At Gawthorpe Academy, our English curriculum has been carefully and thoughtfully created to: equip children to become effective writers, capable of writing for a variety of purposes and adapting their vocabulary and style as necessary; give children the skills and experiences to read fluently and appreciate and enjoy a range of good quality literature by a variety of authors and from a wide selection of styles and genres; through discussion, debate, presentation and other formal and informal speaking and listening opportunities, enable children to communicate their thoughts, ideas and opinions clearly and appropriately.
Throughout the Academy, the teaching of writing follows the research led Write Stuff approach. High quality, carefully selected stories and non-fiction texts are at the heart of all writing teaching, and a strong emphasis is placed on the development and selection of precise and ambitious vocabulary in all daily writing lessons. The children are taught grammar within the writing lessons so that they are implementing their skills in practice for a real purpose regularly, as well as discrete grammar lessons which are taught following the Nelson Grammar scheme to give additional practice and consolidation of key skills. Strong links to other curriculum areas give children meaningful opportunities to write for a range of purposes and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of other subjects in English lessons. Accurate spelling is supported via the Floppy’s Phonics programme in Early Years and Key Stage One and by the rigorous teaching and practice of the National Curriculum spelling curriculum throughout Key Stage 2.
With our consistent approach to the teaching of writing and high expectations of all pupils as writers, we aim to ensure that children are effective written communicators throughout their time in primary and beyond.
At Gawthorpe Academy we believe that reading is the key to unlocking learning in all areas of the curriculum and from a child’s very earliest days at the Academy it is given a high priority. Through the enthusiastic and skilful teaching of reading throughout the whole Academy, children are invited to share in a love of books and to develop their own identity as a reader, alongside developing the skills and knowledge required to become an accomplished reader. This is achieved through the rapid and rigorous development of word reading through high quality phonics provision using the Floppy’s Phonics programme in the Early Years and Key Stage One, supplemented by the use of accurately banded guided reading books and home school reading books taken from a range of schemes to provide the children with a breadth of high-quality reading materials. In Key Stage two, guided reading books are selected to deepen children’s understanding of the meaning and structure of a wide range of high-quality literature. Every child reads every day.
Children are encouraged to read widely for enjoyment, with appealing book displays and class libraries and a welcoming and well-stocked school library. Children are read to every day; story time is valued and regarded as vital part of the school day in every classroom, providing a further opportunity to nurture the lifelong love of books. This also gives the opportunity to explore the work of a wide range of authors. All classes read a broad selection of books and there is planned progression in texts which have been selected to address the “Five Plagues of the Developing Reader” as described by Doug LeMov. In this way, children are exposed to texts which they may not choose to read themselves and which further deepen their understanding and open their eyes to the possibilities of literature. These books are chosen to enrich children’s vocabularies and support their emotional, cultural and, spiritual and social development.
This embedded culture of reading for pleasure and the high quality teaching of reading throughout the school is intended to create fluent, confident and skilful readers who enjoy reading throughout and beyond their primary years.