The development of English skills is seen as the foundation of our curriculum; these skills, permeate every subject. The skills focused on can be largely grouped into distinct but interrelated areas: phonics, reading for meaning and pleasure; writing for different purposes and audiences; handwriting and spelling; speaking and listening. We follow the National Curriculum 2014 for our English lessons.
In EYFS and Key Stage 1, we use a well-structured synthetic phonics programme, called Letters and Sounds. This foundation provides the children with the essential skills they will need in order to become accomplished readers and writers. We teach a cursive handwriting style from EYFS, with our eventual aim being a cursive script for every child.
Reading is taught both through shared reading of texts in class and reading in small groups during guided reading sessions. We also teach comprehension skills through answering a range of comprehension texts throughout the school. We focus on effective questioning and teach the children how to answer texts using higher order methods.
Even though our writing genres are related to our Cornerstones topics, we also have targeted writing sessions to consolidate spelling, grammar and punctuation skills. We teach the skills separately and apply that knowledge to our writing genres, using a range of fact and fiction genres. We link our genres to our Cornerstones topics to ensure our children are really immersed in their topic and because the children have the prior knowledge, they can really focus on the writing skills.
Our Spelling lists for each year group follow the National Curriculum 2014. We have weekly spelling lessons and spelling tests.
Speaking and Listening opportunities are vast and varied across the school, with children taking part in a range of activities to enhance their conversational skills. Children are also encouraged to participate in assemblies, plays and during speech and drama lessons.