Babraham Primary School

 Curriculum Statement – English

 “Reading is to the mind, what exercise is to the body.” Joseph Addison

 At Babraham, we aspire to deliver a rich and varied curriculum in which each pupil is encouraged and supported to fulfil their potential.  At the heart of our English curriculum is our desire to enthuse children about the joy and wonder of reading.  By developing a love of reading, children are motivated to seek out books and to become independent readers.

Our reading environment

Our classrooms and library contain a range of wonderful books for each age group.  Our library is added to by the generosity of our parents, with ‘birthday donations’ of books and contributions from our online wish list.  Children have the opportunity to read a wide range of authors from Cressida Cowell to Shakespeare, from Julia Donaldson to Michael Morpurgo.

Exposure to a wide range of good quality texts - fiction and non-fiction, poetry and plays – helps to broaden a child’s experience of the world around them.  It introduces them to new ideas, to real and imaginary worlds and helps them to interpret their experiences.  Reading widely improves grammatical knowledge, enriches vocabulary and helps to improve spellings.  This experience enhances the quality of creative writing, as well as the ability to articulate and to express ideas and opinions, both in writing and verbally.

A reading journey

We believe that the pleasure of books should be encouraged before a child begins to read, through those early experiences of being read to by a parent or carer, of listening to and sharing stories at home, by talking about books and by visiting a library or bookshop.

In school, early reading skills are taught from the beginning of the Reception year by learning synthetic phonics systematically.  EYFS and KS1 use Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics actions as a basis for their teaching.  A baseline assessment of phonic understanding is carried out 1:1 by teaching staff.  Children are introduced to a range of texts, including picture books.  We follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme, with children progressing through the levels until they can read securely, and eventually become a ‘free reader’.

As the children progress through the school, termly assessment of reading and writing skills takes place.  Additional support will be put in places for children not making the expected progress in these areas.  Our aim is to provide opportunities for all the children to fulfil their potential as readers and writers.  This also means ensuring pupils are challenged to extend their knowledge and skills.  Our daily English lessons are enhanced by regular opportunities for the children to apply and develop their literacy skills in different contexts across our exciting topic-based curriculum.  We also provide enrichment opportunities, such as themed book weeks – where the whole school participates in creative and interactive activities based around an inspiring text – and World Book Day.