English Curriculum Intent
At St. Augustine’s we believe that the main purpose of our English curriculum is to ensure that children are equipped with the communication skills in reading, writing and spoken language that enables them to confidently participate both in school and the world around them. We want our children to develop a passion and a love of the English language, the written and spoken word, so they will continue to grow as articulate and confident communicators beyond the school gates and for the rest of their lives. Our ambition is that by learning the English curriculum at St Augustine’s, we improve children’s life chances immeasurably and provide a gateway to ongoing academic success and a happy and fulfilling life.
We structure and sequence our curriculum so that children encounter a rich and diverse range of high-quality literature that represents all realities within and beyond our community. We understand the building blocks of early reading, so the curriculum for our youngest learners/early-stage readers include a significant focus on phonics and word decoding, alongside important opportunities to develop language comprehension. We ensure that children are taught how to write for a breadth of purpose and audience and in a variety of forms, so that they become increasingly adept at composing coherent and effective texts. We explicitly teach and practice transcription skills alongside composition and the curriculum for early-stage writers includes an appropriate focus on gross and fine motor skills, so the children are ‘ready to write.’ We also recognize how essential effective spoken language skills are, to underpin high-quality reading and writing, but also as tools for lifelong success. Therefore, our curriculum teaches children to become fluent, responsive and collaborative conversationalists. We ensure that children understand the role of standard English, and when and where to use it, whilst remaining respectful of home languages and non-standard English for authentic, informal dialogue.
Key Assessment Criteria from Focus Education includes ‘pupil can’ statements that reflect the core requirements for each year group. These provide a suitable progression framework and are clearly mapped to the NC Programme of Study for English. They are not a checklist but represent the essentials for making an end of year judgement (like the TAFs in Y2/Y6). Clerkenwell Primary examples use these.