English

Reading, writing, speaking and listening together form the key components of human communication. We learn from one another through our ability to communicate, and so it is undeniably true that English lies at the heart of all learning at Sandgate.



Reading

Reading is the door to creativity, to visualisation and to greater knowledge; it is the gateway to fantastic, impossible realms, planets and worlds. Research tells us that children who read for pleasure on a daily basis develop a wider vocabulary, greater general knowledge and a far better understanding of other cultures. It is perhaps one of the single most important factors in a child’s development. Naturally, we therefore believe that it is every child’s right to learn to read, but we hope that our children go far beyond this to develop a true love and pleasure for reading.

Through discrete phonics sessions that follow Letters and Sounds, one-to-one reading with an adult and the reading workshop, we teach our youngest children how to decode the written word, whilst building a greater understanding of comprehension as children develop through listening to books being read aloud, investigating them together in guided groups, or working together as a class on shared activities. We develop greater understanding through detailed exploration of whole books, short texts, art work, videos and music, encouraging children to play an active role in the reading process through an understanding of what makes a ‘good comprehender.’ Staff are reading roles models who demonstrate and encourage a love for reading, and children have access to a wide variety of reading materials through the school library, visiting authors, book fairs and the carefully selected texts used in the teaching of English. 

Through the use of Accelerated Reader, staff are able to more easily track the progress of children throughout the year, ensuring that each child is supported and challenged to read at their appropriate level, whilst also celebrating progress both in class and on a whole school level.

Through discrete phonics sessions, one-to-one reading with an adult and the reading workshop, we teach our youngest children how to decode the written word, whilst building a greater understanding of comprehension as children develop through listening to books being read aloud, investigating them together in guided groups, or working together as a class on shared activities. We develop greater understanding through detailed exploration of whole books, short texts, art work, videos and music, encouraging children to play an active role in the reading process through an understanding of what makes a ‘good comprehender.’ Staff are reading roles models who demonstrate and encourage a love for reading, and children have access to a wide variety of reading materials through the school library, visiting authors, book fairs and the carefully selected texts used in the teaching of English. 

Through the use of Accelerated Reader, staff are able to more easily track the progress of children throughout the year, ensuring that each child is supported and challenged to read at their appropriate level, whilst also celebrating progress both in class and on a whole school level.

Please click here for a Parent’s Guide to Accelerated Reader.

Writing – Talk 4 Writing

Following the success of a two year project with internationally renowned author, Pie Corbett, we are proud to be a Talk 4 Writing school. From the earliest stages of emergent writing in the Foundation Stage, we aim to foster a true love of storytelling and writing through the joy it is able to bring; it is an ethos that permeates through our school all the way to the accomplished and confident writers that leave us at the end of Year 6. We recognise the role that ‘talk’ plays in our understanding of the written word and so, through ‘Talk for Writing,’ children are regularly given opportunities to listen to and retell stories and non-fiction texts. Through retelling texts, using actions (if you want to use these at home to encourage interactive storytelling, some of the actions can be found by clicking Talk for Writing Actions) or drama to help internalise patterns, children are able to first imitate, but then innovate and invent their own version of a text; these stages of writing form the basis upon which all of our writing units are taught. Children are supported in their ability to innovate upon a known text through shared and guided writing, whilst the invention stage teaches children the subtleties of an author’s craft. Staff set individual targets from a ‘Cold Task’ which show precisely what children are already able to achieve; when combined with effective feedback marking, these targets directly involve pupils in their continued progress whilst informing future planning for individuals and groups. Children are encouraged to reflect on their own learning, and the learning of their peers, and to edit and improve their writing as a direct result.

We believe that all children should take pride in their learning and so we ensure that children have opportunities to show what they can really do, providing them with the opportunity to create a piece of learning which they can be truly proud of. A totally independent ‘Hot Task’ at the end of a unit of writing allows children to demonstrate all that they have learned, both with regards to their targets and beyond, whilst ‘short burst’ writing offers children the opportunity to revisit previous text-types. Our displays serve as an exhibition of the very best learning, allowing children to share what they have achieved with the rest of our school community.

Spelling, punctuation and grammar forms an even more important role in the English curriculum than ever before. We believe that a secure understanding of these aspects is incredibly important to develop a true conceptual understanding of English. However, we also strongly believe that children are entitled to a rich, varied and stimulating learning experience and so our teaching of Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is embedded within our teaching of writing. Through careful planning from the very beginning of the year, we introduce new punctuation or grammar concepts when it is best placed to support children’s writing at that time, whilst spelling forms a constant and frequent part of our practice. Through the introduction of the Spelling Wheel in KS2, children are given creative strategies for learning how to spell new vocabulary, which forms an important part of our Home Learning.

Throughout the school year, we encourage our whole school community to get involved in a range of events to celebrate our love of English, with an intention of creating lifelong lovers of reading and writing.

Just a few of these opportunities include –

  • Local or national writing competitions
  • Book week and PJ night
  • World Book Day
  • Reading Together Events
  • Attending the Folkestone Book Festival
  • Assemblies led by the English team
  • Visiting authors
  • Visits to and from local secondary schools
  • Reading mentors
  • Summer Reading Challenge

English Curriculum

Please click below to view the curriculum for each year group:

Foundation Stage
Year One
Year Two
Year Three
Year Four
Year Five
Year Six