The mains aims for the teaching of English in primary schools is written below in an extract taken directly from the new National Curriculum;

The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature 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, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • 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.

To ensure that the children have an opportunity to develop their skills in all of the above areas, we have adopted the Talk for Write approach to our literacy teaching. Through Talk for Write, children are taught a text from a specific genre and learn if off by heart before adapting it so they can produce their own work. This approach has proved to be a popular and successful way of teaching literacy across the country. To ensure that we are meeting all of the grammatical, spelling, punctuation and composition objectives of the new curriculum, we also teach specific skills to the children which they can then apply in their independent writing.

Watch the video below of Talk 4 Writing in action by our Year 5s! 

Reading sessions which focus on a specific reading skill are also included in the structure of our writing units which supplement the guided reading sessions that take place every day in Key Stage Two and the one on one reading sessions that take place in Key Stage One.

English Glossary of Terms

With the increased focus on grammar, punctuation and spelling, some key terms are now being used in school that as adults we may be unfamiliar with. Please use this link to a glossary of terms for the English programmes of study within the National Curriculum. 

Phonics

Phonics is taught daily across Key Stage 1 using a structured multi sensory approach. This means that we make sure that the children have the opportunity to hear, see and feel the sounds and letters. The children are taught pure sounds (‘b’ rather ‘buh’) to help them decode words that they see and quickly build those sounds, blending them together to make simple words. At the same time as learning to read the letters, the children are also taught how to write them too. Some words cannot be blended together phonetically so we teach these words separately.

We consolidate our knowledge with lots of games, encouraging the children to think about the sounds that they can hear and the combinations of letters needed to make these sounds.

We follow the Letters and Sounds Programme and more information about this can be found at: http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/

Our expectations of progress through the programme is as follows: 

PhasePhonic Kowledge and Skills
Phase One (Nursery/Reception) Activities are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.
Phase Two (Reception) up to 6 weeks Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. Beginning to read simple captions.
Phase Three (Reception) up to 12 weeks The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the "simple code", i.e. one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase Four (Reception) 4 to 6 weeks No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.
Phase Five (Throughout Year 1) Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase Six (Throughout Year 2 and beyond) Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.