English at Essendon Primary School is one of the cornerstones of our entire curriculum. We want all children to be excellent communicators, to listen actively and to speak with confidence. High-quality texts are placed at the heart of all we do and are used as key drivers for our topic based learning. These high-quality texts are embedded across our learning to immerse our children in a vocabulary rich environment.
The school predominately uses the CLPE (Center for Literacy in Primary Education) planning approach to develop both high-quality writing and a love of reading. The CLPE’s ‘Power of Reading’ approach sees the pupils enjoy a range of books, genres and authors in an effort to develop and enhance a positive reading culture within the school. This is supported within our whole-school reading scheme, which uses the Oxford Reading Tree book bands, to engage and support our children through our school.
At Essendon, writing has a high profile in the curriculum and opportunities for writing are frequent and varied. Writing forms a key part of all subjects across the curriculum, with all children get the opportunity to write for a extended periods each week. We use a clear learning sequence when writing. We use our model text as the starting point to engage, exemplify and practice skills before progressing into extended writing episodes; this includes opportunities for drafting, editing and publishing writing.
Phonics is an integral part of our daily teaching in Early Years and Key Stage One. By Year 1, we predominantly use the teaching sequences and approaches created by 'Phonics Play' to deliver a systematic, engaging and positive approach to phonics. Phonics Play follows the letters and sounds program, with sessions almost entirely made up from games, songs and actions as they work through the phonic phases. These sessions only last for 15-20 minutes per day, where children are grouped based on the phases they are working on.