' English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development.'(National Curriculum 2014)
English sits at the heart of our curriculum – it is through language, story and text that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves. Through literacy, in all its forms, children learn to both make sense of the world and shape their place within it.
Across both writing and reading, we place a heavy emphasis on developing a child’s vocabulary. By the time children leave Year Six, the limited word hoard they arrived with in Reception will have expanded enormously, giving them the language they need to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.
We believe that reading is the vital link for children to become confident writers. We use high quality texts and follow a text-based teaching approach throughout the school to engage our learners. The books chosen offer opportunities to develop empathy and can aid philosophical enquiry and development of the spoken language requirements through debate, drama and discussion using the issues raised through, and within, the text. By placing books at the core, we allow teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the national curriculum.
Our chosen approach ensures that objectives for reading and writing, including those for grammar can have purpose.
Speaking and Listening
'Reading and writing float on a sea of talk' (Britton, 1971).
At St. George's the development of talk underpins all learning. Through targeted teaching of vocabulary and key knowledge, we aim to develop pupils who speak with confidence and clarity.
Through working together, in pairs and in small groups, children learn to:
Develop the language and social skills needed for cooperation and collaboration
Use exploratory language to try out ideas
Extend their ideas and share them with others
Stretch their language as they talk critically and constructively
Support and build on each other’s contributions;Take turns in discussion.