At Brightside we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. Our English curriculum is centered around a ‘book for a hook’ which is based on high quality texts that serve as a stimulus for each half termly topic.
We encourage all of our pupils to read for pleasure and to read widely, enriching their vocabulary, knowledge, understanding and mental well-being. We strive to ensure that all pupils leave Brightside being able to read fluently with a good level of understanding.
We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing and can write accurately, clearly and imaginatively for a range of purposes. We ensure that we develop skills in early transcription and composition. We aim to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and can use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will provide our children with a bright start leading to a brighter future.
These aims are embedded across our literacy based lessons and the wider curriculum. We have planned a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and speaking and listening. Each half term is based around an engaging text which serves as a ‘book for hook’ for the current topic. The texts are purposefully selected in order to promote a love of reading, develop a rich vocabulary and high quality reading and writing from each child.
Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
● read easily, fluently and with good understanding
● develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
● acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
● appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
● write neatly, clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
● use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
● are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In addition to daily whole class reading and writing lessons, children excel in early reading skills through the use of the Read Write Inc. (RWI) programme for phonics and spelling from nursery to year 2. Handwriting is taught regularly so that children learn the skills of writing legibly, neatly and fluently.
We provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, from participating in the annual Children’s Book Award, World Book Day, inviting drama groups into school, visiting the theatre to see books being brought to life and welcoming local authors into school. We also offer enrichment clubs in school that develop children’s literacy skills such as library club and Glee Club. We ensure that children are read to as much as possible at Brightside so that they develop a love for reading. To help promote this, we have an attractive reading area in every classroom and a school library where children can borrow books to read at home at pleasure.
Our children make rapid progress from entry into Foundation Stage and, by the end of Key Stage 1, achieve extremely well in reading and writing when compared with national and local results. Children leave Brightside having acquired basic skills in reading, writing, phonics and speaking and listening. This provides them with the foundations to progress further in their education and with the transferrable skills to confidently access other subjects.