English is taught through our creative, themed curriculum that we have implemented 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 using the Jane Considine, Spelling Bee scheme.
- 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 have introduced the 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 currently embarking on the implementation 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.
The redevelopment of our school library has been a large undertaking for many months; the main push in ensuring a reading environment our all our pupils. 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 One: Roald Dahl Day
- Term Two: Creative Character Competition
- Term Three: Radio Two’s 500 Word Story Writing Competition
- Term Four: World Book Day
- Term Five: Young Writers Competition
- Term Six: Northamptonshire Libraries Summer Reading Challenge
World Book Day
Our theme for World Book Day was “Heroes and Villains”! Everyone, staff and children, dressed up as either a hero or villain from their favourite story to help celebrate the day! Everywhere you turned, you saw storybook characters laughing and enjoying the day! Peter Pan and Hook, Alice and The Queen of Hearts, Edmond and The White Witch – all the heroes and villains managed to get through the day on their best behaviour! Throughout the day pupils took part in many different activities to enjoy the day, centred around a class book. Each class have created a large scale art piece for the new library as well as individual work. Everyone also took part in “The Great Read”. Each teacher read a different story and we all got to choose which story we listened to. It was nice to choose the story we wanted and it made a change listening to other teachers read! We heard many different stories including Mrs Browett reading Harry Potter, Mrs Sayers reading Green Eggs and Ham, Miss Alcantara reading Narnia and Mrs Denton reading The Lighthouse Keepers Lunch! All the children and staff had a wonderful day!
“I loved seeing everyone dressed up. I really, really enjoyed World Book Day.” Liam Year 2
“I liked making the large art piece. Reading and art together!” Saiyara Year 6
Radio Two’s 500 Word Writing Competition
As part of our on-going enrichment of English at Sunnyside, this year we are taking part in the national writing competition organised and led by Radio 2: 500 Word Writing Competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for children to let their creativity flow and write whatever they want to!
We are inviting the children to write a 500 word story that is their own creation and can be on any subject they like. The only rule is it cannot be longer than 500 words, which is harder than it sounds! There are two age groups: 5 to 9 and 10 to 13. All entries (with full name and date of birth) need to be into me, by Friday 10th February so I can submit them for the children.
Prizes include winning Chris Evans’ height in books and 500 books for the school library. There is a bronze, silver and gold place for each age group and the 50 finalists are invited to a special final event hosted by Chris Evans with special guests including the Honorary Judge, Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cornwall. Last year’s event was held at the Globe Theatre in London where a number of celebrities handed out the prizes!
This is a wonderful opportunity for the children but it is also fun! We hope the children enjoy writing their stories and let their imaginations run free! If you would like any more information, please speak to myself or look on the website below.
Mrs Laura Browett