The English Curriculum
At Round Diamond Primary School, we believe that it is every child’s entitlement to become a fluent reader, articulate speaker and competent writer.
We aim to inspire an appreciation of high quality texts through our rich, multi-cultural literature spine. This enables our children to experience a range of diverse texts. Children at Round Diamond are encouraged to develop a keen interest in reading and therefore develop a lasting habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. Our ambitious English curriculum supports this by providing purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion; this curriculum has been carefully mapped by CUSP (Curriculum with Unity Schools Partnership) and is closely monitored by the English Faculty to ensure a full, balanced and progressive curriculum is taught.
In the EYFS and Year 1, we ensure that our children receive high quality phonics teaching every day through our chosen phonics scheme ELS (Essential Letters and Sounds). Following this, children in Year 2 have frequent ELS spelling sessions to allow them to spell confidently in an embedded teaching sequence. In Key Stage 2, children continue to make good or better progress and are ready to leave Round Diamond as aspiring readers that can read and spell words with fluency and confidence.
Within this, we have embedded a love of reading into our whole school vision. Children are read to often and are encouraged to read daily for pleasure at home. Individual reading is recorded electronically via Boom Reader for each child in Reception, Year 1 and those accessing phonetically decodable books in year 2 and beyond to showcase children’s individual reading learning journey.
From Years 2-6, children attend ‘book club’ where their reading habits are closely monitored by the class teacher and English Faculty.
Children are equipped to leave us in Year 6 at the expected level, or above with an enthusiasm for English and high aspirations for themselves.
Phonics - Essential Letter and Sounds (ELS)
At Round Diamond, we are determined that every child will learn to read well quickly. Therefore, we have implemented Essential Letters and Sounds as our chosen systematic, synthetic, phonics programme.
The aim of ELS is to get all children to read well, quickly, teaching children to read by identifying the phonemes (the smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (the written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words.
All members of staff are trained to teach ELS to ensure that we have an expert team of reading teachers led by our English faculty lead. As an English team, we regularly meet to review our practice and to practise teaching together. This ensures that all children receive high-quality first teaching every day.
At Round Diamond, children are immersed into an ambitious reading curriculum that allows depth and breadth of literature study through heritage texts, carefully selected authors and texts and themes relevant to the children of today. In addition to these texts, children are immersed in core poems that are studied in detail by each year group.
Each day, children are exposed to diverse literature experiences through cohesive learning approaches that progress from Years 1- 6. They are explicitly taught core reading strategies and then given daily opportunities to apply these reading strategies, whilst continuing to build on their conceptual fluency.
The reading spine followed has been carefully mapped by CUSP to prepare children for the future demands and provide children with the opportunity to leave Round Diamond as confident and fluent readers.
The writing curriculum is planned by CUSP to ensure that each text type is studied twice, progressively in every year group.
During each unit of teaching, children are taught the explicit skills needed during isolated writing encounters before participating in an extended writing session which follows a well planned cycle consistently throughout Years 1-6. Thus allowing for teachers to assess children's writing for any gaps and then plan these gaps into future teaching, allowing key concepts that children are not yet secure with to be revisited.
Writing skills will be taught following the below teaching structure within each lesson;
Learning intentions, success criteria's and personal targets will also be used so that all children are appropriately challenged and have a clear understanding of what is expected of them.
Discrete spelling sessions are taught from Year 2 – 6. We use the Jane Considine spelling scheme ‘The Spelling Book’. The scheme offers a structured approach on a fortnightly rotation. Within this rotation children have the opportunity to investigate spelling rules, recall previously taught spelling patterns and delve deeper into selected spellings as part of ‘Go grapheme grafters’.
Punctuation and Grammar
Punctuation and grammar will be taught daily through discrete teaching which will be planned for with a medium-term plan. In addition to this, teachers will ensure SPAG is taught across all areas of the Curriculum whenever appropriate.