At St. Gregory’s we aim to provide children with a broad and balanced English curriculum. We have adopted an exciting thematic approach to English which integrates speaking and listening, reading and writing skills.
Speaking and Listening
The four strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.
Pupils learn to speak clearly and think about the needs of their listeners. The children work in small groups and as a class to contribute to and lead discussions in a range of contexts. The children share relevant points, ideas and justify their decisions. The children also learn to listen carefully to what others have said in order to respect their point of view and summarise what has been discussed. The children are encouraged to use language in imaginative ways and to express their ideas and feelings throughout role-play and drama activities.
Writing has a significant role within the English curriculum at St. Gregory’s. The children are taught to recognise that writing is an essential tool that can be both enjoyable and useful. The children are encouraged to write in a variety of different text types across a range of curriculum subjects.
Pupils are taught to spell and punctuate accurately using neat legible joined handwriting. The children learn the main rules and conventions of written English and start to explore how the English language can be used to express meaning in different ways. They use the planning, drafting and editing process to improve their work and to sustain their fiction and non-fiction writing.
Children are challenged to explore vocabulary critically across all subjects and develop a thirst for new language and finding a use for it in their work. The banner below links to some of our words games...
At St. Gregory’s we encourage children to read for interest and pleasure with a view to them becoming lifelong readers. We share high quality intriguing texts as a class and in groups.
Initially pupils are taught to decode words phonetically and recognise high frequency words within sentences. The children comment on what they have read and respond in a variety of different ways. As their fluency and accuracy develops the children read a range of challenging texts. The children are encouraged to analyse the text in more detail, reflecting upon author choices, themes and the use of language.
Early Years Foundation Stage and KS1
In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, the children follow a synthetic, systematic phonics programme. The daily structured phonic sessions teach children to recognise phonemes (units of sound) and blend phonemes together in order to read words. The children are able to apply these taught skills (and many other skills) during ‘guided reading sessions’ in class, where they are taught to read and interpret texts, and also when sharing their reading books at home with their families.
EYFS and KS1 Home Reading Scheme
Each week the children bring home banded books from a variety of reading schemes. In order to practise their reading with support and encouragement from parents the children are encouraged to read every night at home. The books that are set home are selected according to each child’s ability and each child progresses through the scheme at their own appropriate rate.
Paul Cookson - our official 'Patron of Reading'
EYFS and KS1 Guided Reading Scheme
In addition to decoding, the children are taught how to understand, interpret and respond to what is written in the books they read during guided reading sessions. The children follow the Phonic Bug and Bug Club schemes.
KS2 Home Reading Scheme
When it is deemed appropriate, the children move from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme onto the Pearson Levelled Reading Scheme, which is supplemented by additional classic titles. The children take home reading books to practise reading with expression and understanding and to develop sustained reading as their ability develops. Continued parental support and encouragement with reading and discussing books is vital, even when children can read fluently.
Sean Perkins local author visits our KS1 children!
KS2 Guided Reading Scheme
Pupils continue reading through the various schemes in the juniors with many supplementary texts to deepen their understanding of the written word.
Our school also seeks to promote reading for pleasure through:
• a newly refurbished, well-stocked, welcoming and regularly used library
• a Fantastic Book Club (FBA) at which children meet to read new books and vote for their favourites;
• trained pupil librarians who give their input into library development issues and advise their peers with book suggestions;
• links with the local town library.
Click the image below to access our school's magazine that celebrates all things reading - 'Eat, Sleep, Read, Repeat'.