The English curriculum consists of Speaking and Listening, Reading, Phonics, Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Handwriting. These areas are taught daily in specific English lessons as well as through other curriculum areas. Our aim is for the children to become: enthusiastic and fluent readers, to be able to express themselves in a number of different writing styles for different purposes, to be able to speak confidently to a range of audiences and to listen with concentration.
Speaking and Listening
Talking is fundamental to learning. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to state their ideas and opinions. Just as important is the need to listen carefully to others and respond in appropriate ways. At Broomfield, pupils are given opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop their speaking and listening skills, in paired, group or whole class situations.
There is a strong emphasis at Broomfield school on children learning to read, enjoying sharing books and reading a range of texts. Children have regular opportunities to read individually, in small guided reading groups and as part of whole class sessions with a shared text. We have built up a wide collection of books both in our progressive reading scheme (Oxford Reading Tree) and our extensive library, ensuring an appropriate range is available at all levels. We regularly review the condition and quality of our reading materials and update them with newly published texts.
Phonic knowledge underpins the teaching of English and is taught using the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme published by the Department for Education and Skills. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
Children are encouraged to read by using their knowledge of individual words and letter sounds as well as other skills, such as making predictions based on the meaning and flow of the story line. We ask that parents should spend a few minutes a day on sharing books with their children, reading for and with them, and helping to establish reading as a meaningful and enjoyable experience. It is difficult to exaggerate the importance of your role in this regard: parental support is crucial and we are happy to advise you about helping to develop your child’s reading. We seek to promote reading for pleasure and for information, and we teach reference skills, including the use of the community library. We use a variety of stimuli to encourage children’s interest in books such as ‘World Book Day’, ‘National Reading Week’ and author visits.
At Broomfield we aim for children to be independent writers. We encourage them to write clearly and with confidence in any given genre. We teach them to use punctuation and grammar accurately, to be able to proofread their own work and make amendments and improvements. Our system of pen licences encourages children to place value on the development of correct letter formation and neatly presented handwriting. We give children a wide range of opportunities in which to develop their writing skills and display work of which they are proud. Through our English curriculum, we aim to nurture in the children a love of literature and language, and the confidence to continue reading and writing throughout their lives.
From Foundation Stage, children are taught letter formation and joins following our cursive handwriting scheme, which enables children to develop an independent, mature style of writing. Good presentation is expected at all times and displaying children’s work is an integral part of this process. Ultimately we want each child to develop a fluent, legible and attractive style of handwriting.