‘English is vital way of communicating in school, in public life, and internationally. In studying English, pupils develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.’
(The British National Curriculum)
Our English curriculum follows the guidelines of the Literacy Strategy. Language plays a vital part within the curriculum, and children’s ability to express themselves fluently in both written and oral work will influence their performance throughout the curriculum. We aim to develop a high standard of reading and writing skills. These include phonic skills, sight word recognition, handwriting, vocabulary, spelling and grammar.
We promote a love and understanding of literature through reading a range of attractive and interesting fiction and non-fiction books. These include a wide range of reading scheme books (Oxford Literacy Web, Oxford Reading Tree, Snapdragons, Treetops and Wolf Hill).
We encourage an awareness of illustrators, authors and writing styles, which inspire our children and develop their powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness of their own work.
Phonics and spelling are taught in an effective way by mixing visual, auditory, and kinaesthetic methods.
We use both synthetic and analytical phonics. We have found that a combination of these approaches helps children considerably with the process of reading and writing. Letterland is an innovative and successful British scheme that uses pictograms and stories to teach letter names and sounds. We use this scheme throughout the school, blending it together with the Jolly Phonics scheme.
Punctuation, spelling and grammar are taught within lessons and we use the children’s own writing to reinforce these teachings. Formal handwriting lessons are taught. Children are encouraged to develop a fluent cursive style.
A major emphasis is placed on writing and children are encouraged to research, draft and finally publish their work. Importance is placed upon getting their ideas down on paper. Children are then helped to edit, correct and handwrite or publish their final piece. The children take great pride in their completed work. They see a purpose for it knowing that it is appreciated and shared by others.
Each year we read and study play-scripts. Together, the children and teachers share ideas and write the scripts for our Christmas presentations. These are sometimes made into books using photographs from the performance! Children love to read these books reliving the memories of their stage debut.
A variety of poetry is regularly enjoyed and children are encouraged to write and perform their own poems. The children particularly enjoy using the computers to create and edit their poems and they have produced many excellent pieces.
Children also enjoy using puppets and storytelling to extend their speaking and listening skills.