“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.”
English is taught through a daily lesson. In addition, teachers link English to other areas of the curriculum so pupils can use and apply their learning.
Speaking and Listening
Children are taught to express themselves orally in an appropriate way, matching their style and response to the audience and purpose. Pupils are also taught to be able to listen and respond to literature and to give and receive instructions. Pupils develop the skill of participating in group discussion. They are given the opportunities to recite poetry, participate in debates and develop their presenting skills.
Reading and Phonics
The teaching of reading and the strategies used by the teachers in each year group varies as pupil’s progress through the school. The following specific strategies are taught throughout the different year groups:
- shared reading
- guided reading
- Oxford Reading Tree
To promote enjoyment of reading and the understanding that reading is a life-long skill, we provide the pupils with a variety of stimuli, including an annual book week. Authors and poets are invited into school to share and demonstrate their skills to the pupils. Book week includes a dress up day for pupils and staff. Many popular authors including Steve Cole Jane Hissey, Anne Fine, Anthony Browne, Michael Rosen and Julia Donaldson have visited the school and worked with pupils.
The school library contains a good variety of both fiction and non-fiction books. Each class teacher also has a range of fiction and non-fiction books in their own classroom which is regularly updated.
Pupils are taught to:
- recognise that writing is a purposeful activity
- match the style of their writing to a wide range of audiences
- structure their writing so that it is coherent
- understand that correct spelling, punctuation and grammar help to make the meaning of their writing clear to the reader
- develop and extend the vocabulary so that they are able to express their ideas in writing and can engage the interest of the reader
- enjoy writing and recognise its value
Formal handwriting is taught through the use of the “Penpals” scheme (Cambridge University Press), which acknowledges that handwriting is a developmental process with its own distinctive stages of sequential growth.
Pupils are given the opportunity to explore real-life situations through role-play based on topics and themes from other curriculum areas. Drama is also used to stimulate written work, consolidate knowledge already gained in other subjects, and develop the speaking and listening skills of the pupils.