At Callicroft, our English curriculum is driven by a range of high-quality texts which seek to challenge and lead to the development of the personal and cultural capital of the children attending our schools. The texts provide a stimulus for reading, writing and oracy and aim to deliver an opportunity for all to be immersed in a rich vocabulary; one that will support their own development and nurture a genuine love of language and the written word.
We believe that all of our children are authors and that the link between reading and writing are heavily entwined. Children are encouraged to question author choices and explore the context in which a text is written, making links with the world around them. Our aim is that English learning is contextualised in children’s experiences and therefore is carefully planned with explicit links to children’s wider learning. We enrich English learning with visits from authors, educational visits and experiences that will provide a real purpose for reading and writing.
English is taught through a sequential journey that encourages children to read like a writer and write like a reader. The children use a high quality text each term as the basis of their learning. The text is then supplemented with other genre specific texts/extracts dependent upon the expected writing outcome, whether it be to entertain, to inform, to persuade or to discuss.
We plan a unit of work for both reading and writing over a period of three weeks, ensuring that we have a balance of skills and application being taught throughout. In writing, well-planned learning intentions based on formative assessment are mapped out over a complete sequence, enabling learners to move through the gears from novice to expert. We plan a writing sequence backwards, beginning with the end of unit outcome and focusing on the skills that need to be developed in order for children to meet the required expectation; this is known to teaching staff as ‘bottom-up planning.’