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St Columba C.of E.

Primary School

Changing Lives, Building Futures

English Curriculum

 

At St Columba School, we know that reading is key to a child’s learning. We believe reading opens up a new world for children and gives them the opportunity to explore new ideas, visit new places , meet new characters and develop a better understanding of other cultures.  Reading is a key life skill and we strive to embed a culture of reading into the core of what we do. 

KS1: 

Daily Supported Reading (DSR) is a programme that ensures children become fluent readers who are independently motivated. Children:

  • read stories on their own right from the start
  • learn to respond to and engage with new ideas and information (cultural capital)
  • are taught how to access information with increasing autonomy
  • learn to problem solve independently while keeping a story or message in mind (global comprehension)

 It is implemented in addition to a school's synthetic phonics programme: Sounds Write. 

 

KS2: 

 

Destination Reader is an approach to teaching reading in KS2. It involves daily sessions incorporating whole class modelling prior to the children applying these skills through partner work and independent reading. Children deepen their understanding of the texts they read through the systematic use of a series of strategies and language stems. 

The approach encompasses the key principles of effective reading provision and fully meets the requirements of the National Curriculum by creating deep understanding of texts, developing oracy around reading and increasing breadth of reading. Destination Reader also helps to build a culture of reading for pleasure and purpose.

 

Text Drivers:

The use of text drivers can help children to develop their reading and writing skills by encouraging them to take an active role in questioning both the texts themselves and the beliefs and personal experiences they bring to them . This critical approach to English  can help children learn to ‘read between the lines’ and generate alternative explanations regarding the author’s intent.  This actively supports our approach to teaching writing using the PACE-T approach, through making our St Columba authors dive into their English projects, while supporting learning in the wider curriculum. 

When it comes to writing, we call our writing assignments “projects”. This helps us focus on finding real purposes and audiences to write for. A project makes us think of a purposeful endeavor with a desirable end outcome.

We are aiming to create communities of writers, aiming to develop writers and not just writing.   We work together as a team to develop our expertise as authors to complete the project to the best of our ability. This is important because our audience needs to see that we are committed to producing high-quality work. To develop the appropriate subject specific knowledge, skills and understanding as set out in the National Curriculum, at St Columba School we have adopted a PACE-T approach to writing. 

 

PACE-T stands for:

  • Purpose: What is the purpose of the project? What do we want to achieve?
  • Audience: Who is the intended audience for the project? Who are we writing for?
  • Communicative Effects: What do we want to communicate to our audience? What message do we want to convey?
  • Techniques: What techniques will we use to make our writing more effective? We create a toolkit to support this.

By using this approach, we are able to create meaningful writing projects that engage our students and help them develop their writing skills. This approach is especially useful for creating writing projects that are relevant to real-world scenarios and audiences, giving children a real sense of purpose to their writing. 

 

It is vital that our children are exposed to a range of exemplar texts, from across different genres and subject areas, to embed ambitious vocabulary choices and secure expectations of writing across the curriculum. We have carefully considered key text drivers which guide and support our learning across all curriculum areas.  We aim to use, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and multi-media to support our writing projects.   We want our children to leave us effectively communicating in writing – and being able to enjoy expressing themselves in this way and create our very own St Columba authors. 

For more information on Phonics please see: St Columba Phonics

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