St Therese of Lisieux

St Norbert's
Catholic Primary School

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English Curriculum

Library-Please visit our library page to find our more information on our school library.  

Writing and Spelling           
At St. Norbert’s Catholic Primary School we believe the ability to write is one of the fundamental skills children will need for lifelong learning. We aim for children to enjoy writing and to understand the purpose of writing, as well as have a good knowledge of the basics of grammar, handwriting, punctuation and sentence construction. Children will have the opportunity to develop their understanding of a range of different writing. They will spend time learning what makes a good piece of writing, and will use this to edit and improve their own work. Teaching Staff will allow plenty of opportunities for pupils to develop their ideas in a range of ways, understanding that if a pupil can ‘talk it’ then they will have a better chance of ‘writing it’. We place a high focus on training children to identify the development needs in their own writing, with support and guidance from the teacher. This enables them to be more reflective learners and develops lifelong writing skills. 

Writing: Supporting Your Child at Home 
Children need to want to write in order to become successful writers. Give them a purpose for their writing; ask them to help you with the shopping list or allow them time to write about something that interests them. Most of all make it fun! Special paper and pens can really encourage them! It is important for children to see you writing. Maybe write something together! Make a poster or write a recount of a trip you have been on for friends! Children need to experience lots of different types of writing to enable them to write for different purposes! So share a range of texts with them when reading to give them experience of different structures, styles and language. Talk to your child’s class teacher or look at the Year Group curriculum summaries on our website to find out what your children are focusing on.

At our school each child is expected to read at home daily, whether that is to an adult (for developing readers) or independently (for fluent readers). Each child will also engage in focussed teaching of reading in a group with their teacher once a week. We call this guided, shared or reciprocal reading. For those children who need extra support with their reading we have allocated Teaching Assistant support, use the valuable support of Volunteer Readers, and teachers allocate time to hear them read as often as we can. 

Books for home reading are selected and monitored in a range of ways across the school depending on the age and ability of the children. In Reception and KS1, children work progressively through a stage reading scheme and are monitored by the class teacher. Generally, children in KS2 select their own reading material, either from our main library, class library or home. From Year 2 children are responsible for changing their own reading books, with their reading records being monitored when the child is heard reading individually (not during group reading). In Reception and Year 1 we aim to monitor reading records daily, and change their books accordingly. Teachers aim to hear children read individually in addition to the focussed group reading session, this often takes place across a range of subjects and sessions. In addition to this some classes have parentand/or teaching assistant support for reading. Each child is heard to read individually, and participates in focussed group teaching once a week as part of group reading. This is not written in their reading records, but is recorded in teacher assessment files. We have a diverse range of books to support yourchild’s reading within the school, and we hope this willenable your child to experience a range of authors and styles of books.  

In terms of reading, we want children to be able to: 

  • Enjoy reading and see it as a pleasurable leisure activity, as well as a means of following instructions and finding things out.
  • Have the reading skills necessary to read a range of text types for pleasure and for information.
  • To be confident and competent readers, children need to have access to a range of reading experiences: 

Reading at Home 
We know how important it is for teachers and parents to work together to give your child the best start. Reading together at home is one of the easiest but most important ways in which you can help your child. As you share books you are helping improve your child’s reading skills and also showing them how important and enjoyable reading is.  

  • To see the curriculum expectations in reading and writing for your child please open the National Curriculum link on our school website.
  • You can also access your child’s class page each term to discover more about what they are learning via the topic web that outlines English learning.
  • Access the Parent Pocket Guided section in which you will find guides for; Handwriting, Phonics, Writing, Spelling and Reading.

English Challenge:

Want to try something new? Blackout poetry is when a page of text, usually an article from a newspaper or photocopied page from a book, is completely blacked out except for a select few words. When only these words are visible, a brand new poem is created. When making your own blackout poems, think of the task like a craft project. Luckily you don't need too many supplies, just a newspaper, permanent marker, and your mind of course. Just like how the most difficult part of writing a traditional poem is figuring out which words to add to the page, the hardest part of writing a blackout poem is identifying which words to eliminate. A good way to start is to glance at the page without reading the text fully and put boxes around the words or phrases that for whatever reason, really strike you. You can choose whether you want to make a broad story out of just "big" words like nouns, verbs, and adjectives or if you want to create a more coherent narrative using big words and little words like "is," "of," and "the" to move the story along. Then, just blackout all the other words on the page.