English – Curriculum information

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English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high quality education in English will teach pupils to read, write and speak fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others. Through reading in particular, pupils will have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.
The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
  • Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debates.

Spoken Language
The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language in pupils development across the whole curriculum – cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.
Pupils will be given the opportunity to develop the capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write.
They will also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate and the skills needed for drama

Reading consists of two dimensions:
• Word reading – decoding and recognition of print.
• Comprehension – understanding what has been read
At St Mark’s we encourage all pupils to read widely across fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of the world around them, to establish a love for reading and to gain knowledge across the curriculum
Reading widely and often increase pupils vocabulary, feeds their imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

Writing also consists of two dimensions:
• Transcription – spelling and handwriting
• Composition – articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing
At St Mark’s we teach pupils how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing.
Writing ideas down fluently depends on effective transcription – spelling words quickly and accurately. Effective composition involves articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for the reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasing knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, legible handwriting.