Narrative Writing and Cogheart/Clockwork
During this unit, pupils explore either the novel Clockwork (by Philip Pullman), or Cogheart (by Peter Bunzl), as well as a range of separate text extracts. They further develop their reading comprehension skills, learning how to efficiently and accurately retrieve facts, use clues from the text to make inferences and evaluate what they have read by justifying their views. Through these regular reading comprehension opportunities, pupils develop an understanding of how a writer uses ‘conscious control’ to convey meaning and build upon their own understanding of how to apply ‘conscious control’ when composing engaging texts. They begin by composing character and setting descriptions before applying these descriptive writing skills to dynamic action scenes and tense and atmospheric story openers. The written work they produce is underpinned by their understanding of basic word classes and punctuation. Opportunities for speaking and listening are integrated throughout.
Boy by Roald Dahl
The pupils seldom fail to adore this engaging autobiography containing hilarious anecdotes of the trials and tribulations of the author’s childhood. Roald Dahl had a gift for making even the most mundane of events appear thrilling and the pupils enjoy drawing inspiration from this when recounting their own memories. As well as exploring the features of biographical and autobiographical writing and composing their own pieces, pupils also have the opportunity to compose other extended writing pieces – such as letters and diary entries - in the style of Roald Dahl, exploring his use of humour and vibrant descriptive language in the process.
Dragons and Mythical Beasts
During this unit, pupils explore the exciting world of mythical beasts (in particular, dragons). They examine text extracts, such as descriptions of Smaug the dragon from the Hobbit, and produce several pieces of writing in a variety of genres including a non-chronological report, descriptive writing and narrative writing.
The Language of Light (Poetry)
Pupils learn to identify and experiment with a range of poetic devices (such as alliteration, onomatopoeia and hyperbole). They then explore the theme of light by examining and analysing a range of poems and poetic styles. They are introduced to the PETAL tool, a technique embedded during KS3 English to help with language analysis. Finally, pupils aret given many opportunities to experiment with manipulating language and structure by creating their own poems in styles including blackout, jumbled and found poetry. They also complete some performance poetry, using their speaking and listening skills, towards the end of the uni
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Key Performance Indicators