“I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book.” – J.K. Rowling
At Kilburn Grange School, our English curriculum is underpinned by our three core values: Learn, Enjoy, Succeed.
Learn: We use the National Curriculum to develop a rich, relevant and exciting English curriculum, with purposeful outcomes.
Enjoy: Our English curriculum is immersive, provides a clear context for learning and prepares children with literacy skills for life.
Succeed: The English curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all learners, challenging them and enabling them to make progress and achieve from their individual starting points.
Speaking and Listening
At Kilburn Grange School, we believe that speaking and listening or dialogue is one of the key principles of quality first teaching. Dialogue is embedded in every lesson and is being promoted in using a range of strategies throughout the school for example, through talking partners, talking point assemblies, talking homework, talking pictures, fortnightly Picture News sessions, class assemblies, questioning for challenge, group discussions and whole class debates.
The school uses a blended approach to teaching synthetic phonics, incorporating elements of Read Write Inc. and Jolly Phonics. Phonics is taught from the first-week children start in Reception and up until the end of Year 1. Towards the end of Year 1, children take a Phonics Screening Check. The Phonics Screening Check shows how well each child can use their phonics skills/knowledge to read a wide range of words. All children are taught to decode and blend using their phonics knowledge to read real words and pseudowords (words that are not real).
The Department for Education defines the checks as “short, light-touch assessments” that take about ten minutes to complete. Any children that do not pass the check will continue to take part in phonics lessons or interventions so that they can re-sit the check at the end of Year 2. For more information about phonics and the phonics check, please refer to the attached presentation.
Children working through the phonics programme use Read Write Inc. decodable reading books to support reading lessons and reading at home. Once children complete the phonics programme, they move onto Accelerated Reader. For more information about how Accelerated Reader works, check out this presentation.
From Year 2 and above, children have a 45-minute whole-class guided reading lesson every day. Two of these days are focused on a fiction class novel selected from a list of essential fiction reads for that year group. The other two days are focused on a non-fiction text linked to the current class topic. Children practise completing various comprehension texts on the fifth day. Reception and Year 1 guided reading lessons are structured slightly differently to accommodate the greater proportion of children still working on developing their phonics skills and reading strategies. However, they also read a range of fiction and non-fiction key texts as a class. All class teachers also plan for purposeful opportunities to incorporate reading across the curriculum and various subjects.
World Book Day is marked every academic year as part of book week in March. A whole school theme is identified and celebrated throughout the week, complemented by other activities such as storytelling workshops and travelling books shop.
Writing including Handwriting
Teachers plan and implement a creative curriculum, whereby writing lessons are linked to a key text and the year group’s English goals including grammar and spelling. All key texts and non-fiction books children explore in reading and writing lessons are interwoven with the half-termly or termly topic. The key texts are also used to teach a range of writing genres which are mapped out and are progressive for each year group across the academic year. Teachers also plan for purposeful opportunities to write across the curriculum and various subjects.
Key texts used for reading and writing lessons can be found in each year group’s Curriculum Overview. Please check out the Curriculum Overviews for each year group here: https://www.kilburngrangeschool.org.uk/curriculum-overviews/
The school teaches handwriting through the Nelson Handwriting scheme (up to Year 4), which uses online content on Oxford Owl to teach the different types of letter formation and joins. Handwriting is regularly practiced during early morning work.