English lessons at Courthill Infant School develop children’s spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary. The English curriculum is delivered using an integrated topic approach, where the children are the driving force and inspiration of how this looks each academic year. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently as well as to take turns and ask questions.
Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely. Our whole school approach ensures their love of reading is nurtured and developed. The children have access to a wide variety of texts to read, both in school and at home. Phonic awareness helps the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds. Children are taught phonics daily and work through the matched reading book band levels systematically. We follow the ‘Bug Club Reading Spine’ and grapheme teaching progression along with robust and thorough individual reading assessments to ensure reading books match the phonics that the children already know. We draw on a range of other bespoke resources to enrich teaching and learning for our children, ensuring that any resource follows the systematic teaching of phonic sounds.
Children read to an adult individually and as part of whole class reading sessions, where fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts are explored. Our reading sessions also develop the children’s comprehension skills. Parents are given clear expectations and guidance about reading at home and record this in a home/school reading log.
The children are taught to write through a variety of strategies, including supporting their grammar knowledge using ‘Courthill’s Grammar Shapes’ and some ‘Talk for Writing’ strategies. ‘Talk for Writing’ helps to develop children’s writing skills through imitation, innovation and independence. Alongside this, children experience lessons on grammar, punctuation, spelling and handwriting. We provide opportunities for writing for a range of purposes and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors. We promote the status of written work by providing opportunities for children’s writing to be celebrated and read by real audiences.. Children are taught to form their letters in daily handwriting sessions, using a print style (in accordance with the Reading Framework July 2021), and the children work through the different letter families in turn. When they are ready, children in year 2 are taught to how to join some letters and understand which are best left un-joined.
Our English leaders are Nadia Kazimirow and Shelley Wood. If you have any questions, please contact us via the school office.