At Ashfield Valley we are passionate about reading. Reading is at the heart of our vision statement and we strive to ensure all of our children can read and write, ready for their next phase of education. Our English Curriculum has been designed carefully and sequentially to ensure our pupils receive a first class education tailored to meet their needs.
"When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language."
James Earl Jones
The Value of English within our Curriculum
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised. National Curriculum 2014
The English Curriculum is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching the wider curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects and provides the basis for effective language and communication, which are the stepping stones of early literacy development.
Reading provides the gateway to access of the wider curriculum and is the most important life skill children develop as part of their education. Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Likewise, evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who do not, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures.
Written communication is also an essential element of expression; the ability to articulate oneself through the written word provides an opportunity to share knowledge in a meaningful and effective way. Writing facilitates reflection, expression and enables individuals to compose their thoughts, therefore providing us with the framework for one of the most prominent methods of daily communication. In an electronic world where verbal communication has become less frequently used, learning to write in a cohesive, structured manner allows individuals to convey their thoughts effectively.
Children start to discover how the English language has developed over time and has contributed to our economy, society and culture. Studying the English Curriculum stimulates curiosity, fosters creativity and equips children with the skills they need in life beyond school. In summary, English is integral to all aspects of life and provides children with vital life skills.