Knowledge of English, and a command of the spoken and written word, is an essential resource for a child’s learning in school. It is a tool used across the whole school curriculum, as well as being a subject in its own right.
At Etz Chaim we use high-quality texts and immerse children in vocabulary rich learning environments. Through our approach, we aim to enable our children to become literate and develop a love of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening.
The National Curriculum divides English into five strands: Speaking and Listening, Reading, Writing, Spelling and Handwriting.
Speaking and Listening
Our children develop their capacity to express themselves effectively for a variety of purposes. This is fostered through guided groups with adult support and consolidated through learning across the curriculum. The children have opportunities to listen and respond to high-quality texts, give opinions, respond to instructions and questions, describe experiences and feelings and express themselves or the role of a character through drama. Children are also provided with opportunities to compose, recite and perform poetry.
Children learn not just the mechanics of reading, but to become accomplished, comprehending readers; developing the habit of silent reading and a love of reading for life. Each class has a designated reading area to help promote the love and high importance that reading holds in our school. These reading areas provide opportunities for children to support their learning with topic related content, but also are inviting children to enter a peaceful calm relaxing space within the classroom.
Our reading books are banded and are matched to reading abilities and interests all the way up to Year 6. The schemes we use, including Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree and Read Write Inc., incorporate fiction and non-fiction texts, poetry, play scripts and comics. We also have an amazing school library which houses a range of different genres and caters for all children from Reception to Year 6.
Guided reading is also an integral part of our English curriculum, where groups of children work with a teacher or independently, exploring the meaning of the texts being read. Children are read with frequently by reading volunteers and members of staff.
Please click here for our Reading Progression Document.
From Reception, Phonics is taught through the use of Read Write Inc. scheme, and this is then continued through the school until the children are fluent readers. Phonics is a systematic approach to understanding the sounds of the English language. Each session is fun and immersive, eventually allowing children to read fluently and accurately.
Please click here to watch some informative videos on the Read Write Inc. YouTube channel, including how to pronounce the sounds correctly as well as information on the phonics screening check.
Please click here for our Phonics Progression Document.
As the children mature, they develop a growing ability to write in different styles, for different audiences and purposes, e.g. stories, diaries, letters, invitations, captions, posters, plans, reporting on projects and poetry.
Emphasis is laid upon drafting, as a process to encourage children to improve the construction, spelling and layout of their written work. All classes have access to computers, which are also used to develop the children’s writing when required. Much of their writing is developed from the use of high quality literature, as the children respond to plot, character, illustration and ideas.
The handwriting scheme ‘Nelson Handwriting’ is used from Year 2 onwards after perfecting their letter formation through the Read Write Inc. scheme.
With the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly across the school, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them. The teaching can then focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills. This can be applied to writing across the curriculum, including in Jewish Studies.
Please click here for our Writing Progression Document.
The English curriculum has a big emphasis on spelling, punctuation and grammar (also known as SPaG). SPaG is taught across the whole school and each year will develop pupil’s knowledge and build on previous learning. We use fun, engaging and practical activities to support the children’s learning.
Please click here to view the spelling appendix for Year 1
Please click here to view the spelling appendix for Year 2
Please click here to view the spelling appendix for Year 3
Please click here to view the spelling appendix for Year 4
Please click here to view the spelling appendix for Year 5
Please click here to view the spelling appendix for Year 6