At Horizon we believe that the English curriculum should enable children to read, write and speak with confidence. We believe that these language skills are essential for being able to participate in society fully; to access culture and the wider world, to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know. Our aim is to nurture an appreciation of language and literature so that children are able to express themselves for a purpose emotionally, spiritually and intellectually across a range of other subjects and situations.
The English curriculum at Horizon aims to foster an appreciation of literature through the following key concepts: plot, character, setting and purpose. Children will build their understanding of these concepts through an exposure to a curriculum rich in a diverse range of stories, poems and non-fiction. A carefully planned curriculum aims to explore the following interconnected disciplinary concepts:
Reading: word reading and comprehension (both listening and reading) incorporating the alphabetic principle, phonics and fluency. We want to encourage analytical reading, which probes at the writing process, drawing out comparisons within and across texts so that by the time children leave Horizon they are able to discuss themes, conventions, symbolism and style.
Writing: transcription and composition with a focus on spelling, grammar and punctuation, cohesion, planning and editing, as well as more writerly skills such as figurative language, style and writing for effect.
The national curriculum states that spoken language ‘underpins the development of reading and writing.’ Through drama, poetic performance, discussion and debate children will be exposed to a wide range of vocabulary and will be given the chance to ‘rehearse, refine, share and respond’ to a variety of situations and audiences. This in turn will fuel their capacity to communicate with purpose and style, by developing their own voice and means of expressing it.
The golden thread running through our English curriculum is a steady theme of diversity and acceptance, which reflects our own school community and prepares children for the wider world. The texts chosen in our English curriculum reflect this vision overtly or more subtly and provide our pupils with the opportunity to discuss the challenges individuals have faced historically, socially or politically.