English is taught daily using our set texts for each year group. These texts have been selected specifically for our curriculum.
The criteria for choosing the set texts are; cultural capital, challenge, variation and conceptual richness. We also consider how these texts build upon knowledge and concepts year after year.
Here’s one example: Aesop’s Fables is read in year 1 - a culturally important, challenging text that teaches us that stories contain messages. This then leads to The Velveteen Rabbit in year 2 which moves us from moral to theme, and from fable to short story. This leads to Pinocchio in year 3 which develops the themes found in The Velveteen Rabbit i.e. the transformative power of love and is culturally significant and challenging. This then leads to Philip Pullman’s Clockwork in year 4; again the book develops the theme of love's transformative power but also introduces a contemporary writer and a meta-story within a story (an idea that will come up again and again in fiction). Ultimately, this reading route can carry our pupils to the most complex texts ever written.
Set Texts for Academic Year 2019/20
Please see below for a list of our set texts for the current acadmic year. A copy of each book will be provided to pupils for English lessons but we also encourage pupils to explore these texts at home.
Handa's Surprise by Eileen Browne (1994)
The Story Tree by Hugh Lipton (2005)
A First Book of Nature by Nicola Davies (2004)
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman (1990)
Aesop's Fables retold by Michael Morpurgo (2004)
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams (1922)
The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl (1966)
Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne (1921)
Greek Myths retold by Geraldine McCaughrean (1993)
Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (1883)
The Iron Man by Ted Hughes (1968)
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (1952)
The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (1950)
Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner (1929)
Traditional Tales by Various Authors
Clockwork by Philip Pullman (1996)
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (1865)
The Railway Children by Edith Nesbit (1906)
Selected Poems by Various Poets
Journey to Johannesburg by Beverley Naidoo (1985)
Esperanza Rising by Pam Muñoz Ryan (2000)
Arabian Nights retold by Geraldine McCaughrean (1999)
Tom's Midnight Garden by Phillipa Pearce (1958)
The Wolves of Willoughby Chase by Joan Aitken (1962)
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1798)
Skellig by David Almond (1998)
Fire, Bed and Bone by Henrietta Branford (1997)
Selected Speeches including Martin Luther King and Malala Yousafzai
Specific Areas of Learning
Cooks Spinney's English curriculum focusses on the following areas of learning:
We develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.
Speaking and Listening
Pupils are taught to speak clearly and convey ideas confidently using Standard English. They learn to justify ideas with reasons; ask questions to check understanding; develop vocabulary and build knowledge; negotiate; evaluate and build on the ideas of others; and select the appropriate register for effective communication.
Reading and Writing
Pupils are taught to read fluently, understand extended prose and are encouraged to read for pleasure. Classrooms are well stocked with fiction, non-fiction and poetry books; and we set ambitious expectations for reading at home. Pupils develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation. They are taught the correct use of grammar. The writing they do includes narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations: such writing supports them in rehearsing, understanding and consolidating what they have heard or read.