English is taught through our creative, themed curriculum that we have implemented in September 2016. All year groups plan and teach the pupils a termly “topic” that all lessons, where possible, are linked. English is at the heart of these lessons, allowing for a more engaging and exciting curriculum, promoting enjoyment and enrichment of the subject. Objectives are taken from the National Curriculum providing focus and depth of learning.
A key aim of the themed curriculum is to ensure cross-curricular writing. Our purpose is for our pupils to:
- Develop as confident writers who can write effectively for a variety of audiences and a range of purposes.
- Interest and engage the reader through the use a wide vocabulary, sentence structures and phrases.
- Enjoy the process of writing!
- Apply spelling rules and strategies independently in their writing.
- Write in a fluent and legible style through application of the Kinetic Handwriting scheme.
- Apply accurately grammatical skills appropriately to a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts.
Through application of these areas of English, within our themed curriculum, our pupils will be able to produce writing across all areas of learning: Science, History, Geography, Maths, Art … all areas!
Phonics and Reading
We use Letters and Sounds scheme for phonics across the school. All of our staff, including support staff, has had the full training to deliver the program successfully. At the end of each half term, pupils are assessed to ensure they receive a focused and appropriate delivery of the scheme.
We use the Collins Big Cat Reading scheme for guided reading which expertly meets the requirements of the new reading curriculum through engaging, stimulating and challenging texts. The teaching of reading is currently the primary focus for development within school to ensure we allow the pupils to achieve the highest standards and access all aspects of their education. We are a year into our use of Jane Considine’s “Book Talk” which encourages children to discuss what they have read and develops higher order reading skills. Currently children take part in daily phonics/guided reading sessions, a weekly comprehension session and a directed library session. Each day the class enjoys listening to a class story at the end of the day to help promote reading for enjoyment. Children are also required to read for ten to fifteen minutes a day at home as part of their weekly homework. Combined together these reading activities endeavor to engage and encourage reading from all angles to support the development of reading within our pupils.
We recently redeveloped our school library to become a hub of learning for our school. Reading is at the centre of learning and an exciting, stimulating library allows pupils to engage with reading in its simplest form – reading for enjoyment. There is a space for all readers in the library and it is to become the epicenter for learning at Sunnyside Primary Academy. We hope that all our pupils enjoy visiting the library within their library time, Buddy reading sessions, Book Club and whenever they feel the need to just curl up with a good book. Have a look at our virtual tour to visit for yourself.
“My favourite part of the new library is the reading den. I like that it is dark and we can read in there.” Brianna Year 2
“The new library is totally amazing! There is something new everywhere you look!” Jessica, Year 6
Phonics, Reading and Writing are central to a strong English curriculum. However, to ensure a rounded curriculum the enrichment of the subject is vital. Each half term we carry out a whole school English Enrichment Activity. This year our activities include:
- Term 1 Get Caught Reading Competition
- Term 2 Poetry Competition
- Term 3 Radio Two writing competition
- Term 4 World Book Day
- Term 5 Young Writer Short Story Competition
- Term 6 Northamptonshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge/ Read for Good Sponsored Read
World Book Day 2018
World Book Day this year was cut short due to the snow! Even though we only had half the day we usually did all the children enjoyed the activities. The theme this year linked into our PHSE scheme, S.M.I.L.E. Each class’ book had a message or moral meaning, supporting our school’s on-going development of our pastoral support for our children. Pupils took part in many different activities, centred around the class book. Books included The Day the Crayons Quit, The Day the Crayons Came Home and The Dot. Each class have created a large scale art piece, which can be seen on display outside the library, as well as individual work. “I liked making the large art piece. Reading and art together!” Cameron Year 5
Staff and children, dressed up as characters from their favourite story to help celebrate the day! Everywhere you turned, you saw storybook characters laughing and enjoying the day! “I loved seeing everyone dressed up. I really, really enjoyed World Book Day.” Liam Year 3
Before the snow cut the day short, each class was able to take part in The Book Swap. In the run up to World Book Day, through the generosity of pupils, parents and staff, books were donated so that we had a book for every child in school. Throughout the morning, each class was able to come to the library and pick a book that they could take home and treasure. This wonderful event meant that when one child has finished with a story, another child can discover it for the very first time. “The Book Swap was cool! I got a new book! For Free!” Jaydon Year 5.
Mrs Laura Browett