Our approach to our English curriculum is based on what we know about how are children learn best.
English and the National Curriculum
We have a programme that covers KS1 and KS2 that meets the 2014 national curriculum requirements and has adaptations for additional learning over and above the national curriculum requirements. An example of this can be found in the KS1 Geography Unit: Hot and Cold Places, which covers oral discussion but not written discussion as a non-fiction text type. Children are asked to apply their knowledge to consider whether it would be better to be a meerkat or a penguin as a written outcome at the end of the unit. This is a discussion text type and children need the skills, features and understanding of a discussion text to be able use facts to form an opinion. This is consistent with much of our wider curriculum, which comprises many subjects that are enquiry-based and where discussion skills are needed to underpin that subject area.
We also aim to offer access to new and untried texts and authors that children may not have come across. Whilst some material used is well-known e.g. The Gruffalo, The Snow Queen etc. we also visit the works of authors who may be lesser known to our children. Through carefully tailored guided reading sessions and whole class study through our English units, we aim to give children a broad and diverse reading diet.
Our English units cover a wide variety of genres, poetry styles and non-fiction to give our children access to a broad range of quality literature from significant writers, researchers and poets over time. Classic works are a feature throughout the seven years of their time at Leyland Methodist Schools where famous works from Hillaire Belloc, Shakespeare and Edward Lear sit alongside more contemporary works by Benjamin Zephaniah and Cornelia Funke.
Aspects of oral traditions feature in that all year groups, where our children have a chance to know, learn and perform a poem. Humourous performances of Custard the Dragon and Albert and the Lion are balanced by more serious-themed works such as The Highwayman. Ian Bland, a local poet, will be coming into school shortly to share his work and invite us all to be poets during a poetry workshop.
We recognise that we live in a diverse world and it important that access to literature reflects the diverse world in which we live. There are units of work are chosen to reflect a broad range of literature including stories and poems from other cultures and countries.
During their Infant School years, children are taught phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme. Children are taught in groups dependent on the phase of phonics in which they are working. Regular assessment means that these phonics groups are fluid and children able to progress to the next phase when they are ready.