At St. James CE Primary School, we firmly believe that the English curriculum is fundamental to the overall development of the child, their ability to access the wider curriculum, and to achieving future success.
We believe that every child should:
- Have the opportunity and support to become fluent, confident and skilled communicators, irrespective of their starting point or personal context;
- Enjoy a curriculum that is rich, diverse, and deepens their understanding of the world and their role within it through exploring and discussing moral, ethical and social questions;
- Be challenged to deepen and apply their learning and knowledge throughout the curriculum, making important links between other curriculum areas;
- Experience an English curriculum that acts as both a mirror and window; challenging them to step beyond their own context and experience;
- Enjoy a curriculum that is unapologetically ambitious, cohesive and rich in knowledge and high-quality vocabulary;
- Develop conceptual fluency in Reading and Writing through a carefully designed curriculum, firmly rooted in the principles of cognitive neuroscience and best practice;
- Leave Primary being well-prepared for success at secondary level and beyond;
- Experience a curriculum that places emphasis on evidence-led research; cognitive load theory, principles of instruction, explicit vocabulary teaching, ensuring that generative learning tasks fit together securely in a curriculum structure to develop excellence.
The implemented curriculum
To achieve our curriculum aims in reading we use the CUSP reading curriculum. CUSP is underpinned by evidence and cognitive science. Modules are deliberately sequenced for robust progression and allow teachers to focus on the explicit teaching of key skills and knowledge. There is an emphasis on oracy and vocabulary acquisition, retention and application to break down learning barriers and accelerate progress. Each genre is visited twice every year to allow for consolidation, deepening understanding and consolidation of reading skills. Furthermore, the same genres are revisited across key stages which allows pupils to deepen their understanding of key text conventions. This allows for learning, vocabulary and content to be cumulative; content is learned, retrieved and built upon.
At St. James CE Primary School we have implemented a school-wide tracking system of our reading in school. Each half term our first 20% are identified in each class. These children read daily with an adult in school. Children that are not reading regularly at home or are up to a term behind read three times a week in school. Children that are on track read once a week (KS1) and once every 2 weeks (KS2) with an adult in school. All classes use a tracking sheet to inform assessment of reading.
At St. James CE Primary School, we have a concise whole school shared definition of learning: ‘Learning is a change in long term memory.’ In order to identify the impact our curriculum is having on our pupils, teachers employ a range of assessment strategies both at the point of teaching and after.
Regular assessment of pupil needs and understanding plays a vital role here as does the provision of appropriate resources, the internet and our whiteboards offer a wealth of materials that can be matched to suit individual or group needs, enabling all pupils to develop their reading knowledge and skills.
At St James CE Primary children should be assessed against the national curriculum statements at the end of each teaching unit. This is then reported termly.