Curriculum Overview

At Holy Trinity we believe that every child should have the opportunity to develop the skills, understanding and enthusiasm needed to be independent readers and writers. We want the children to acquire this knowledge not only for educational attainment, but also so that they develop a love of language that can be used to express their creativity and make sense of the world around them.

Our literacy curriculum is guided by the National Curriculum 2014.

Speaking and Listening

As they progress through the school the children are encouraged to speak and listen with confidence. We place an emphasis on drama and role play as a preparation for writing and as a means of expression. They are provided with opportunities to create and sustain roles through improvisation as well as scripted drama. The children are encouraged to question and explore ideas presented by their peers and teachers, as well as expand on and develop their own thoughts over time. They are taught to change the way they speak to suit a variety of audiences and purposes.

Phonics and Reading

Throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1, the children are taught synthetic phonics to enable them to become confident and fluent readers. We use the actions and songs from Jolly Phonics to teach the 44 sounds of the English language and the corresponding spellings. As each new sound is taught, the children continue to revise the previous sounds and apply their knowledge by blending them together for reading, and segmenting words into sounds for writing.

The children have access to a wide variety of reading books which have all been placed in to a graded colour band. As soon as they begin to read texts, beginner readers will encounter words that they will find difficult to decode using the limited phonic knowledge they have learned. We call these words ‘tricky’ words. As they learn the phonic code and develop their decoding skills, less words are ‘tricky’. Reading books at home and school enables them to consolidate their understanding of phonics and recognise the key tricky words by sight.

As the children move in to Key Stage 2 and their ability to decode is secure, a greater emphasis is placed on the comprehension of the text. They learn to select and retrieve information from the texts they read, often quoting directly or using inference to deduce meanings. They are encouraged to comment on the structure and organisation of texts, the language choice of the author and the overall effect of the literary features used. We have two well stocked libraries that the children are able to borrow books from.

Writing

Before writing independently, the children are given lots of opportunities to practice the skills needed to produce a piece of writing of a particular genre. Teaching and learning begins with a high quality text so that the children are aware of the standard they are aspiring to achieve. The children rehearse and develop each skill over the course of a unit. We place an emphasis on ‘talk for writing’ and expect the children to speak with coherence, precision and confidence. We give them lots of opportunities to talk to each other and share their ideas, and also model high quality language and sentence structure. The children are provided with word mats of aspirational language that they are encouraged to use within their writing. Grammar is modelled in literacy lessons but is also taught discreetly once a week in Key Stage 2. We use Jolly Grammar to support our teaching. In addition, the children participate in small guided reading and writing sessions daily from the end of Reception onwards. This provides an opportunity to reinforce learning, teach new skills and work on individual targets.

Handwriting

In the Early Years the children develop their early writing skills through a range of activities such as tracing letters, threading beads and making patterns in sand, water, paint, corn flour or shaving foam. They are also taught to write each letter in a cursive script that prepares them to join their handwriting once they have developed their fine motor skills. Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2 they continue to practice their handwriting in pencil. In Key Stage 2 they have the opportunity to earn a pen license. Our Handwriting policy includes an example of our cursive script.

Year Group Subject Overviews