Children are encouraged to develop a broad range of skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing. Children participate in a daily English lessons from years 1-6, and a wide range of language activities in Reception.
A key part of early language learning is the teaching of phonics, which is done using a range of methods including both written and practical kinaesthetic activities. This is taught using a systematic programme, ensuring that all phonemes (sounds) are covered, rehearsed and embedded.
Older children are also taught spelling rules, patterns and word origins. Spellings are set, and assessed on a weekly basis. As well as a weekly spelling test we also focus on children’s spelling in their daily writing to ensure that skills are transferred.
Reading is a fundamental skill which forms the basis of learning. In class, a wide range of high quality texts are used. The school uses the CLPE’s (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education) ‘Power of Reading’ approach, where challenging and stimulating texts are engaged with through speaking, listening, drama, discussion and research. We do not use a single reading scheme, but rather match children to books that will best develop their skills and interest. Every class has their own book corner and regular story times are used to foster reading for enjoyment and pleasure.
We are currently taking part in the KM’s Buster’s Book Club. In a county wide competition, we total the number of minutes that each class spends reading on a designated night each week. Children have already won Wildwood vouchers.
Writing skills are a key priority within the school. We emphasise presentation and handwriting skills. Children are taught cursive script from the outset, first using a pencil and progressing to pen. Once a child is consistently joining their writing in a cursive style, taking care over their presentation, a probationary pen licence can be awarded by the class teacher. All classes undertake extended writing sessions and provide opportunities to use writing skills across other subjects, such as science and topic. During these sessions children learn how to vary their tone and language to engage the intended reader, and also how to edit and up-level their own work.
Grammar skills and terminology are now an integral part of the English curriculum. These skills are taught discretely on a daily basis, as well as forming a key part of editing and improving writing.
We enrich our English curriculum through events such as, World Book Day and author visits.
Some useful websites:
First News Live. An online version of the children's newspaper:
Lots of fun (and really useful) English games for 4-14 year olds:
A range of English games for KS2:
A range of English games for YR, KS1 (and KS2):
BBC games and activities:
Sight word games:
100 Greatest Children's books 2015: