English at St. Paul’s develops our children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and communicate their ideas, views and feelings. It empowers children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively so that they can deepen and enrich their learning across the curriculum.
All of our children have access to a wide range of opportunities that are designed to maximise development and achieve the highest possible standards across the school. We have lots of exciting events each year such as World Book Day, Theatre Workshops, Far and Wide Puppets and the Dennis Little Reading Awards, all of which are designed to promote the love of English.
English is a core subject in the National Curriculum. We use the National Curriculum 2014 English Programmes of Study as the basis for implementing the statutory requirements of the new curriculum, alongside our core policies on the Curriculum, Learning and Teaching and Assessment.
At St Paul’s we encourage our children to read a variety of books and genres. Underpinning all teaching of reading is an emphasis on reading for pleasure, with an aim to enthuse all children with a love of books. In the early stages of reading, the children focus on letters and sounds, developing reading strategies to help them decode words and sentences. As they move through the school they pay close attention to punctuation and expression. Once in the upper end of the school, we encourage analytical readers who read between the lines and interpret the implied, focusing on the children’s comprehension.
In each year group, children are exposed to a range of poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts.Pupils first read and analyse a variety of texts within the text type, before developing their own ideas through drama and discussion, and finally drafting, editing and composing a piece of writing at the end of each unit. We write regularly, giving the children opportunity to reach personal goals and individual targets, developing their creativity,accuracy and personal style. Throughout the school years the children focus particularly on grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting, with an aim to develop a deeper understanding of the structures of the English language.
Wherever possible, we explore texts further with interactive video clips and software programmes, and we build writing opportunities through the use of ICT, especially using our iPads to locate e-books. Topics and text types are linked to a variety of wider subjects such as history and geography.
Letters and Sounds is used as the primary scheme for teaching phonics across EYFS, KS1 and beyond. For further information on the phonetic system, please follow this link:
Children begin in EYFS by working through The Oxford Reading Tree schemes: Songbirds, Floppy Phonics and Snapdragons. The schemes progress in difficulty, in relation to the decoding and comprehension skills they require from the child. Children are assessed by the class teacher and moved up through the stages within the schemes, when the teacher deems the child to be ready for their next reading challenge. Once the schemes have been completed, the children will become 'free readers' and are helped to choose their own books from our magnificent library.