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English

“You can find magic wherever you look.  Sit back and relax, all you need is a book." 

Dr Seuss 

English is central to our curriculum and every child’s learning journey. Reading, writing and discussion allow us to communicate our ideas, thoughts and feelings and interact with others. It is essential in order for children to participate positively in society. A competent grasp of literacy enables children to flourish in their academic potential and beyond.

Our curriculum develops a pathway from early reading and writing to year 6, where the children have a range of opportunities to become literate and confident readers and writers.

We want the children to see themselves, their community and others reflected in the literature we read and teach. Reflecting diversity in our curriculum and book choices prepares our children to participate in society with kindness and understanding.

Reading 

When children learn to read, they unlock the ability to acquire knowledge and to access a world of exploration and imagination. They can deepen their knowledge on subjects and follow their own interests as well as providing a gateway to a limitless world of adventures.  We want to foster a lifelong love of reading.

At Michael Faraday we believe books are mirrors and windows. As mirrors, children should see themselves in books and be able to relate to the text, which helps to create belonging.  As windows, it is vital that the books the children read reflect the rich diversity of the society we live in and help the children to learn about the lives of others through literature. 

In Key Stage 2, we follow a whole class reading approach.  The aim of this approach is to get the most out of a quality text, to expand pupils' vocabulary and deepen their understanding of the texts they are reading. 

In the EYFS and Key Stage 1, we follow the Little Wandle approach for teaching reading.  

We have a school library and the children are given opportunities to read for pleasure. 

Writing

Writing is paramount for children to express their ideas and develop their thinking process. We want the children to write for a reader and know that all writing is a means of communication. We often use real texts as a 'hook' or starting point and we use the Talk for Writing approach to teach writing.  

Talk for Writing has three key phases which work together to develop knowledge, confidence and independence in writing: 

  • ‚Äčimitation: pupils learn and internalise texts, to identify transferrable ideas and structures)
  • innovation: pupils use these ideas and structures to co-construct new versions with their teachers
  • invention: teachers help pupils to create original texts independently). These tasks aim to improve writing ability by giving the children an understanding of the structure and elements of written language.

Speaking and listening

Language skills are closely linked to improved life chances and social mobility and therefore speaking and listening is a focus in everything that we do to enable children to be able to express themselves clearly.  Language matters for behaviour and well-being too, as researchers have found two thirds of young offenders, when assessed, were found to have significant but previously unidentified speech, language and communication difficulties.  In school, we give the children a real reason for purposeful talk across the curriculum.  

Phonics

We begin teaching phonics in the EYFS, and children are taught according to 'Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised." 

Below are overview documents from the phonics programme.  They show the order the sounds and tricky words are taught during Reception and Year 1.