Purpose of study
English is a key foundation to education and society. A high-quality education in English will teach children to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, children have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables children to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.
There are helpful downloads at the bottom of this page.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature and language through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary and an understanding of grammar and spelling
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate. All children listen courteously and value each other’s opinions.
Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We therefore ensure the continual development of children’s confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Children should develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. They must be assisted in making their thinking clear to themselves as well as to others and teachers should ensure that pupils build secure foundations by using discussion to probe and remedy their misconceptions. Children should also be taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.
All children should be enabled to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding associated with the artistic practice of drama. Children should be able to adopt, create and sustain a range of roles, responding appropriately to others in role. They should have opportunities to improvise, devise and script drama for one another and a range of audiences, as well as to rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.
At our School we focus on word reading and comprehension. We use a variety of teaching strategies to teach these aspects.
Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why we continue to teach phonics.
Good comprehension draws from knowledge of language (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. We develop comprehension skills through discussion with the teacher and peers, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. Children are encouraged to read widely. All children must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases children’s’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds children’s imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
It is essential that, by the end of Year 6, all children are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
In order for our children to read fluently, we encourage children to read regularly aloud at home and to discuss what they have read. We also encourage our children to read widely, including a variety of medias.
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).
Our teaching develops children’s ability in these areas. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.
Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: that is, on spelling quickly and accurately through knowing the relationship between sounds and letters (phonics) and understanding the word structure (morphology) and spelling structure (orthography) of words. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Writing also depends on fluent, joined, legible and, eventually, speedy handwriting, according to the school style of handwriting.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and glossary
For the content of the spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation please see below.
Opportunities for teachers to enhance children’s vocabulary arise naturally from their reading and writing. As vocabulary increases, we show pupils how to understand the relationships between words, how to understand nuances in meaning, and how to develop their understanding of, and ability to use, figurative language. We also teach pupils how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words and words with more than one meaning. References to developing pupils’ vocabulary are also included within the appendices.
Pupils should be taught to control their speaking and writing consciously and to use Standard English. They should be taught to use the elements of spelling, grammar, punctuation and ‘language about language’ listed.
Throughout the programmes of study, we should teach children the vocabulary they need to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language. It is important that pupils learn the correct grammatical terms in English and that these terms are integrated within teaching.
We use the National Curriculum genres. More information about the National Curriculum programme of study for English can be found on the GOV.UK website (link opens in a new tab).
Provision for More and Most Able Children
We plan a variety of opportunities to extend, enrich and enhance the learning of our more and most able children, so that they achieve to the best of their ability and make the best possible progress. Our approach to marking children’s work provides a further dimension of challenge.
Please see appendices for our genre mapping.
Helping your child to read
Everyone wants their child to do well in reading. Apart from that nightly bedtime story, you may be wondering about what else you could be doing to make sure that your child gets off to a good start. Similarly, once your child can read independently, how do you make sure that they enjoy and keep reading? This section of the site will talk about all the things you can do to encourage them (many of which you’re probably doing anyway).
There are huge numbers of fun games and activities you can do with your child that also practise reading and language skills and help to build confidence. Show your child how reading and writing plays an important part in the real world; reading the instructions for a board game, finding out about a place to visit, researching a new family pet and planning a party are examples.
Most children learn best when they are doing something for a real purpose and because they want to, so playing games is an easy way to support their learning. Unpack those ideas and encourage them.