A love for reading and writing is at the heart of our curriculum, as we believe it is our responsibility to enable children to communicate effectively, sensitively and with confidence. Children from Nursery to Year 6 are encouraged to do this through both the spoken and written word, with the aim of developing an excitement and enthusiasm for literature and language.
In the Early Years English is taught by their class teacher; this allows for continuous opportunities to reinforce skills and share our love of books and words. The teaching is topic-based, with a strong focus on literacy and incorporating stories, non-fiction texts and poetry. Emphasis is placed on the children being able to express themselves verbally and to use descriptive language effectively and creatively.
As children move into Year 3 and beyond they will be taught English by subject specialists. They have many opportunities to study books from the past, as well as present-day texts. Our work is based around good quality literature, so the pupils develop a knowledge and understanding of a range of fiction and factual texts, as well as poetry. Skills in reading, spelling, handwriting and the correct use of grammar and punctuation are continually reinforced. Every child in the School has regular access to the well-stocked library and having the opportunity to read every day helps foster a passion for reading.
As part of their preparation for the Kent Test and entrance to their next schools, we teach verbal reasoning skills in English lessons during Years 5 and Year 6. Having taken the tests, we then enrich and broaden the Year 6 curriculum through the teaching of thinking skills and work linked to the Year 6 play.
Children have the opportunity to approach the subject in many different ways through projects such as Literacy Week and the annual Poetry Speaking Competition. As well as author and poet visits, they perform and work on projects such as book-making, puppet shows and competitions.
“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” F Scott Fitzgerald