Our English Curriculum Vision Statement
Our aim is that all children:
- are excited and motivated to read, write and express themselves
- are explicitly taught vocabulary so they have the knowledge and words to be highly effective communicators
- are provided with a rich and imaginative curriculum
- are exposed to a wide-variety of high-quality literature
- build and internalise a bank of stories that support them in developing their imagination, vocabulary, writing techniques and confidence
- are taught phonics, spelling and grammar that is contextualised within the art of writing
- are exposed to high-quality shared and guided reading and writing, modelling the skills and techniques of being a confident reader and writer
- receive informative and motivational feedback in order to move them on developmentally, as well as motivationally as readers and writers.
At Holy Trinity, our aim is that all children love English and are excited to read, write and express themselves. In order to achieve this, we follow Literacy Tree as a whole school, cumulative and systematic process for the teaching of English. The success we have seen through this approach has led to us to become better educators for each and every child.
At the heart of The Literacy Tree is the idea that schools should increase the amount children read and are read to; a principle that we passionately believe in. through their time at Holy Trinity, children gradually build their bank of well-known texts, supplemented by picture books, novels, poems and non-fiction books. Gradually, this living library of language begins to equip the children with the words they need to express themselves.
At Holy Trinity, children are immersed in The Literacy Tree from reception to Year 6. From being exposed to rich texts, children become critical readers and acquire an authorial style as they encounter a wide-range of significant authors and a variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. By working with skilled consultants, teachers act as expert models of the writing process in daily shared writing sessions and there are regular opportunities for children’s writing and ideas to be shared, displayed, published and celebrated.
Writing is a primary means of expression, both for personal cognitive purposes and for communicating meaning with others. Pupils learn how to write with confidence, fluency, imagination and accuracy by demonstrating their knowledge of context and composition (text level), grammatical knowledge (sentence level) and knowledge of phonics, word recognition and graphic knowledge (word level).
We provide a wide variety of reasons and purposes for writing and in the early years provide many opportunities for child initiated and role-play writing.
As soon as children are able to form most letters correctly and have a good pencil grip, we teach a fluent and legible handwriting style that empowers children to write with confidence and creativity in line with our ‘Handwriting Policy’. We encourage children to ‘have a go’ at writing as soon as possible and to use their phonic skills and knowledge to spell.
The impact of the approach we use to teach writing is that children at Holy Trinity see themselves as successful authors. They are confident writers and joyful learners. They are able to speak articulately using the vocabulary they have learnt in their texts and this in turn impacts the vocabulary in their writing. We used published pieces as our assessment for writing and this demonstrates that our children are consistently writing above the national standard for writing and that there are no significant gaps between groups.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, children have a daily phonics session where they follow the Rocket Phonics programme. It builds upon the lessons learned from previous phonics provision and encapsulates the exact formula they need for foundational literacy success. It links closely to the teaching order of letter-sound correspondences from Letters & Sounds. Children's reading books are matched to their phonics level. All children are expected to read at home for at least 15 minutes and are encouraged to join and use the local library.
Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary:
Children are taught transcription skills both discretely and as part of their literacy lessons. We aim to make learning about language fun and engaging and we use a range of activities and resources .
We teach children to spell using a range of strategies. We pay attention to sounds, pattern and shape, as well as encouraging the child to develop observation and memory. Children are encouraged to explore and “have a go” with spelling. They must also become accurate, so that spelling is an automatic activity. Children may be asked to learn spellings within the same word family or pattern of words, or to learn specific words that are often misspelled in their work. Key Stage 2 children will use dictionaries to look at the origins of some English words.
At Holy Trinity, we use Letter Join as our handwriting scheme. Children learn to write in a fully cursive style throughout the school, beginning in Class R.
Research shows many benefits of learning to write in this style, including being able to join up quicker and more confidently, less chance of letter reversal and confusion and improved spelling.
Please click on the relevant year group to view examples of written work demonstrating writing at the expected standard and at a greater depth.
Writing at the expected standard: