Children are encouraged to develop a broad range of skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing. Children participate in 5 English lessons per week from years 1-6, and a wide range of language and literacy activities in Reception.
A major 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. We follow the foLetters and Sounds scheme which enables us to use many resources and techniques, keeping the children engaged and learning.
Older children are also taught spelling rules, tricks and patterns, moving onto spelling investigations and word origins. Throughout the school we focus on using these words in context, rather than in list form for a test.
Reading is a fundamental skill which forms the basis of all English. As well as using a wide range of texts in the classroom we encourage parents to join in the excitement of their children learning to read. We don’t use a single reading scheme, but rather match children to books that will best develop their skills and interest. As well as access to the library every class has their own book corner with a variety of books suited to their particular age group.
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 handwriting pens. All classes undertake extended writing sessions with activities ranging from poetry, creative writing, persuasive letter writing, creating play scripts and factual work, including current affairs. 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 are taught through both games and stand alone activities as well as being part of both planning for and improving writing.
Speaking and listening skills are developed across the whole curriculum. It regularly precedes written work, giving children a chance to try out ideas before committing them to paper.