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The English Curriculum

Our English lessons link very closely to our topic work in order to ensure that children are supported in being able to make links with and between skills, concepts and knowledge. They also support the children’s application of skills in a range of ways and contexts.

We are passionate about giving the children the chance to develop their writing skills across a range of genres and in many cross-curricular ways.


Reading

“The more you read

The more things you’ll know

The more you learn

The more places you’ll go”.

- Dr Seuss

Reading, and the ability to read, is a fundamental key to success. We value the development of reading skills very highly and in a range of ways. Our children share a great love of reading and this is actively promoted in many ways across the school. We have a wonderful library which is well stocked with a wide range of titles and the children are able to access this freely and independently. Our fantastic librarian, Mrs Law, is always on hand to support children in selecting and issuing books. She also works many different groups of children throughout the week, supporting some children in developing their confidence with reading and also enthusing children about her love of books and sharing high quality texts with children in a range of ways. At least once a year, we arrange author visits for the children. Please come and visit our library, you will be able to see some of the photographs of previous author visits and the fun that we’ve had!

Our English units of work are often based around a classic text, and we find that this really helps to develop the children’s understanding of authors and their craft.

We use the Accelerated Reader programme in School. This supports the children in selecting appropriate texts for their reading level but also enables children, parents and teachers to see how well children understand what they have read as the children take an online, comprehension based quiz upon completing a book. Accelerated Reader helps us to track how much children are reading and supports us in knowing when they are ready to be challenged further. We always look forward to celebrating with our “Word Millionaires”, children who have read one million words or more!

We value the use of ERIC as an approach to developing reading skills and the role that this plays in supporting children’s understanding of a text. This takes please in every class throughout the week and can be linked either to the class novel or another carefully selected text. We have a wonderful range of guided reading materials in school both in book and online format.


Writing

“Good writing is clear thinking made visible”  - Bill Wheeler

We ensure that children are supported in developing a secure understanding of a range of text types through exploring high quality examples and working together following talk for writing activities and shared, guided and modelled writing.  This enables the children to rehearse and develop their skills and ideas, before moving on to develop their independent writing.

Writing encompasses many different elements such as composition, grammar, punctuation, spelling, and handwriting.


Spelling

We use a range of strategies to support the development of children’s spelling skills. Within class children take part in a variety of games and activities to reinforce spelling rules and patterns. They also enjoy regular whole class based spelling activities.


Handwriting

Our children take pride in the presentation of their work and we use the ‘Penpals’  programme in both Cliff Park Infant and Junior Schools to support the development of neat, consistently formed, joined handwriting. The new English curriculum places a much greater emphasis upon the quality of children’s handwriting so this is a really important core skill for children to develop. We celebrate wonderful handwriting across the school and also recognise the achievements of those children who have made the most                                                            improvement in this area.


Grammar and Punctuation

Throughout their time at the Junior School, children are taught a wide range of grammar and punctuation devices in order to support their writing development. We place a great emphasis upon creating lots of opportunities for children to practise applying these skills in their everyday writing. Each half term, the children take an informal grammar, spelling and punctuation test which, along with our teacher assessments, helps us to keep track of what they can do and need to do next. 

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