At St Robert Southwell, we teach the English National Curriculum through the use of high quality texts. The skills are taught in units, based around a single text, or a group of linked texts. Reading and writing objectives will be explored through the text or texts. The children will experience a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, and will meet a variety of children’s authors.
Children are encouraged to read widely, and the class teachers use reading challenges to motivate the children to read as often as possible. In EY and KS1, the children progress through the ‘book bands’ (levelled texts) and the KS2 classrooms contain a variety of age appropriate books.
Writing is given a purpose, either linked to a text or real life. The children are immersed in texts, usually through a variety of reading and drama activities, before planning, writing and editing their own work.
The teaching of the grammar objectives is linked to texts or topics as often as possible, but will sometimes be taught discretely.
Phonics and Spelling
In EY and KS1 we use ‘Song of Sounds’ to teach phonics. The children have daily phonics sessions, and a longer session once a week in which they explore the phonics further through games and activities. In KS2 the children are taught the NC objectives and word lists using a multi-sensory approach.
The children are taught a fully cursive handwriting style from Reception.
We have an annual English immersion week. The theme varies each year. Our recent themes have been poetry, traditional tales, author studies (each class studying a book by the same author) and book studies (all classes studying the same book). The week is a highlight of the school year, and we try to incorporate cross curricular work, competitions, performances, mixed age activities, and we have even published our own school poetry book containing a poem by every child in the school.