At West Rainton Primary School, we are IMMENSELY proud of the English curriculum that we provide for our pupils. Based around the love of reading, and high level texts, we are confident that our curriculum is progressive and importantly, reflective. It is one of our greatest goals to ensure that our children become avid readers, with a strong, confident understanding (and enjoyment) of what they read. Pupils should have the skills and knowledge to become creative writers and speakers, and develop the skills to have a real ‘voice’ in society.
Leadership and intent of English at West Rainton
As deputy headteacher of West Rainton Primary School, I’m extremely proud and confident in our provision within English. Lifelong skills are learned in English lessons, and these skills are easily utilised in the years to come for our pupils.
Please see my full pen profile as subject leader here:
The content of our English curriculum has been mapped out carefully, with an ethos of ever-evolving change at the heart of the curriculum. Whole-school staff training has been carried out on various parts of the English curriculum, most recently on vocabulary progression in September 2020.
As part of our provision on offer, pupils with special educational needs are planned for very carefully in school. This may form a part of their SEN support plan, or individual learning plan as part of an EHCP. It is always a priority for us to ensure that pupils are taught the skills and coverage that they need, rather than just following the national curriculum expectations. We are aware that this is not always what our pupils need – they need a curriculum that is suitable, challenging and relevant. This was highlighted when we were awarded the inclusive ‘Centre of Excellence’ award in late 2020. It is crucial for us that our pupils with SEND make progress, and move on from where they are in their learning journey. This provision may look very different to our other pupils, through differentiation and modification of the curriculum. Our decisions are made in consultation with the SENDCo, Mrs Firth, who advises and supports members of staff with their provision.
How English is taught at West Rainton
At West Rainton Primary School, our children receive an hour of English lessons per day, which includes one or more of the fundamental parts of literacy; reading, writing, GPS and spelling. From Year 2 upwards, a text based approach (usually one text per half term) is used in school. The younger classes work on more than one text, as they combine their learning week with RWI and other elements of literacy. The teaching of English is not exclusive to the ‘English lesson’ as we are enthusiastic advocates of the whole curriculum, and the skills that can be reinforced and applied through other subjects. Our curriculum includes specific texts, planned for use in classrooms, with a focus on a variety of vital elements. They are chosen to support the high level vocabulary that is essential for our pupils to learn, as part of our relentless drive to ensure that our children become literate, well-spoken individuals. Additionally, there is always a focus in the texts that we choose from a RHE point of view, as we aim for our pupils to become well-rounded and accepting of diversity in the world around them.
All children have an English exercise book in which to complete their writing and reading tasks. From Year 2 upwards, pupils also have a dedicated GPS book, to support pupils in their learning of the grammatical aspects of the English language. Having a subject specific book ensures that the children are aware of the subject they are currently working on and they know which activities are relevant to this subject. Throughout the curriculum, there is a focus on reading for knowledge, to ensure that children develop the skills to find out about a topic for themselves, before being taught in class.
Our school is proud of the commitment that we show to the learning of English, through our extensive sets of class texts, our newly renovated library for our pupils to access and enjoy, as well as our reading hut outside, which encourages pupils to read a book at break time if they wish. It is also a beautiful outdoor classroom, which is used by classes when they are enjoying a text together.
The impact of English at West Rainton
At West Rainton, we believe that it is essential that our children know why we teach what we do, and how these subjects can help them progress in secondary school, further education and potential career paths.
The skills learnt within the English are a vital part of future life, and are transferable on a consistent, daily basis. We believe that we advocate a genuine enjoyment and thirst of the English language, and the many doors that will open for our pupils in the future, with higher level English skills. Equally, it is also crucial for our pupils to grasp the very basic skills of English, to ensure that they are literate in the future, for every career path that they choose to follow.
English will be beneficial in every job role or career. Careers such as teaching, medicine, management are just the tip of the iceberg! There are far too many to even begin to list. Even when the reading and writing skills are less essential, the ability to hold a conversation will always be paramount in every walk of life.
You can see the subject policies for English here:
You can see the curriculum mapping for each class for English here: