At St Michael’s we believe that English and communication are key life skills. We aim to develop the literary minds of our children as soon as they join us; to equip them with the core English skills they need to use across all aspects of the curriculum and beyond.
We believe individual enjoyment is a priority and enthusing children through an engaging curriculum is essential. We achieve this by including workshops, theatre trips, a themed World Book Day, writing blogs, competitions, presenting plays and poetry, and the children having a voice through the school newspaper. Children have opportunities to develop their writer’s craft and express themselves similarly through the spoken word.
In English, we aim for all children to develop and maintain a passion for the subject. A priority is that English is accessible to all children at St. Michael’s and therefore, we equip them with the essential literary skills needed for life. All English work should have a definite outcome, lessons integrate tasks and purposes related to the ‘real world’ beyond school and include real audiences and contexts. Through careful planning and appropriate levels of challenge, children will feel a sense of achievement and success. Our aim is for English to be a subject of excellence as it supports all learning.
It is our vision at St Michael’s that we develop lifelong readers. We highly value reading and set aside a period every day where the whole school is devoted to this purpose. We aim to enthuse and engage children via a variety of high quality, diverse texts, personal reading recommendations and innovative reading initiatives. We encourage children to explore a broad range of genres and authors, including modern texts and classics. This will extend their repertoire and enable them to become more confident and accomplished readers. We are lucky enough to have our own resident librarian and children benefit from working in our well-equipped library. In English, we help children to unlock doors for their future.
English builds ASPIRATION by:
- Giving children a real purpose for writing (e.g.writing persuasive speeches to deliver to a real audience in Y8 & 5; letters to the headteacher).
- Raising expectations through the implementation of higher standards in the new curriculum.
- Making children aware of ‘the cycle of work’ from the hook to the celebration.
- Sharing models of higher-level texts for children to aim for in their own writing.
- Setting aspirational challenges within lessons.
English builds BELIEF by:
- Setting individual, personalised targets (children have more involvement in this process through the use of their PNB).
- Equipping children with the skills to achieve. · Celebrating the work children have produced and recognising their success.
- Consolidating skills through homework, which will build confidence (e.g. KS2 having grammar-based work to support learning/ projects to look at the context of the unit and extended research).
English builds CREATIVITY by:
- Giving children a choice of style of writing (e.g. KS2 objectives focus on grammar and children may choose how to present it, for example, to suit their intended audience).
- Exposing children to a range of texts from different cultures and perspectives (e.g. KS3 uses drama to develop an understanding of texts and characters. We look at texts which explore real-life issues e.g. Bullying in ‘Inventing Elliot’ and war in ‘Boy in the Striped PJs’ and war poetry).
- Giving children opportunities to explore and extend their writing. ·
- Giving children opportunities to produce and use presentations and use different mediums.
Wider British Values
St Michael’s is a Rights Respecting school that believes that supporting children’s development of character and values, including the core British values of democracy, mutual respect, liberty, and the rule of law, is an essential part of equipping young people to thrive as citizens in the world of the future. English actively supports this by:
- incorporating these rights into lessons - the right to participation (Article 12), the right to participate fully in cultural life (Article 31) and the right to form an opinion (Article 14)
- throughout their study of English, our pupils are encouraged to develop a respect and tolerance of other cultures and celebrate cultural diversity.
Where it all fits in
English develops children’s ability to communicate in spoken and written form. By developing their knowledge, skills, and understanding of English, children learn to appreciate that communication in all forms promotes a broader understanding of the world in which they live. It is a pre-requisite for future employment and an essential life skill.