English is at the heart of everything we do at Cestria – from reading and writing to speaking and listening. It is integral to our school curriculum and is taught both discreetly as a subject and across the wider curriculum.
Phonics and Reading:
We use the DFE validated Read, Write Inc programme in daily lessons across Reception and Year 1. The practical, fun approach really motivates the children and they soon begin to blend and segment their letters – it’s such a delight to see our little ones begin to read and a whole world of literature open up to them. As they progress through school, our vast range of Oxford Reading Tree books offers our children a rich and varied world of books covering all genres and styles of writing. This is further expanded by our investment in the online Reading Buddy system which children can access at home. Parents are encouraged to support their children in the comfort of their own homes and to share their love of reading together.
Storytime is a special time in our day across school. A dedicated time where teachers share books with their children – a time to listen, join in and immerse themselves in stories, books and rhymes to develop their knowledge of the wonderful world of literature. Our older children in KS2 enjoy studying their class novel, experiencing a breadth of genres across a range of authors.
Ultimately, our main aim is for our children to develop a real love of reading. Our fabulous reading hub provides a space to do just this – a vibrant and comfortable space stocked with a range of books where children can relax and immerse themselves in a good book.
Our approach to English lessons:
We follow the Hamilton Trust blocks for teaching English across school. Hamilton offers a selection of units of study. As we want to engage and motivate our children, our teachers have carefully selected each unit to best meet the needs and interests of their classes. Each unit focuses on a particular text or group of related texts across all genres.
As the unit builds, the children record their work in their English books and culminates with a piece of writing which reflects their learning. Our children are very proud of their work – quite rightly so!
In order to be brilliant at spelling, we believe it must be a focus every day. Every class has a daily session to focus to teach spelling rules following the Purple Mash scheme.
Day 1 – Slideshow and quiz (Purple Mash resources)
Day 2 – Dictation (Purple Mash resources)
Day 3 – Look, say, cover, write, check (Purple Mash resources)
Day 4 – Common exception word/ Statutory spelling list focus
What a difference 10 minutes a day can make!