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English Curriculum

Trowell C of E Curriculum Vision - English

At Trowell C of E, all aspects of school life centre around our four core values.  These values are the backbone of the school.  They encompass our expectations of all members of our school community, and our ultimate goal for all the children we teach.  They can be seen in our relationships, expectations, routines, policies and our curriculum.  The key aims of our curriculum are promoted through our English curriculum in the following ways:





Love Others











In each year group, children study a text, poet or author from a different cultural heritage – this seeks to broaden children’s understanding and appreciation of different cultures.


Teachers select texts that capture children’s imagination and thus bring reading and writing to life and fill lessons with creativity and excitement.


In each year group, children read texts that encourage them to reflect upon real-world ethical issues and thus promote a sense of community care and love for others.


Children are encouraged to read with parents four times per week – this promotes positive relationships at home.  Similarly, all children read individually with their teacher regularly.  Teachers and school staff read daily with children who may be disadvantaged or who have reduced experience of the nurturing environment created when adults read with children.  This is to foster their wellbeing.


BookTalk is used as a strategy for teaching reading at whole-class level.  This promotes essential communication skills such as listening, taking turns and respect.


Older and younger children are linked up as Reading Buddies.  This supports younger children by reading with a more-able reader, and develops the confidence of older pupils.  This fosters positive relationships in school.

In most year groups, children will write diaries.  This encourages children to empathise with the feelings of others.  Examples include Y2 diaries on Great Fire of London, and Y6 work on Anne Frank’s diary.


Children are given a range of writing tasks that encourage them to think about others and the world.  Examples include Y4 work on the environment and Y6 work on women’s rights.

Through speaking and listening activities, including debates, children encouraged to show respect by listening attentively to others, and communicating their own points respectfully.

Aim High






Through BookTalk, children are provided with higher-order questioning each day.  This encourages higher-order thinking skills to develop.  ‘Deepening the Moment’ encourages further ambition and independence, as children self-choose to develop their responses further.


In Reception and KS1, phonics is assessed monthly so that children who are falling behind are identified quickly.  These children receive additional intervention to ensure that gaps in their knowledge are addressed.  In KS1, children are grouped by ability in phonics so that an appropriate level of challenge is provided for all pupils.  There is a strong desire that all children can learn to read – no stone is left unturned in the pursuit of this goal.  Any children who do not pass the phonics screener by the end of KS1 – or who do not achieve the expected standard for reading – continue their targeted intervention in Year 3 (and if necessary beyond) to ensure that they are able to access to full curriculum.


Reception and KS1 children receive visits from the mobile library each term to encourage good reading habits.

All English lessons are taught with a set of sequential Steps to Success.  These provide increasing levels of challenge so that all children are both challenged appropriately and encouraged to aspire.  An additional Challenge criteria is set at a higher level of ability to ensure more able children have appropriate challenge; this is made accessible for all children who wish to attempt it.  


Teachers teach texts, authors and poets that provide all children with the cultural capital they need to succeed in life.  This includes classic authors, texts from a range of cultures, and new modern texts.


In September 2021, the school will introduce a new handwriting policy to ensure all children are able to communicate themselves fluently in joined handwriting.


Each year group has a set of KPIs for writing.  Teachers use these to assess pupil progress and identify and address gaps in knowledge.


Children are presented with opportunities to use and create digital texts as part of their ongoing development of computing skills in preparation for life in a digital workforce.


Vocabulary is taught discretely.  Vocabulary to be taught is identified on curriculum planning, linked to specific curriculum areas.  Each year group also has a list of specific Tier 2 vocabulary to be taught.  Teachers also use working walls to display grammatical vocabulary and other vocabulary pertinent to writing tasks.  Through BookTalk, teachers teach specific metalanguage used when analysing texts.


The school newspaper is written by more able writers from Year 4-6.  They are given a degree of independence and are encouraged to practise using more complex sentence structures and punctuation.



Believe We Can Do It






Children are given regular opportunities to read as part of wellbeing.


In BookTalk sessions, teachers ‘probe’ children to deepen and develop their answers – this encourages not only a higher expectation, but resilience and determination.


All children are encouraged to become fluent, expressive readers to develop their confidence.

Children are provided with weekly opportunities to write at length and apply their learning from previous lessons.  This seeks to promote their confidence and determination to succeed.


From Year 1 upwards, children are taught to respond to feedback on their work to edit and improve.  This seeks to promote resilience and a growth mindset.


In KS2, children are taught and encouraged to identify errors and aspects to improve in their own writing, and to make these changes as part of their development as resilient learners.


Teachers provide opportunities for children to be creative in their writing.  This promotes not only creativity, but confidence, independence and children’s sense of ownership of their own work.


Each week, teachers select a Writer of the Week, who is rewarded with a certificate in assembly, and whose writing is shared and celebrated at a whole-school level.  This is given a high profile in school.


Spelling Shed is used as an online tool for children to practise spellings set by the teacher.  This forms a key part of our homework policy and encourages determination and resilience.


Each year, all children in school have at least one opportunity to perform or speak publically.  This supports the development of confidence and communication skills.  This includes drama, leading assemblies and other opportunities.  Children also have regular opportunities to speak formally in their classrooms by giving speeches or taking part in debates. 


Do The Right Thing








In each year group, teachers use books to teach children about real-life ethical issues.


Through BookTalk, teachers teach and promote speaking and listening skills, including respectful listening.

In KS2, children are taught how to peer-assess and appraise others’ writing.  This develops children’s meta-understanding of writing skills, and also promotes respect and courtesy.


In KS1 and KS2, children are taught and given regular opportunities to self-assess and appraise their own writing.  This develops children’s value of humility and self-control.

Through daily BookTalk discussion, children learn and have opportunities to practise important communication skills such as courtesy and respect.  This is furthered in other curriculum areas, particularly the weekly speaking and listening PSHE lesson.