English Intent, Implementation and Impact
WDPS Vision Statement
At WDPS, we believe that when children are given the opportunity to foster a love of challenge, adventure and creativity in and beyond the classroom - developing skills that will equip them for all walks of life - they will become life-long learners with resilience, passion and a thirst for knowledge
At West Denton Primary School (WDPS), we believe our children are entitled to develop their curiosity, enthusiasm and resilience for the world around them. This will be achieved by nurturing their commitment to self-belief in their own independence and adaptability. Our English curriculum will promote a lifelong love of learning, creating children who are enquirers and creative and who are prepared to embrace the ever-changing world around them. At WDPS, our intent is to enable all children to have a thirst for knowledge and skills for life from reading and writing to speaking and listening. With a sense of responsibility for the wider community, our children will be resilient, empathetic, foster tolerance and acceptance of others and they will adapt and thrive as they grow.
- The National Curriculum for English provides pupils and teachers with a comprehensive programme of study with clear appendices, which outline the essential knowledge that they need to be educated literate citizens. As a school, we adhere to the principles and content of this guidance but this is enhanced with other learning opportunities across the school year.
- An outline of this curriculum is broken down into key areas of phonics, reading, writing and speaking and listening and these are available on the school’s website.
At WDPS, our curriculum is aimed toward developing the whole child in a nurturing and secure environment where academic success is also an important element of this vision. By building on children’s prior knowledge, they then acquire the necessary skills to grow academically on their journey through school. We strive to equip all children with the English skills they need to progress to the next stage of their school life with confidence and pride.
Through our Core Values and an exciting, innovating curriculum, we aim for our children to develop a thirst for learning which will stay with them throughout their lives. We promote the importance of why we learn and the benefits from gaining new knowledge. WDPS’s RAP programme is an integral aspect of our curriculum, whereby children are exposed to different opportunities and careers available to them through visitors and speakers and they are made aware of the benefits of hard work and a positive attitude. The pupils interview the RAP speakers and our WDPS reporters for the school newspaper – The Stepping Stone, report on these visits.
WDPS Core Values - Positive Contributors and Citizens
As a school, we believe it is important to create the best environment so that each child can develop their own talents to the full. The School Council, Governors, the children and staff created a list of ‘Attitudes to Promote’ and a ‘Leaner Profile’ that we all aspire to. Through our many praise mechanisms like the Friday ‘Achievers’ Assembly, we reward children who represent the WDPS Core Values. Reader, writer and learner of the week is a key focus for these rewards celebrating children’s success and achievements in the core subject area.
Quality First Teaching
All teachers plan Literacy lessons with good to outstanding progress at the fore. As teachers, it is essential that high expectations are key for learning opportunities without glass ceilings.
At WDPS, we know and understand our children. We have listened to our children’s voices, and we have created a curriculum that encourages them to become enthusiastic and engaged with English. We have worked hard to provide our children with rich and varied learning opportunities that help them to become confident and enthusiastic learners. We want our children to have a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to independently express their emotions and their ideas. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures.
At WDPS, we want all of our pupils to be capable readers, writers, spellers and speakers, who can transfer their English skills to other curriculum subjects and who are prepared for the next steps in their education. Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing, grammar and vocabulary. English is often taught in a cross-curricular way, linking up with other areas of the curriculum as well as using whole class texts as a formula to captivate the children’s imaginations and interest in English. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently and to ask questions; the use of Talk for Writing activities across the school supports this. We know the value of excellent vocabulary and this is developed and practised across our curriculum constantly. We use Talk for Writing to encourage pupils to express their ideas, discuss their ideas and to develop more sophisticated vocabulary - using classroom displays of balloons and trees to display ambitious vocabulary. Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely through our reading scheme, school library, and online Read Write Inc. resources and in KS2 Reading Plus.
At WDPS, we use Read Write Inc. for our phonics programme. Phonic awareness helps the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds and the children will be heard reading regularly, both individually and in groups. Our guided reading sessions cover a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction books and help to advance the children’s comprehension skills. Teachers use well-crafted questioning techniques to developer a deeper understanding of texts with their pupils and ensure relevant and necessary interventions are planned for and delivered. Parents are given reading guidance and clear expectations about reading at home. We utilise the school website where parents and children can find staff modelling the reading of stories as well as families listening to the stories for pleasure.
We develop writing skills so that our children have the stamina and ability to write at the age expected standard. To support children in moving towards independent writing we provide a wide range of activities including the use of film and imagery, music, ICT, modelled, shared and guided writing, peer assessment and discussion. We provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets. We promote the importance of written work by providing a writing purpose and opportunities for children’s writing to be read aloud and listened to by an audience. Handwriting sessions are regularly incorporated into the English lessons and the school day. We have developed a range of extra activities, which are used to promote English within the school including our school newspaper ‘The Stepping Stone’, World Book Day, Weekly class writers’ awards, a Reading initiative on Reading Plus challenging children in KS2 to read a million words.
At WDPS, we have implemented several initiatives, which are having impact. Having a structured phonics scheme with honed one to one interventions through employing Read Write Inc. is giving children an excellent foundation to their reading journey. Throughout Key Stage One and Two, we are proud of our bespoke programme, which challenges children to meet the expectations of a greater depth writer. The Linguistic Learning Journey (LLJ) sets out ambitious targets in each year group which focus on vocabulary, sentence structure and punctuations as well as developing higher level language features in the children’s writing from alliteration, metaphors and passive voice. We have a comprehensive assessment system and tracker where regular rigorous moderation ensure a consistent approach. Teachers work closure with children so they understand where they are at in each year group and this is reported to parents and carers throughout the year in face-to-face meetings and through formal school reports.