English Curriculum Intent
Knightlow recognises the ultimate importance of the development of English knowledge and skills at the heart of all learning in order to be able to access life in all its fullness (John ch10 v10).
Speaking, Listening, Reading and Writing are crucial for communication, and as such Knightlow’s curriculum is designed to both kindle the children’s enjoyment and drive their knowledge, understanding and skills in these across the breadth of learning. Through a combination of discrete English lessons, integrated learning topics and whole school projects and events Knightlow children develop their knowledge and skills in an interactive, creative and engaging way. Through an English curriculum that builds on fundamental key-skills systematically, whilst also providing opportunities to explore, imagine and invent we are confident that by the end of Key Stage Two Knightlow children will have acquired and mastered the following:
Speaking, Listening and Language
Children will develop fluent discussion skills that will aid and enhance learning and help them to articulate ideas and understanding clearly, using a well-considered and broad vocabulary. They will have developed a wide and rich vocabulary that includes language for the every-day; academic language for learning, ambitious language and technical curriculum language. In addition they will possess the aptitude and skills of speaking and listening to speak, present and perform in a range of circumstances to a range of audience types: e.g. making formal presentations, perform in a play, participating in debate.
Children will develop reading fluency and a wide range of reading comprehension skills that enable them to understand thematic, contextual, inferential, literal, structural and vocabulary focused questions. They will understand the value of reading for building knowledge and empathy and enhancing their own wellbeing. But most importantly Knightlow children will have developed a love and hunger for reading that inspires habits to read widely and often, for enjoyment, information and for life.
Knightlow children will understand the value of writing clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. They will have mastered a secure understanding of grammar and a knowledge of linguistic conventions for writing, reading and spoken language and mastered using punctuation to accurately communicate and avoid ambiguity. The children’s handwriting will be fluent and cursive. In addition, Knightlow children will be able to demonstrate an understanding and appreciation for our rich and varied British literary heritage and will have explored that of other cultures and traditions. All learning in English is underpinned by our Building Learning Power principles and enhanced by its dispositions.
The phonics scheme that we use at Knightlow is Read Write Inc. It is a structured programme designed to ensure that all children learn to read with fluency and accuracy through engaging phonics sessions.
The 44 sounds and corresponding letters are introduced and taught systematically.
Children learn to blend sounds to read words. Then they use short ‘ditties’ to practise early reading and writing before being taught more letter-sound correspondences.
Developing Reading and Writing
Children read a series of levelled decodable texts, both fiction and nonfiction, and complete integrated writing activities including spelling, grammar, vocabulary and handwriting practice.
Ongoing assessment means that any children that are struggling are identified and supported to ensure that all children make the best progress.
Words are incredibly powerful. At Knightlow we see words as treasure and encourage our children to enjoy and acquire as broad a range of vocabulary as possible. Throughout the school we recognise vocabulary as the key to making links across learning, our children love to celebrate new words and keep a record of the words that they learn.
Reading For Pleasure At Knightlow
Take some time to look at our reading recommendations for your year group.
Reading World Cup
Knightlow's love for reading has been further stoked by our recent whole school Reading World Cup, a wonderful whole school project where daily traditional tales battled to be voted our World Cup Winner!
Right across the school the children loved discovering, re-engaging and talking about the stories that were shared, from The Gingerbread Man to The Twelve Dancing Princesses everyone was hooked.
It was a very closely fought final between The Magic Porridge Pot and The Elves and The Shoemaker. Why not talk to one of our children to find out which traditional story ‘lived happily ever after' and was the Knightlow winner.
World Book Week
Whole School Text
Here We Are – Oliver Jeffers
What better way to welcome back the entire Knightlow Family than with a whole school Book Week! The entire school focused on the book 'Here We Are - Notes for Living on Planet Earth'. A text written by Oliver Jeffers for his son when he was born.
This brilliant book gave us the opportunity to reconnect with each other, recognise our valuable place within this wonderful world and reflect on what we can do to make our planet a better place to live.
Each child now has a 'WONDERFUL WORDS' BOOK so that they can become Word Warriors - collecting and collating amazing vocabulary from their reading and conversations. Vocabulary is such an important part of the way that we communicate so building our vocabulary is crucial!
‘Throughout the week each class took on a daily writing challenge:
The children have produced some incredible work right from Reception to Year 6. We are really proud of what they have achieved and for the love of reading that is flourishing throughout our school.
Creative Storytelling Week
Stories are the language of our children, they help them to process and understand emotions that can sometime to too powerful for everyday words. The entire Knightlow Family took part in a Creative Story-Telling Week: listening to stories; dramatising and performing stories; planning and writing stories and most importantly ENJOYING stories.
Lola - Yr 6: 'I loved performing together and building a story together as a whole class. I really like a good adventure story that engages me with brilliant descriptions.'
Thomas - Year 6: 'I prefer writing stories, I can be free when I write.'
Masie - Year 6: I'm good at story-telling because I use expression and voices for characters. I like to be all comfortable and cosy when I tell a story to make my listener feel good.'
Knightlow Rhyming Riot!
We have had a wonderful start to this academic year by focusing on all things poetry. The teachers kicked off the year by competing in a Poetry Slam - demonstrating brilliantly to the children how exciting, engaging and evocative poetry can be.
The challenge was then passed on to the children, who rose brilliantly to the occasion - learning poetry off by heart to perform to their class or the whole school. The children demonstrated expression, intonation and the power of silence and pause. The organised props and costumes too. We were all seriously impressed!
In their classes the children have been learning about a wide range of poets from Michael Rosen to Mya Angelou. They have been analysing poems, learning about features of poetry and have allowed the wonders of WORD POWER and language to seep into their pours.
To top it all off we asked all of our families to talk about poetry, share poetry, read poetry and send in a copy of their favourite family poem. We have produced our very own Knightlow Anthologies to present these.
A Midsummer Night's Dream
Our incredible Year 6 class demonstrated powers of imagination and perseverance as they rehearsed and performed A Midsummer Night's Dream to our school community. What talent they have, learning a really challenging script, memorising choreography and staging in order to bring Shakespeare's play to life! Well done Year !
Warwickshire Junior Book Awards
Our Year 5 and 6 Reading Club members participate in the annual Warwickshire Library Book Awards. In 2020 and 21 we accessed the awards ceremony on-line and before Covid we were able to attend the awards ceremony at the Warwick Bridge House Theatre. Our Book Clubbers had the opportunity to listen to the finalist authors: Sylvia Bishop, Hilary Mcay, Nicki Thornton and SE Durrant talk about how they became writers and what inspires them to wrote. They also got to meet the authors too.
Our children always engage brilliantly with the awards competitions and we are thrilled that for the last three years one of our children has won an award for their creative approaches to the competition tasks - we are very proud of our book clubbers and reading ambassadors.
Aaron Becker Trilogy
The Knightlow Family love a great picture book, together as a whole school we have explored the incredible picture books of The Journey, Quest and Return by Aaron Becker as a whole school.
The Journey provided a rich opportunity for immersion in the themes of personal resilience, creativity and relationships. The children prepared for their own journeys, designed their own methods of transport and created their own adventure stories inspired by the story.
During Reverence Week Quest inspired us to make links to the story of Jesus Christ as a refugee as well as making links with the valuable work that the charity Global Care does with refugee families and shack schools. The children also made links between the colours of the 'power' rainbow in the story and moods and feeling that are evoked by colour.
We completed the trilogy with Return - a wonder vehicle for us to reflect on our year's achievements; considering how we have grown and changed as individuals and the wonderful things that we have achieved as a school.
Our whole school exploration of the story 'The Promise' by Nicola Davies led to some incredible work at Knightlow. This beautiful story captures how, hearts, minds and communities can be transformed through care and commitment.
The children have wowed us with their skills of inference and deduction, applying a range of reading skills thoughtfully and producing writing that reflects a deep understanding of the messages within this story. As a school we have explored the importance of community and stewardship of God's creation with every child in school writing their own promises to the world.
A Child of Books
The incredible text, 'A Child of Books' by Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston has inspired us to reflect upon books that turned us into readers. We have set all members of The Knightlow family a challenge to use their Building Learning Power of DISTILLING to select one book that made them a 'child of books.'
The illustrations within the text 'A Child of Books' are particularly powerful as they incorporate extracts of 40 children's classic stories, again a brilliant opportunity to encourage us to identify those texts and be motivated to pick them up and read!
The entire school have thoroughly embraced our Roald Dahl Project. Each class focused upon one Dahl text and worked in a vast variety of ways to bring it to life. Amongst many other things the children have enjoyed getting into character and exploring plot through drama and dance; making music with Warwick University's Brass Society; mixing magical potions in science and trying out the artistic style of Quentin Blake in art lessons.
To top it all off the children in KS2 were whisked off to the West End to watch a production of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! It really was the most marvellous masterpiece!
There are so many ways of bringing the subject of English to life and the learning experienced in this whole school project demonstrates just how important we feel active learning through English is!
Books are the most important thing in Morris Lessmore's life. They have given him colour, comfort, wisdom and wonderment. How lucky are we that Morris wants to share his love of stories and books with the children of Knightlow?
The children have been busy fulfilling a task that he set them earlier this term: to plan, design and create a reading space in their very own classrooms that show the world just how much books, stories and reading mean to them. Each class has been so busy and we can't wait to share their creations with you.
Morris has also bestowed upon each class a very special gift...that, to date, they have been given strict instructions to NOT OPEN!! Who knows what could be inside, or the exciting adventures it could trigger!!