DMS Curriculum Intent, Implementation and Impact Overview
English provides the opportunity to develop a passion for and love of language and literature. It highlights the importance of literacy across the curriculum by developing students’ skills in informing opinions and responding to a variety of literature from a range of contexts.
The curriculum offers the children access to experiencing rich literature (in a wide range of genres and styles) focusing on canonised and well-respected texts including C.S. Lewis, William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens and E.B. White among others. Through their studies, the children continue to develop their analytical reading skills.
The department aims to improve children’s understanding of how language works through an enriched grammar curriculum which is also applied in their learning of modern foreign languages.
Technological resources, including the accelerated reader programme, used alongside our well-resourced library, give children access to comprehension challenges individually targeted to their interests and ability.
Upon entry to key stage 2, the children develop their writing skills through the big write programme which offers extensive opportunities for high-quality, continuous writing linked to their termly topics.
Moving into key stage 3, these skills are built upon to demonstrate the analytical understanding of a text and developing their own personal authorial voice, ensuring that Dedworth Middle children are Upper School ready.
The English curriculum at Dedworth is designed to progress from Upper Key Stage 2 through to Key Stage 3 in years 7 and 8. It is taught as a discreet subject (6 hours per week in KS2 and 4 hours in KS3). In KS2, English is closely linked to Topic content and poignant links are made between the learning in other subject areas and the reading and writing produced by the children. The English curriculum is implemented in the knowledge that Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and critical analysis skills are vital to the progress and attainment throughout the entirety of the curriculum.
The English curriculum is based upon the 2014 Primary National Curriculum in England and provides broad and balanced opportunities for children in the areas of Reading, Writing and Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling. In Key Stage 2, the curriculum is also built around the Cornerstones Primary Curriculum. Lessons are planned with a focus on skills and knowledge which are cyclical and are covered in more depth as children progress through the school.
Throughout the school, a consistent approach to the teaching of Reading ensure that skills are embedded and recapped as often as possible. Classes study set termly texts. The texts are used as a basis for the learning of Writing and GPS as well as key Reading skills. The Reading curriculum focuses on the key comprehension elements of retrieval, inference, choice and structure (RICS) as well as repeating themes of language and vocabulary, prediction and sharing of opinions.
The school also incorporates the use of the Accelerated Reader programme into the curriculum: the school library is organised into AR Book Levels which correspond to levels produced by the STAR Reading assessments. The children take comprehension style quizzes after completing books and in KS2 can earn prizes for the number of quizzes passed.
At Dedworth, Reading is used as a stimulus for writing. Ambitious texts by established authors are chosen as models of excellence for the children to learn from. In Key Stage 2, Writing is structured so that children immerse themselves in a text-type, identifying the key components and then apply this to their writing task completing a Big Write every two-three weeks. The Writing curriculum encompasses the Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling curriculum enabling the children to learn these key skills in an applied style rather than as a discreet subject. The Big Write format ensures that expectations of Writing are high: Children produce high-quality, lengthy pieces which link to their wider Topic learning. In this way, Writing is Key Stage 2 is cross-curricular and mirrors the process of real-life writing.
This is further developed at KS3, in which children develop their skills in writing for a range of audiences, using inference and empathy. Children respond to reading questions using PETAL paragraphs and continue to build upon the KS2 skills to write with clarity and cohesion.
A range of extra-curricular activities and experiences to further foster the literacy climate at Dedworth are also regularly organised. Visiting theatre companies are organised annually to provide the children with rich literary experiences, usually linking to their class set text. Book Fairs are run regularly throughout the year to encourage continued interest in reading. Reading competitions are organised alongside World Book Day activities, supporting a continuous love of reading. We have also used several community-spirited events to raise money for the library and wider English department including a sponsored “Readathon”.
The impact of the English curriculum is measured through a variety of assessment opportunities. In class, Reading , Writing and Grammar are formatively assessed on a lesson-by-lesson basis through the use of verbal feedback, written feedback, peer and self-review in line with the school’s Feedback for Learning Policy.
On a half-termly basis in KS3 and termly basis in KS2, Reading is assessed through formal testing. In KS2 we make use of PiXL Primary testing resources which are closely tied and mirror the UKS2 SATS style papers. Writing is assessed every two-three weeks through the Big Write structure. In KS3, Reading is assessed via essay questions using the PETAL format for structuring responses whilst Writing is assessed via an extended piece of purposeful writing linked to the set-text that term.
We also take part in internal and external moderations with other local schools to ensure that our assessment measures are consistent and accurate.
English Yearly Overview