Our English curriculum at Bentley West aims to help pupils develop key skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Our English curriculum is engaging, fun, book centred and vocabulary rich.
Pupils are taught in Early Years and Key Stage One to read using a phonics programme called Read Write Inc (RWI). This allows them to develop word building and decoding skills, becoming confident readers and enthusiastic and talented writers. With this as a foundation, children are then introduced to a wide range of texts –through the Literacy & Language programme and a variety of published authors.
Language and Literacy skills permeate all areas of our curriculum. The texts we use are often linked to the current topic e.g. when children are studying Rivers in Year 4, they read The Wind in the Willows.
Children need to be able to speak, read and write fluently and accurately. Therefore, children are encouraged to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding.
Reading and writing are both key development areas for our school. We aim to provide stimulating and engaging texts which cover a range of fiction and non-fiction writing genres. Comprehension, spelling and grammar are also fully integrated in our English lessons. Teachers use a variety of activities and approaches to make these fun.
At Bentley West, we want to encourage all our children to love books. The children love to sit in our classroom book corners and choose a book to take home or read in school.
Writing at Bentley West
Pupils' understanding of the skills they are developing daily and how these build into a bigger picture to enable them to write for specific audiences and purposes is essential to them developing as writers. For this reason, all of our writing genres start with a 'delivery day' that sets the children a task based around a text linked to their thematic topic.
For example, when pupils are learning about The Egyptians in Year 4, their End Goal is to produce a diary from the viewpoint of Howard Carter for display in The British Museum in London. The pupils then begin their learning journey by interrogating good examples of diary extracts to identify structural, word and sentence level features of the text and the impact of using these on the reader. This is known as Phase 1. Once the children know what is needed to produce a good quality diary entry, they are given time to practise using these features in a range of ways and combine them so that they are confident in constructing effective sentences. This is Phase 2. Phase 3 begins when the pupils are ready to apply all of the knowledge and skills of using the features of a personal recount to draft their diary entry from the viewpoint of Howard Carter. They are taught to edit their work and justify their choices of language and sentence construction before producing a final draft which is in the form of the task set at the start of their learning journey.
As a result, our pupils produce high quality, extended pieces of writing that are fit for audience and purpose and are celebrated across the whole school community.