From entry to our school and building towards the end of Year 4, we aim to deliver an English curriculum, where pupils acquire a solid foundation in punctuation, grammar and spelling. During those ‘foundation’ years, a basis of creative writing is scaffolded, enabling all pupils to draw upon a range of structured devices in their work. Using a range of specific creative writing techniques and approaches to linguistic device application, drawn from several literacy strategies, such as Alan Peat Sentences or teacher led initiative, our pupils form a bank of techniques that are supported by the non-negotiable accuracy of grammar, punctuation and spelling, which is clearly reflected in their standardised scores which exceed the expectation for their age group.
From the secure foundations acquired by the end of year 4, our English specialist continues to develop creative, independent and open thinkers that are ready to accept the challenges of the future. This affords our Year 5 & 6 English specialist teacher, a two-year time frame to ensure that all pupils are effectively challenged to make extended progress in the English curriculum. Augmented with an astute understanding of pupils’ needs, which is formed from assessment, close communication between teachers/leaders and working with the same class for a two-year period, our Year 5 & 6 English specialist generates lessons that are underpinned by challenge. Consequently, our pupils view reading, writing and, indeed, the world with the skills, knowledge and understanding required to excel in the next chapter of their education.
Throughout their time at Vita et Pax, pupils have the opportunity to enter a variety of writing competitions such as the Mayor of London Writing Award and Author of Tomorrow. As a result of our outstanding specialist teachers, we recently celebrated one of our pupils winning the Mayor of London Writing Award. This encourages a conscientious and ambitious environment within our classrooms.
In Year 5 & 6, high-end challenges that are attainable, yet tantamount to university education challenge, are posed to our outstanding learners. Whether our pupils are asked to explore questions such as ‘Can a utopia exist without a dystopia?’ or given opportunities to independently and exploratively write, harnessing literary concepts acquired during their time at Vita et Pax, our children readily and zestfully accept challenge as normative behaviour. From this provision, our pupils begin secondary school, academically proficient and as composed, mature learners. This is why our children, from SEN to high-ability, flourish in the English Curriculum.