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Ghyllgrove Community Primary School &Resource Base for Deaf Children

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What we want to teach our children in English at Ghyllgrove

We aim to teach our children to read, write and speak fluently and confidently. We understand the importance of teaching English well to ensure that our pupils are able to communicate their ideas, emotions and opinions to others and learn about and understand other cultures, emotions and opinions through their own reading.

Our English curriculum is designed using the National Curriculum with the aim that our children will learn to:

  • read fluently and be able to understand what they read
  • love reading
  • read to find out new information
  • acquire and use a wide vocabulary in their spoken and written language to develop their communication skills.
  • Write clearly for a range of purposes and audiences using the correct and appropriate spelling, punctuation and grammar
  • Discuss their ideas clearly to others and speak confidently in public


How we teach English at Ghyllgrove

We understand the importance of Spoken Language in our children’s lives so throughout our curriculum there are many opportunities for children to discuss their ideas, explore others ideas and expand on them. Through shared writing scenarios we teach our children how to make their thinking clear to themselves and prepare their ideas before they write. Our reading lessons give time to saying our thoughts out loud and sharing them with each other. Within the curriculum there is time to present to others including class assemblies, year group performances, debating competitions, gallery exhibitions and drama lessons. We use collaborative learning opportunities regularly across our whole curriculum. Children are taught to use Standard English, achieved through the reading and study of good quality age-appropriate texts and modelled by adults within the school. The language pupils speak and hear is vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar, which in turn influences their reading and writing.


At Ghyllgrove, the teaching of reading is made up of two strands—word reading and comprehension.

Word reading is taught from Reception to the end of Year 2, using synthetic phonics following the RWI reading phonics scheme which enables children to decode and build words. Building from this foundation, we work with children to develop reading fluency. From year 1 – 4 explicit fluency lessons are planned which allow children to practise their fluency skills such as pace, expression and attending to punctuation. In Year 5 & 6 a mixture of fluency and reading theatre lessons help to further build on fluency skills to aid meaning and understanding.  Using a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and poetry, in weekly comprehension lessons children develop a variety of comprehension skills including: recalling information, inference, predicting, linking, summarising and understanding the author’s purpose and viewpoint and use of language, text organisation and clarifying. Children also analyse the class texts they read and the models for writing using the comprehension skills they have been taught to improve their own writing.


We promote and celebrate reading at home and in Reception and Year 1 children take home a book for their adult to share with them to develop and foster a love of reading.  Once children reach the appropriate level in RWI they take a book home for them to read with their adult at home which they record in their home school diaries.  Once children leave the RWI scheme they enter the school banded reading system.  Reading is key to helping children develop their imagination and creativity, which in turn can inspire their own writing.


Writing is taught through two strands—transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating and structuring ideas). We use class texts as a basis for writing composition at Ghyllgrove. Using strong models and a range of texts children are inspired to create their own writing. Children learn key writing skills in each year group and have a clear idea of the skills they will need to include in their writing each term and by the end of the year.  Within each unit children are taught to write for a purpose and audience by learning new grammatical and composition skills. Children are encouraged to edit and review their writing and publish it for different audiences and share their writing with other year groups and in assemblies.


Throughout the school children are taught to spell. Children are taught to use and apply their knowledge of phonics to spell phonetically regular words. Understanding root words, prefixes and suffixes and other components of words help children to spell more complex and phonetically irregular words as well as deriving the meaning of different vocabulary.


Using the Penpals handwriting resources we teach our children to form letters and numbers. In Reception and Year 1, children are taught to form lower and upper case letters and numbers accurately, moving on to joining letters in Year 2 and 3. By Year 4 children are expected to be using joined handwriting and developing a consistent and personal style as they move through the school into Year 6.


Children's work is marked regularly and teachers assess daily to ensure planning can be adapted to the needs of the children in their classes. Formal assessments take place termly which allows teachers to plan for future lessons and create more focused support for any children not keeping up.