With confidence in English, children can access our full and broad curriculum.
English is divided into four areas:
- Speaking & listening
- Phonics into reading
- Reading, including comprehension
- Writing, including punctuation, grammar, spelling (phonics into writing) and handwriting
Starting with a focus of developing spoken English, we progress onto phonics, reading than writing. Phonics is our preferred way to introduce reading and spelling. For children from non-English speaking backgrounds, we develop personalised programmes.
We’ve got a range of different support schemes available.
- Letters and Sounds, whole-class phonics teaching.
- Bug Club reading scheme, including phonic bug resources and eBooks to support the teaching & learning within a class and at home with parents/carers.
- No Nonsense Spelling: Y2 – Y6
- No Nonsense Grammar: Y1 – Y6
- Basic skills curriculum
- Letter-Join: supporting the teaching of handwriting skills.
- Dimensions curriculum: supporting the writing development within foundation subjects.
Nursery and Reception children work with a variety of activities that improve their fine motor control (their ability to control the small muscles in their hands). These activities range from tasks that require the children to use tools such as tweezers to move objects, to a more complex tracing of patterns.
From reception, all the way to year 6 we form letters in the same way. Using a cursive font, we ensure our handwriting style is consistently used in lesson resources. This cohesive approach reinforces our handwriting policy throughout our curriculum.
Reception start with cursive style handwriting, that’s unjoined. Their letters start and end with a cursive flick. Moving up to year 1, these letters are then joined, using the familiar letters as a starting point and are continued up to year 6.
Handwriting is taught alongside spellings, with at least ten minutes of daily focus.
Throughout school, we use the Letters and Sounds teaching method.
We plan and deliver phonics, using the four teaching stages of learning:
- Revisit and review – previously learned phonemes/tricky words, sound buttons, flashcards and quick write hear and say/repeat read
- Teach – model/demo blending & segmenting, phoneme fingers and phoneme frames
- Practice/demo – blending & segmenting skills such as sorting games, word bingo, and countdown.
- Apply – in reading and writing such as phoneme spotter stories, story spotter, and ridiculous rhymes/silly sentences. Also, using magnetic letters and boards.
Every day, early years and KS1 take part in discrete, whole-class phonics sessions. These follow a defined teaching sequence of phonemes.
For children who join us, we provide an initial assessment of their phonic decoding ability. Once children achieve a good grasp of decoding, we move the focus to use phonics into writing, such as spelling.
Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudowords) which all children will be asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words which they have not seen before.
“Stand up for your right to read”
Our reading slogan.
Quality literature is at the core of our English curriculum.
Alice in Wonderland, Wind in the Willows, Treasure Island and other such classic texts are offset with modern texts such as Trash by Andy Mulligan, Orion and the Dark by Emma Yarlett and The Nowhere Emporium by Ross Mackenzie. Our personalised programme uses quality texts such as these throughout.
Each term, our ‘Dazzle Packs’ wow our children with a range of exciting new books for the class.
Using stimulating entry points, we begin our journey into the exploration of the story as well as the author. Each topic begins with an exciting event that relates to writing. Such as going on a hunt for the Enormous Crocodile or a pirate day for Peter Pan.
Each day, children carry out individual reading, guided reading and shared reading of a story. We use our shared stories as the content of a class presentation, which our children present at the end of every half term.
Working together, we decode these exciting stories. We look at the language used and the meaning of words. Our children are engrossed in these wonderful stories, which they then imitate in the style of that author, in their own creative writing.
Keeping up with the needs of our children, we’re always evaluating. We use examples from the government (KS1 Writing Exemplification and KS2 Writing Exemplification) which illustrate what being ‘at the expected standard,’ would look like at the end of KS1 and at the end of KS2. In response to these key stage 1 has a particular focus on character descriptions, narratives, fairy tales and recounts to really get the children interested in writing. In key stage 2, there is still a huge focus on narrative and story writing such as horror, suspense and fables whilst also developing grammatical structures further such as paragraphs. We also develop skills in debating, persuasion and autobiographical.
We love celebrating our children’s achievements. English Superstars are our awards for children who have really pushed themselves to improve. We’re always finding new ways to encourage and promote progression. Our current awards are for reading, writing, progression from pencil to pen, and more able.
More Able are children who surpass our expectations and require a little more challenge in their work. We love celebrating the dedication these children show. Author Experience Days, special visitor and Spelling Bees are just some of the special events we host throughout the year, to challenge and encourage our more able.