At Shakespeare Infant School our integrated curriculum sets out to develop resilient, inquisitive and independent learners. Our aim is to ensure that the children are supported to leave our school being able to read, write and able to communicate their ideas.
We believe in an integrated approach where learning is purposeful and cross curricular. The projects in each year group are recursive and have been carefully sequenced to enable children the time to revisit and then build upon prior skills. English is at the heart of each of our projects allowing the children to regularly experience a wide, ambitious and exciting variety of reading and writing opportunities.
We believe that all children should have the opportunity to become confident readers. We want our children to have a varied reading diet, with exposure to a range of authors, allowing them to make sense of the world around them. We want to work alongside our school’s parents and carers as we understand that together with consistent commitment we can enable each child to become a lifelong reader.
We understand the importance of talk in our English lessons as it allows children to develop their vocabulary in a sociable yet focused way. We want to provide regular opportunities for the children to be able to communicate with their peers and in turn become a great listener.
Our English curriculum has been designed to be inclusive of all of our children. Staff at our school are reflective to ensure that each child’s literacy journey will be personal and ambitious. We care that all children feel a sense of achievement and therefore feel motivated to learn.
The day to day delivery of English in our school is through well sequenced, practical and creative tasks designed to engage the children’s preferred learning styles. The writing, reading and vocabulary teaching in our school is made meaningful because of our unique integrated English curriculum which allows the children to become fully immersed in their learning because of the strong, cross curricular links.
Our exciting projects start with a hook and then end with an outcome. Therefore, the children are motivated to acquire new skills and vocabulary. Our school boasts magnificent, newly developed grounds that inspire the children and are regularly used to enhance and provide first hand experiences in English lessons for our learners.
High quality, engaging texts and text types are an integral part of our school’s English curriculum. This allows for the endless literacy benefits and enjoyment that regular book time can bring and a visual context that furthers children’s understanding and allows them to make stronger links in each project.
At our school we make time for a mixture of whole class and small group reading lessons that deepen the children’s comprehension skills through valuable book discussions. We also carry out weekly guided reading sessions where children read individually or within a small group. This allows the teachers to carry out weekly assessments and provide bespoke next learning steps. We plan our guided reading time to ensure children are exposed to reading material that suits their current phonic stage. We mostly use Oxford Reading Tree fiction, poetry and non- fiction colour banded books.
Our English lessons are carefully sequenced to cover relevant skills and to enable our learners to revisit prior learning frequently. Quality time is dedicated to talk, vocabulary and oracy skills at the beginning of each writing journey. In the classrooms you will see these skills being practised through: talk 4 writing games, talk partner time, character hot seating, drama and role play.
Each class has an English working wall that captures the project’s writing journey and direction. The working walls provide an interactive visual aid that documents and illustrates the learning from each lesson. On the working walls you will see: project vocabulary; good examples of written work; sentence practise and relevant grammar and punctuation reminders. In addition to the working walls each class has a writing area with available aids to support the children on their ever evolving writing journey. The children are encouraged to become increasingly independent at utilising this area as they progress through each year group.
Phonics is taught discretely and daily. The sessions are pacy and engaging. We ensure coverage by following the letters and sounds progression. We enhance the day to day sessions by ensuring practical experiences are available throughout the week so the children can have time to apply their learning. Children will often experience: phonic board games; word building with a variety of resources; outdoor sound hunts; movement and target games. The move to a more practical approach to phonics appeals to our learners and has resulted in further engagement and enjoyment.
Overall, our English curriculum plays a lead part within all of our projects. Our projects are shaped around the children’s interests and deepening their knowledge of the local and wider world around them. It provides a foundation and ample opportunities for our children to be expressive, resilient, individual and inquisitive and as a result, better prepared for their next learning chapters.