Vision: To develop articulate and imaginative pupils who develop a lifelong passion for language, literature and communication in all its forms. Our goal, at Castle Bromwich Junior School, is to ignite a flame within our children, a burning desire to communicate, to teach others, to learn more about language and literature. Children who attend Castle Bromwich Junior School should leave us with a strong appreciation of both the spoken and the written word.
At CBJS, we have a one text approach to our English units.
Each half term, the children will study a minimum of one text. If it is a longer novel, the children will study the text for the duration of the half term, for example, Matilda in year 6. If it is a shorter text, such as a poem, the children will study two or more shorter texts per half term.
At any one time, the children will be studying one text. The purpose of this is to illustrate the partnership between all areas of English. As a school, we focus on developing the skills necessary to read, write and speak fluently, enabling all children to communicate their ideas and emotions.
At CBJS, the children experience 8 English lessons per week, some for writing, some for reading and some for grammar. To teach reading, we use a system called Shared Reading where a shared text is read with the whole class. The text chosen is a quality text with rich content but also chosen for enjoyment. The children then use their reading to inspire them to write.
The first session of Shared Reading is called a “Book Talk” session in which the class teacher demonstrates and teaches the children to read fluently. Through this session, the children are also questioned about the text carefully to check understanding and develop their comprehension skills. The second session focuses of new vocabulary. To support us with this at home, the section of the reading diary entitled, “Words I have investigated” can be used to find the meaning of new words. The final session is used to develop comprehension skills and supports the children in answering test style questions. Vocabulary and questioning is extremely important and we ask for your support with this by reading regularly, three times a week, with your child at home.
The reading that the children do in their lessons supports the writing which they produce. All the writing lessons are carefully matched to the reading done in class and the genres chosen link nicely with what they have read. For example, if a child had read about the character of Matilda, they may write a diary entry in role as Matilda.
Each week, the children have 3 sessions of Spelling. We follow the Read Write Inc scheme for spelling, ensuring that the children learn the rules and patterns for their year group, as well as a number of exception words. A spelling unit is completed over a three week period and spelling words are recorded in a spelling zapper to be practised at home. To support your child at home, we ask you to practise the spellings with the children and to sign the zapper as evidence. The children may even explain that they can “Zap!” the words if they get them correct and they would do this by getting it correct three times.
To recap and to add to how to support your child with English at home:
- Reading at home, with your child, at least three times per week and signing their reading diary;
- Practising spellings regularly and signing the zapper.
Together, in partnership, staff, parents and children alike, we strive towards our common vision.
Below is the list of texts which each year group studies:
- Leon and The Place Between
- The Secret Garden
- King Kong
- Charlotte’s Web
- Dancing Bear
- Revolting Rhymes
- The Secrets of Stonehenge
- The Twits
- Fortunately The Milk
- Captain Underpants
- The Witches
- Gangsta Granny
- Egyptian Poetry
- The Book of London
- Hundred Mile an Hour Dog
- Kensuke’s Kingdom
- A Monster Calls
- The Highwayman
- Beowulf Poem
- Street Child
- Deadly 60
- Rose Blanche
- Best Ever Shakespeare Tales
- Goodnight Mr Tom
- War Poetry
- The Natural World
Hurst Lane North, Birmingham, West Midlands, B36 0HD