English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English teaches pupils to listen, speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society. Our curriculum provides complete coverage of all National Curriculum expectations with purposeful application within a wide variety of written outcomes.
Reading is the key skill for a successful life. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. Teaching children to become excellent readers is a large and exciting part of what we do at St Kew. We have lots of opportunities for reading exciting books and materials, using our Reading Rewards incentive scheme to carefully track progress and practice at home. Each week, parents and volunteers listen to children read in school and we ensure reading books are carefully matched to ability. We teach phonics daily across the EYFS and KS1 and all pupils will normally have an hour and a half of English lessons in the morning. This is a mixture of learning about reading, writing and speaking and listening, which includes a variety of text types and genres.
Writing is an essential part of our curriculum offer and we use lots of wonderful opportunities to inspire our pupils, which makes sure they enjoy writing, and excellent teaching and support to ensure children make excellent progress. In the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) children learn how to hold a pencil properly and begin to form letters, words and sentences. We explicitly teach handwriting to ensure children develop an efficient style to ensure they can be awarded a pen licence when they can prove they can write neatly and consistently across a range of subjects and genres. We teach writing using our Literary Curriculum range of high quality non-fiction and fiction texts, linking the context for writing to our curriculum topics, finding real life reasons for children’s writing to enthuse them with purpose; recent examples include letters to penpals, stories for the younger pupils in the school and performance poetry and speeches.