Our Curriculum philosophy is below, showing why we do it the way we do it here at St Mary of the Angels.
READ as a Writer, WRITE as a Reader
‘READ as a Writer, WRITE as a Reader’ is our whole school quality text-based approach to English lessons at St Mary of the Angels. This involves planning an engaging English curriculum, using a wide range of high-quality texts for each year group. We have designed an English curriculum that is centred around both classic and long-standing much-loved books and novels, as well as new and exciting modern authors and texts. We have invested in a range of quality texts, including buying whole class sets of books and novels that each class enjoy as part of their learning.
Part of our whole-school approach is to immerse children in their class texts, exploring the way authors use language and using these fabulous examples to develop our children as writers. There is a wealth of research to show that one of the most effective ways to become a good writer is to be an avid reader; to unpick language from books and use this as a model for quality writing.
Some examples of Key Knowledge organisers are below. These help you to know what is being taught and when, for your child. Hopefully, they also give you a flavour of the type of vocabulary and the type of learning that will take place in each year for your child. The current KKO's are on your child's class page.
A flavour of our children's views are below, so that you can see that we listen to children and they empower us to help them become effective leaders. You can also hear that our methods are effective.
Our Long term overviews are below. These help to map out focus class texts as well as what is being covered and taught when and where across the school in English, currently. It might also help you as parents to plan and link into the work we are covering and when.
Our Action Plan in English is below
Our Policy in English is below
So what about Phonics I hear you say? Please read on...
Since February half term 2022, we have engaged with the new Twinkl Programme as our main source of materials, supported as always, by other phonics resources which effectively dovetail in to this approach. Our phonics "guru" Mrs Smith, supported by Mrs Polito, has trained and inducted staff in changes. They have listened and really "run with these" Staff have adapted to levels and moved away from phases. New teaching packs have been prepared for teaching staff to use with their children, and early signs are positive already. We are also in talks for additional training for staff in all of the elements available to them, to assist in their teaching, from Twinkl. We are currently in a transition phase, ensuring that the continuity for children is first and foremost and continue to align our reading materials with the phonics that the children are learning. We feel that we are introducing good changes and resources that supplement the practices which are already working here at SMA.
Why Twinkl then I hear you ask?
We know that what we do works well, and Twinkl aligns most closely to our progressive development of sounds for children, using consolidation of old sounds/digraphs, introduction of an experimentation of new sounds (phonemes), exploring using these together, and then reviewing our learning. We also teach common exception words, We aim to make it fun, keep it addressed regularly and monitor the success it is having. We have already started the process of involving parents and keeping them informed also- two workshops for Nursery and Reception have already taken place in early March 2022. More are planned for the Summer term and our door is always open.
Y2 phonics booster interventions have been running since January 2022; Y1 phonics interventions are close behind in March 2022. These support when children are falling behind or are in need of a differing approach. We will continue to pursue alternative methods of developing their reading skills, using a variety of methods- again those that have worked in the past.
Our new Phonics Policy Statement is ready and available here, also.
Some examples of our successes will be here for you to appreciate shortly. These will link in with parent and governor views also.