English Teaching at Heathcote Primary School

English curriculum intent

Underpinning our teaching of English at Heathcote is the core principle that all our children will leave the school in Year 6 with the ability to access learning throughout their life. They will be able to read, write, express themselves through confident speech and understand the structure of language. In addition to these basic skills that will equip the children for life, we endeavour to build a love for literature, a love of stories and inspire our children to write for enjoyment and read for enjoyment. It is our aim to develop a desire in our children to pick up a book, to persevere and find that satisfaction in completing a novel.

Within our English curriculum we aim to develop children’s conceptual understanding and knowledge and plan closely from National Curriculum Programmes of Study and appropriate end of year expectations for each year group. Progression documents ensure teachers are able to build upon prior learning, developing skills, knowledge and understanding as pupils progress through school. We aim to provide challenge and develop mastery through our learning sequences.


English curriculum implementation

At Heathcote Primary School we plan our English curriculum around a quality text. This enables us to embed key English skills into the wider curriculum, whilst guaranteeing there is continuity and progression in the teaching of English, in order to support pupils in mastering and deepening their learning. Across each year group, texts from classic to current authors are being selected to ensure that pupils experience a wide and rich reading curriculum that promotes a life-long love of reading (See Reading at Heathcote Primary). Vocabulary development is key to successful reading and communication and so essential vocabulary is carefully identified and promoted across the curriculum. All teachers have access to the Power of Reading texts and teaching sequences. The Power of Reading strategies allow teachers to encourage pupils to be active learners and extend language through high order questioning and critical thinking. Oral communication skills are key to these approaches. In Reception, talk for learning is promoted through child centred, hands-on learning experiences relevant to the Unique Child, building communication skills and vocabulary within real life experiences.  Along with the use of Cornerstones and the Power of Reading to teach English, we also use a wealth of other resources and strategies to achieve the aims outlined. Drama is essential to bring literature to life and engage children, we invite in experts to lead drama workshops and include drama activities in much of our teaching. We ensure our teaching is engaging and exciting, using technology to inspire and develop skills. We continually research pedagogies, the most effective ways of teaching the subject and we celebrate the amazing achievements of our children on a day to day basis.