English has a very high profile at Grayshott Church of England Primary School. It is an integral part of all subjects taught. We place the learning of the key skills of English at the heart of our teaching, but we also believe in delivering this through a creative and innovative curriculum which incorporates role play, drama and speaking and listening techniques.
Drawing on excellent subject knowledge, teachers plan and set challenging tasks based on systematic accurate formative assessment of children’s prior knowledge skills and understanding. Through carefully planned teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar we ensure children have the technical skills to support their creativity in writing. We provide opportunities for children to write for a real purpose and audience. Regular guided reading and writing sessions ensure all children are challenged and supported as they take the next important steps in their learning. We provide carefully matched learning opportunities to ensure that every child is able to engage with the English curriculum at the appropriate level and pace. Children receive clear and regular feedback about what they do well and what they need to do next to continue to be successful with English skills; children are given time to act on the feedback.
We work hard to foster a love of reading in our children. We want them to experience the thrill of opening a new book, share the feelings it evokes and cast a critical eye on its content. Quality texts form the basis of English lessons and include poetry, fiction and non-fiction. These texts inspire investigation, creativity and learning in other curriculum areas too. We have a well-stocked library which the children regularly access, be it reading for pleasure or choosing books to support their learning.
We use ‘Jolly Phonics’ (a systematic synthetic phonics programme) to support the delivery of the statutory Letters and Sounds programme, starting on entry at the Early Years Foundation Stage and progressing through KS1. This enables all children to blend and segment effectively and apply these skills in reading and spelling. All children are taught phonics discretely and will learn in ability groups until they have mastered the phonic skills needed to succeed in all areas of literacy.
Using Cambridge PenPals Handwriting programme, we teach a cursive script from Year 1 onwards which ensures children have a neat and fluent style of handwriting, now a statutory requirement from Year 2 onwards.
We strive to make all our children independent learners, resilient, resourceful and reflective, ensuring they have the skills to face new experiences and relish a challenge. We firmly believe that this approach enables children to leave our school with the necessary English skills to allow them to access and assimilate new information as they continue on their learning journeys.
Incorporating British Values into our English Curriculum
We are dedicated to promoting values that ensure our children develop a strong sense of social and moral responsibility, tackling prejudice and promoting equality. Children have the opportunity to work independently and as a team to build resilience and self-esteem through a range of tasks. We encourage children to be respectful of each other’s abilities, ideas and views.