Literature has enormous educational potential; it can enable children to experience a range of emotions safely and vicariously, promote understanding of the human condition… It can be a source of reflection on universal themes of courage, love, sacrifice, compassion.
Our core aim at the heart of the English curriculum is to motivate children to become passionate and purposeful writers whilst making meaning and sense of the world around them. Underpinning this is the use of a rich and stimulating disparate range of literature designed to challenge, motivate and stimulate children’s imagination and understanding of the world around them. Each half term children study a picture book or class novel and use this as stimulus for their fictional writing. Children examine and manipulate key language, vocabulary and syntax whilst exploring characterisation, themes and genres of writing.
We believe strongly that through close guided reading of the text, all pupils acquire the internalisation of the rhythmic patterns of language and sentence construction which they can replicate and capitalise upon in their own unique writing style when writing independently. Through exploring high quality authorial texts, pupils gain an understanding of how to compose writing in different genres, writing for both engagement and purpose for a range of audiences.
Children explore genres such as recounts, explanations, narratives using the text as a foundation. Teachers use a variety of tools to explore children’s meaning and understanding of language through the use of drama and role play, guided writing and examples of genres to analyse and interrogate. Research indicates that children learn to write through writing; adopting this approach we offer children the opportunity to write extended pieces in each genre and through high quality dialogic marking pupils improve their self-expression and ability to communicate in specialised genres of writing. Adopting a transactional model of reading, we believe children bring their own knowledge and interpretation to a text and when they encounter a text there is a merging of the novel and their understanding of the world. Indeed Harding describes the literature encounter as ‘when responding to great works of literature, the reader is changed and becomes something other than they were before’. We hope that children will become fluent, passionate writers engaged and fused with a sense of purpose and an ability to write for technical purposes and for pleasure.
Here are the texts children in Year 1-6 will explore this autumn term:
Year 3: The Ice Palace
Starjik, a child taker, always came to the village to take away the children. One night, Starjik came and took away Ivan's little brother. Ivan loved his brother and so he went on a journey to find Starjik's land. Ivan was in great danger many times on the way to Starjik's place. But he finally arrived there safely. He was not afraid of Starjik and was able to warm his heart and turned him into a good person again. Therefore, the frozen children, including his brother, were saved.
Year 4: Street Child
This unforgettable tale of an orphan in Victorian London based on the boy whose plight inspired Dr Barnardo to found his famous children's homes. When his mother dies, Jim Jarvis is left all alone in London. He is sent to the workhouse but quickly escapes, choosing a hard life on the streets of the city over the confines of the workhouse walls. Struggling to survive, Jim finally finds some friends…only to be snatched away and made to work for the remorselessly cruel Grimy Nick, constantly guarded by his vicious dog, Snipe. Will Jim ever manage to be free?
Year 5: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
Narnia . . . a land frozen in eternal winter . . . a country waiting to be set free.
Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book in C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, a series that has become part of the canon of classic literature, drawing readers of all ages into a magical land with unforgettable characters for over fifty years.
Year 6: Good Night Mr Tom
Willie Beech is evacuated to a tiny English village in the country just before the outbreak of World War II. A lonely and deprived child, he finds himself living with the reclusive, gruff old widower, Thomas Oakley. Although the two find it hard to adjust to their life together at first, they gradually develop a strong, mutual bond. Willie begins to enjoy life and make new friends in the village. However, everything is thrown into confusion when Willie is suddenly recalled to London by his neglectful and abusive mother. After several weeks with no letter from Willie, Tom Oakley becomes concerned for his welfare and sets out to London in search of him.