Children are encouraged to develop a broad range of skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing. Children participate in a daily English lesson in Years 1 to 6, and in a wide range of language activities in Reception Class.
Reading is a fundamental skill and 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. Every class has its' own book corner with a variety of books suited to a particular age group.
We have a banded reading scheme which includes Oxford Reading Tree and variety of books from smaller reading schemes.
We believe that children become confident and fluent readers when both school and home support them. We encourage parents to listen to their children read a little every evening and record comments in their reading record. As the children progress through the school they are introduced to literature of increasing complexity, they learn to analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts.
An event which we join in with each year, is World Book Day. This is a great opportunity to focus on the pleasure that books and reading can bring to our lives. As well as enjoying a range of activities based around books, the children come to school dressed up as various characters from books. The effort which is put into these costumes is always amazing!
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 mainly follow the following phonics schemes; Letters and Sounds, and Jolly Phonics. This 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. We have small phonic ability groups for Reception to Year 2.
Writing skills are a key priority within the school. Good presentation/handwriting skills are one of our priorities. Children are taught cursive script from the outset, first using a pencil and progressing to fountain or handwriting pens.
All classes undertake extended writing sessions with activities ranging from poetry, creative writing, persuasive letter writing, creating film 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
The spoken word is a child's first opportunity to share their capability with others. As such we aim to model and develop ambitious and interesting vocabulary on which children can base their communication. We have high standards for listening which we take time to develop insuring children get as much as they can from any situation. Speaking and listening is core to our curriculum and embeds all learning through discussion; talk partners play an integral role in learning within our school.
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.
We encourage various opportunities for the children to speak in public, from whole school assemblies to celebrations in the church and productions.
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:
BBC games and activities:
Sight word games:
100 Greatest Children's books 2015:
Pure sounds for Phonics Teaching (You Tube):
Phonic Presentation for Parents: