Here at Trinity School, English is central to the entire curriculum as it is key to all learning. It is through speaking, listening, reading and writing that children learn to understand the world in which they live. We aim to foster and develop in each child, an ability to communicate effectively in oral and written contexts, with confidence and flair. This will allow them to enjoy reading for knowledge as well as pleasure and to write with a sense of purpose and audience.
At Trinity, English is taught by highly skilled and passionate members of staff. Teachers reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in English. Great importance is placed on reading and developing in all of our children, that important, life-long love of reading. The teaching of English at Trinity places children’s literature at its core. Children build a literary repertoire; exploring a range of literary texts and developing a knowledge of unique and significant authors as they move throughout the school.
The use of high quality literature is important at Trinity School . We believe it expands horizons, opening minds to concepts and themes such as love, war and justice to develop a sense of empathy, as well as providing vital insights into historical settings with geographical and scientific knowledge woven within as part of the narrative.
At Trinity, we offer a multi-sensory approach to the teaching of reading and a variety of reading schemes are used in school including Oxford Reading Tree, Oxford Project X and Collins Big Cat. In Reception and Year 1, children are taught to read through phonetically decodable reading books supported by daily high quality phonics lessons.
In Years 2 -6, children take part in whole class reading of age appropriate, stimulating, challenging texts to develop their vocabulary and continue to build on their reading and comprehension skills whilst fostering that all important love of reading. Children are immersed in high quality texts through highly ef-fective questioning based on focused reading domains to develop their skills of prediction, inference, retrieval, sequencing , authorial choice and understanding vocabulary.
Phonics is taught using the “Letters and Sounds” scheme. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills and to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills with the aim of children becoming fluent readers by age seven. Through daily phonics sessions, children become confident in the skills of blending and segmenting and are able to access the wonderful world of reading for pleasure and enjoyment.
Recent English events/ activities:
- All classes have access to our school library .
- Every Friday, different classes share their love of reading by reading poems, story extracts, nursery rhymes and facts and information with the whole school using the school’s internal tannoy system.
- Each March we take part in World Book Day celebrations.
- We have English themed celebrations in our, Let Your Light Shine Brightly assembly, where children’s reading and writing talents are shared with the whole school and parents.
- The children are engaged in language development though drama and role play opportunities throughout the year. All children take part in performances involving speaking and acting to an audience ranging from school nativities, reading in church, singing in the community and of course our renowned summer production!
- There is a themed whole school reading display, where children can nominate for books of choice to be added.
- All classes are read to daily by a teacher.
- Class books are displayed in each class.
- Annual theatre company performance of a pantomime.
Planned English events / activities to maintain children’s interest and involvement in English:
- Annual Readathon;
- Publishing an annual themed poetry book
- A ‘Selfie Wall’ where our children write a biography to go underneath their picture.
- Planned author / poet workshop
- Planned theatre trip
- Children in years Year Five and Six classes recounting tales from their residential school visits.
The English national curriculum (2014) states that: ‘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 language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.’
We believe the exposure of children’s literature within the primary school setting is vital as a rich context for learning; not only within English as a subject but to support building a reading culture throughout the school.
By placing books at the core, we are allowing teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the national curriculum.
The national curriculum states that: ‘‘This guidance is not intended to constrain or restrict teachers’ creativity, simply to provide the structure on which they can construct exciting lessons.’
Planning sequences are taught so that objectives are covered more than once and children have opportunities to apply these several times over the course of a year, as well as to consolidate prior knowledge from previous years.