The English Intent - Why we teach what we teach

“Human beings will always have the capacity to inspire a love of life, even when it takes the form of quadratic equations; but enthusiasm has never been a part of the curriculum. However, a teacher’s enthusiasm inspires a love of their subject.”- Rights of the Reader by Daniel Pennac
It is with this quote in mind that New Close School aims to approach the teaching of English. The statutory guidance of the National Curriculum in England: English Programmes of study, states that:
“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.”
Here the importance of the teaching of English is clearly shown and cannot be understated.
The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
• Read easily, fluently and with good understanding.
• Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information.
• Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language.
• Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.
• Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas.
• Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.