English at Whitehouse Community Primary School
The study of English develops children's ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. Children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as of non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations. In addition, the skills of English are a key part of participating fully in society.
The aims of teaching English, as outlined in the National Curriculum (2014) are 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.
At our school, all pupils have targets to ensure the above requirements are both taught and regularly assessed.
At Whitehouse Community Primary School, children are taught to plan, investigate, produce, organise, edit and present writing appropriate to a variety of tasks, readers and purposes.
Children are taught key writing skills:
- Spelling – phonics; the use of spelling patterns; high frequency words
- Grammar – word classes, sentence development; standard English
- Vocabulary – building up word banks to transfer into writing; broadening vocabulary
- Composition – planning writing; articulating ideas and structuring them into written outcomes; editing and improving work
- Handwriting – formation of letters, letter joins.
Alongside this, children share key texts and are taught to write imaginatively using our bespoke ‘Enquiry Curriculum ‘as a stimulus. This involves immersing children in key questions that they can investigate and use in their own writing. They adapt the texts they are learning from; then write their own pieces, applying the skills learnt. Extended Write books showcase writing, producing a portfolio of work for each pupil and year group. As a school, we currently have a focus on improving handwriting and presentation in all our pupils’ books.
At Whitehouse Community Primary School, children are provided with opportunities to:
- Talk for a range of purposes.
- Communicate to different audiences
- Listen and respond to different people
- Observe and participate in dramatic activities
Opportunities to develop spoken language and listening skills are developed through activities in English lessons such as book talk and story maps.
Drama is used to provide speaking and listening skills, including opportunities for :
- Structured, imaginative play – within role play areas and elsewhere.
- Responding to familiar rhymes and games
- Inventing characters and exploring dialogue- with or without materials and props
- Exploring issues and dilemmas
- Participation in class and school productions
At Whitehouse Community Primary School, children are taught to read widely, fluently and confidently.
Children are taught the key reading skills of :
- word reading
- comprehension to enable them to answer a range of retrieval, inference, summary based questions
In KS1, the ability to decode words is taught through the use of the phonics scheme ‘Song of Sounds.’
Alongside this and across the school, children’s comprehension skills are taught through high quality discussions with teachers and teaching assistants, individual and group reading times and whole class reading activities. It is our aim to encourage children to learn to love reading and to read regularly outside of school. Schemes such as Renaissance Reading are used to encourage this reading for pleasure. Celebrations such as World Book Day are used to invite authors into school and promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books.
For more information about the National Curriculum for English in Primary Schools refer to :
The above document also contains a glossary of terms.