English

Each separate subject here at St Mary's has a Lead teacher. In English, the Lead teacher is called Mrs Polito. She has oodles of experience as a teacher and her whole persona links to her love of books and her drive to inspire children to become great readers and writers. She currently teachers in Y6. The Phonics lead teacher is the Assistant Head Teacher & EYFS co-ordintor; Mrs Smith.
 
Each subject also has a Link Governor, who supports and monitors progress, in conjunction with guidance from the SLT. In the case of English, this is Mrs Hopkinson; a retired deputy head teacher with her own wealth of experience to bring to each discussion and a fierce loyalty to the SMA community, also.
 
Each class has its own class page, where homework, projects, home communications etc are publicised and shared on a very regular basis. Some views from parents on these, will also be shared here in the forthcoming months for you to understand how we work, a little more. 
 
Please bear with us as we are developing this new way of sharing with you, over time. Thank you.
 
 
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  staff in changes and driven continuous CPD. They have listened and adopted new practises. Staff have adapted to levels and moved away from phases. Teaching packs have been prepared for teaching staff to use with their children, and signs are positive already with data showing excellent progress across EYFS & KS1. We are continuing to ensure 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 prior learning and building new learning of 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 Reception have already taken place in May 2023. These ppts of the workshops are on the Class pages for parents to access. Our door is always open.
 
Phonics booster interventions have been running since January 2023. 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.
 
SMA Strategies to Remove Potential Barriers of Learning.
Through adaptive teaching strategies we aim to support all learners to access the Literacy Curriculum. 
Please see the document below for strategies used to address potential barriers.