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The Oaks Primary School

From Little Acorns Grow Mighty Oaks


The English Curriculum


The aims for English, as set out in the new National Curriculum are to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.


The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure pupils:

  • Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • Acquire  a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentation, demonstrating to others and participating in debates


The National Curriculum in England (September 2013)


At the Oaks Primary School our aim is to develop pupils’ abilities within an integrated programme of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, with a high focus on basic skills in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Pupils will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills. English is split into three areas as defined by the National Curriculum – the spoken word, reading and writing.





At the Oaks, teachers use a range of techniques to engage children in the literacy lesson. Visual literacy, enlarged texts, books or pictures are used at the start of a unit of work to stimulate and enable children to experience what they will be writing about. Drama and role play are also used to encourage interactive learning and promote the children’s imagination, as an aid to scaffolding their writing. At the start of the writing process children are exposed to many samples of the writing genre, this fundamental stage provides the opportunity to introduce children to a specific genre form, enabling them to capture ideas and secure understanding. As the writing process continues, the teacher models writing and undertakes shared and guided writing to develop the children’s knowledge and skills, in readiness for the independent writing they then undertake.


 During the literacy lesson the teacher will engage the whole class in shared reading or writing focussing on specific skills to be developed. The children then work in groups or individually, on independent activities differentiated by the teacher according to ability. In addition to the Literacy lessons, teachers plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum.


Children are grouped for spelling and are taught a range of strategies to help them to spell unfamiliar or irregular words. They will bring home weekly spelling lists to learn and these are posted on the web-site.





We aim to develop confident, fluent readers who enjoy a variety of literature and who can critically evaluate a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction. This is supported by our library, class and home readers. Reciprocal Reading strategies are used to support guided reading. Reciprocal Teaching is a guided reading comprehension strategy that encourages children to develop the skills that effective readers and learners do automatically: summarise, question, clarify, predict and respond to what they are reading. In guided reading sessions, ability grouped children engage with texts that provide opportunities to assess children in all areas of their reading. As well as guided reading children are encouraged to take home books to share with parents and teachers read daily to the whole class.


Accelerated Reader - All children from Year 2 to Year 6 have access to Accelerated reader. They independently read for 15 - 20 minutes everyday. This helps to build fluency and a love of reading. The children take mini quizzes related to their personal choice of books. 



Speaking and Listening


The four strands of Speaking and Listening: Speaking; Listening; Group discussion and Interaction and Drama permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to talk and listen for a range of purposes, across the curriculum. Through group and class activities children explain, explore and develop their talk repertoire for different purposes and audiences. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.





At The Oaks Primary School, The Letters and Sounds programme is used for the teaching of phonics. Phonic teaching starts in Nursery and has a systematic delivery and assessment programme that can be used through the Foundation Stage and KS1. It is a statutory requirement that towards the end of Year One, children take a phonic screening test, those who do not meet the 80% threshold in the test, will be required to take the test again in Year Two.