At Medway, we follow the National Curriculum in all subjects, covering each area multiple times as part of our values curriculum.
The alumni of British “public schools” still control politics and many top professions. One reason those people are so successful in public life is that they are commonly very confident, fluent public speakers. However, they were not born that way. Their skills were developed through their school experience of debating societies, discussion groups and engaging in dialogues with their teachers. Their education included oracy – skills in using spoken language – as well as English and Maths.
For the sake of social equality, at Medway, we believe children should be taught the spoken language skills that they need for educational progress, for work and for full participation in democracy. Some people learn how to use talk effectively at home and through various out-of-school activities but many children are rarely encouraged to present their ideas or to take part in a “reasoned discussion”.
Oracy therefore, is the heart of the curriculum at Medway and is a key driver for its success and achievement. We strongly believe oracy is pivotal as the bedrock of pupils’ ability to use language and communicate in addition to its many social and emotional benefits.
Our youngest children learn to read using phonics schemes. Jolly Phonics is used in Foundation Stage, while Years 1 and 2 use ReadWrite Inc.We appreciate that some children may additional support with phonics in later years and we provide this using FreshStart phonics interventions.
Our children have access to a wealth of reading books in school and we use Oxford Reading Tree and Project X schemes to engage early reading.
In English, we cover the areas of reading, writing and oracy through a book-based curriculum in Years 1-6. We ensure that children are able to communicate effectively though regular discussion-based and team activities both in and out of lessons. This helps build our students' functional knowledge of the English language and supports them in their written work. By tying all our work to a book, we encourage a love of reading and further our children's experience of literature by increasing their knowledge of books by a wide range of authors. We also emphasise literacy in our topic work, providing a wealth of cross-curricular activities for our pupils.
Please click on the link below to find out more about the English curriculum coverage.
Our Year 6 children also have the opportunity to study and perform a Shakespearian play; engaging in the language and developing a love of the literature whilst promoting oracy. The remaining school have opportunities to see it performed with passion and engagement and even if the younger children don’t pick up every single word, they follow and enjoy the story and are transported to a different world around ethics and morals in line with our schools values.
ROMEO AND JULIET
Do not inherit your parents’ prejudices
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM and TWELFTH NIGHT
Understand the difference between appearance and reality
Forgiveness and Freedom
Shakespeare works well with young learners, as in addition to being relevant, it is also far enough removed from current life to enhance free talk, build arguments and form debate without having an emotional stake. It can be freeing for children to step away from reality, and working with Shakespeare grants them that freedom.