The curriculum intent in English at the Oak Tree Federation is to construct and support the implementation of an English curriculum that is ambitious and designed to give all pupils, particularly disadvantaged pupils and including those with SEND, the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in life. We aim to give our pupils a love for English language in all its forms and the skills to express themselves effectively in creative and practical contexts.
At the Oak Tree Federation, our aim is to instil a lifelong passion for reading by immersing our children in diverse literature across all subjects. We believe that reading opens up a whole new world for them, offering opportunities to explore new ideas, visit different places, meet intriguing characters, and gain a deeper understanding of diverse cultures. By enriching their vocabulary, reading empowers them to become confident readers, successful communicators, and proficient writers. We consider reading to be a fundamental life skill, and we strive to make it an integral part of our educational approach. Our curriculum is designed to promote a reading culture by providing children with opportunities to read independently and aloud. We encourage them to engage in discussions and share book recommendations with their peers. Incorporating quality literature is at the core of our curriculum, using key texts to expose our children to various genres and renowned authors. These enriching experiences enhance our exciting topics and foster a love for reading and learning that will stay with them throughout their lives.
We strongly believe that early and effective phonics instruction is crucial for achieving high proficiency in reading and writing. Phonics forms the bedrock of learning, facilitating children's fluency in both reading and writing. By teaching phonics daily in a structured and consistent way, children learn to break words into sounds to improve their spelling and blend sounds together to read words. Teaching children to read and write independently is one of the primary goals of our federation. It helps them access a wide range of subjects and ensures they thrive as learners throughout their time with us. These essential skills not only open doors to other subjects but also boost children's self-esteem and improve their future opportunities.
At the Oak Tree Federation, we have chosen to adopt the DFE listed, Monster Phonics as a whole-class scheme. ‘Monster Phonics’ is a rigorous, systematic synthetic programme developed by Ingrid Connors, a primary teacher, phonics specialist and audiological scientist. All of the resources within the programme are mapped against the Letters and Sounds phases 1 to 6 and the KS1 Spelling Curriculum.
At the Oak Tree Federation, we understand the significance of teaching accurate spelling to our children. When children can spell well, they gain confidence and find joy in writing. Our goal is to provide them with various strategies for learning spelling, enabling them to apply these techniques in their own writing independently. We foster an environment where children can enjoy exploring and understanding the patterns and complexities of the English language. We encourage them to take pleasure in their discoveries and to develop a genuine love for the language.
From Year 3 onwards, children are taught the age-related spelling content using the published scheme ‘No-Nonsense Spelling’. This scheme of work provides us with a manageable tool for meeting the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum, it has a clear progression through blocks of teaching units across the year and supports our teachers with the teaching of spelling.
We hold the belief that every child, regardless of their starting point, should foster the skills and self-assurance to view themselves as capable readers and writers. Our aim is to empower our pupils to embrace their identity as 'writers,' fostering the confidence and motivation to engage in writing and possess the necessary grasp of writing mechanics for skillful development of the writing process.
We place significant importance on children recognising the value of English and its relevance in the world beyond the classroom. It is our responsibility to demonstrate the interconnectedness of reading, writing, speaking, and listening, showcasing how skills acquired in these areas are transferable and form the foundation of the entire National Curriculum. Ultimately, our foremost aim is to instil a genuine passion for English within children.