Our English curriculum at Haseltine is ambitious and is planned and taught in a way that enables our children to become eloquent, passionate and creative authors. Through the English curriculum, we help children develop the skills and knowledge that will equip them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language.
We are a school that reads for pleasure. Teachers are reading role models in the way that they discuss and promote books, but also in their book and author choices. Our planning, topics, resources and book corners are representative of our school community, as we believe our children have the right to see themselves reflected in the books they read and the authors they know and love.
English is taught in a cross curricular way and our topics are engaging, inclusive and inspiring. Our children understand that they are expected to try their best in in all of their writing, no matter what the subject. We work towards a final outcome (e.g. a story, newspaper report, diary etc) and provide opportunities for discussion, immersion and opinion along the way. English and reading lessons are taught in an interactive and creative way and include the use of not only quality texts, but also other resources that inspire the children to generate their own ideas to communicate. Some of these resources include story telling headphones (Now Press Play), external visits and workshops.
At Haseltine we are often visited by authors, illustrators and poets. These visitors are an invaluable resource to our Haseltine community. We invite visitors that come from all different backgrounds and cultures to help us understand, enjoy, empathise and relate to different human lives around the world, as well as in our local community.
“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”
– Maya Angelou
Every week, children from Years 2 to Year 6 have a spelling test. Spellings are also set for the following week, and sent home to be practised. The children will also practise personalised spellings in class if the need arises. Spelling is taught 3 times a week in KS2 (we follow a scheme called Essential Spelling) and daily (through phonics) in KS1.
The teaching of grammar is embedded in English units wherever possible. Sometimes, there will also be a need to spend whole lessons on grammar to ensure understanding. Children are taught to recognise and manipulate for effect different word classes, i.e. nouns and verbs. Correct punctuation is modelled at all times in lessons, and children are expected to use punctuation appropriate to their age and stage in their writing.
At Haseltine, children are encouraged to use a cursive script from the Foundation Stage. This is practised weekly throughout the school to ensure excellence.