What makes a good English pupil at Holy Cross?
A passion for reading and writing, an ability to think and work independently, an ability to persevere, an enquiring mind, a good knowledge of grammar, an ability to share ideas, is able to attempt new things and explore creativity. The children will demonstrate traits from our Learner Profile, including being inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, risk takers, caring, balanced, reflective and resilient.
Our vision for English
At Holy Cross we believe it is important to find the opportunity to practice literacy skills across the curriculum. This is achieved in a variety of ways.
Across the school, children’s speaking and listening skills are constantly being encouraged and improved through discussion and questioning. Adults model correct grammar and vocabulary in all subjects. Technical vocabulary (for example words linked to specific subject areas) are incorporated into teaching and reinforced as topics are taught. This is vital for children to develop and widen their vocabulary. Children are expected to use higher order vocabulary in writing tasks to show their deepened understanding of each subject area. Once a text type has been taught during an Engllish lesson, children are given opportunity to use this in other curriculum areas for example writing explanations or non-chronological reports in science and geography, letters and diary extracts in history or instructions in D.T. In every subject, children are required to read subject specific texts using the skills they have developed within their reading lessons and research widely around topics.
Our English Curriculum
We use a whole-school text-based approach that allows a greater opportunity for the children to write, along with linking grammar, punctuation and spelling into their work more closely, as well as developing our inference and retrieval skills through whole class work.
In addition to this, extended writing opportunities are planned throughout the wider curriculum so that the children have more opportunities to work towards greater depth writing.
We use an author's approach to writing in our school from Early Years through to Year 6.
Firstly, we gather lots of information and details about our writing focus. We aim to immerse the children in the writing topic to fuel their enthusiasm and really inspire them into creative thinking!
Next, we are teaching our children to plan their writing in a methodical way, ensuring they know what is expected of them at all times. This planning helps them to think carefully about what they want to write and how they want to write it!
Now is the time to write our first draft. We are teaching our children the importance of drafting their writing just like real authors do. This first draft shows what the children have gathered and planned. We encourage our children that its acceptable to make mistakes and use these to make their writing even better.
This is the part of our writing process where we are teaching the children to read through their writing, find any mistakes, edit and change their writing and make improvements to their first drafts.
Our children are now ready to write their perfect piece. We are very proud of the writing that our children can produce.
Whilst we realise that spellings is only part of the writing process, we also realise how important it is in order to communicate effectively. Spellings continues to be a focus within school to improve both communication skills and to develop a wider vocabulary. We use the Read, Write Inc spelling programme from Year 2 to Year 6 that builds upon the Read, Write Inc phonics programme used throughout EYFS and KS1.
We encourage all of our children to use cursive handwriting in all subjects. We award our children with a pen and a pen licence when they have shown us that they can write neatly, fluently and in a cursive style. We teach handwriting skills using a continuous cursive scheme from Early Years through to Year 6.