Curriculum Area: English

Subject Leads: Mrs Lenagan and Miss Fairhurst

Intent statement


At The Gates, English is at the heart of what we do. We believe that reading and writing open doors to other worlds, cultures, eras and experiences and allow children to express themselves in a variety of ways: prose, poetry, drama, debate and the sharing of opinions.

We have dedicated reading, writing and phonics lessons to ensure that children are taught the vital skills they need, whilst linking reading and writing to other curriculum areas, allowing children the opportunity to apply the skills they have learnt in different contexts and develop a well-rounded understanding of the curriculum.

Developing children’s understanding of key vocabulary is a priority at The Gates. This builds on the foundations of good phonics teaching, enabling children to read and write, using and applying the sounds that they have learnt.  We believe that a wide vocabulary base enables children to fully delve into all subjects and hold a firm understanding of their learning, whether it be scientific vocabulary, historical facts, geographical terms or language which enables them to express their thoughts, feelings and emotions.

We aim to instil a love of reading into all of our children. We use high quality texts as part of our reading curriculum and offer children the opportunity to read a wide range of authors whilst taking part in the 100 Book Challenge. Dedicated ‘reading for pleasure’ time each day provides children with the opportunity to delve into books which whisk them into other worlds and give them the opportunity to explore new adventures and journeys. Class novels with a link to Science, History or Geography are used to correspond with the children’s learning and embed a rich vocabulary into their everyday lives. We celebrate different authors and writing styles by regularly reviewing books, researching authors and illustrators and taking part in national book days. Reading is so important in helping our children to develop culturally, socially and emotionally as well as being able to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know. We encourage children to read widely in order to develop their imagination and begin to write as a reader.

We want children to be able to speak and write fluently. It is important for us that our children can communicate with others confidently and respectfully. We incorporate drama and speaking and listening activities into our writing units and children have multiple opportunities to perform their writing at the end of tasks. This provides children the ability to see their own writing come to life. Most of our writing links to other curriculum subjects which provides children with the opportunity to write from the perspective of people from different lands, different times and different mind-sets. This allows children to develop empathy, understanding, tolerance and see the world from a different viewpoint. Along with discreet spelling and grammar lessons, composition of writing is taught through looking at good examples, modelled and shared writing and using knowledge from other lessons and class novels to enhance their ideas.

We love to celebrate children’s English achievements through our high quality learning environment in a celebration of their work. Children also have the opportunity to reflect on their writing and state reasons why they are proud of it.

Reading and Writing at The Gates

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