English

We use a variety of teaching and learning styles in our lessons. Children have opportunities to study a wide range of texts and use a range of resources to support their work.

Following a number of extensive pre-reading experiences, our children are taught a variety of methods to read and understand progressively more demanding material. We have book areas in each class so that from their first days in school children are encouraged to want to take part in reading activities. We aim to foster love and respect for books and to encourage children to aspire to become better, more confident readers, and to rehearse the reading of more challenging texts. Our books are chosen for their quality of text and illustrations, and for their appeal to children. Books are put into ‘book bands’; colour coded so that the level of challenge in the books is appropriate for each reader.  At Key Stage 1 we also use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.

We use Letters and Sounds to teach a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonics.  It aims for children to develop fluent word reading skills and have good foundations in spelling by the end of key Stage 1.

Download the  ‘Year 1 Phonics Screening Check’ Presentation

Download the  ‘How we teach Phonics at Barrs Court’ Presentation and Workshop Handout

The English Curriculum

The English Curriculum covers the following areas:

  • Spoken language
  • Phonics (Sounds)
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Please see below for the specific requirements for each year group. These are the Age Related Expectations (A.R.Es) children will be working to achieve as they move through the school.

Year 1                   Year 2                   Year 3 and 4              Year 5 and 6

     
Key Word Games   Guided Reading
Children play games to help them learn their key words.   Throughout the school children read in small groups with an adult to focus on specific reading skills.

 

Communication is the vital key to understanding. A school focus is the speaking and listening skills of our children, with many opportunities for drama. Here are some examples of the drama the children have been doing.

 

     
Story Maps   Audio Stories
Children use storymaps as a visual aid alongside specific actions to retell stories.   Children enjoy listening to stories on CD before taking on the characters and re-enacting the story.
     
     
Freeze frames   Glove Puppets and Shadow Theatre
Individual children or groups represent characters at a significant moment. Sequential frames can be used to represent the key events in a story.   Children use puppets to make and tell stories. children can reflect on their use of language and voices.
     
     
Telephone conversations   Hot Seating
Children act in role of characters from a story for example. Usually done back to back, children could be asked to pass on information, discuss a problem or describe an event.   Hot seating involves the calss in asking questions of someone in role as a character, fictional or historical who sits in the ‘hot seat’.
     
     
Barrier games – giving and receiving instructions.   Conscience Alley
Children sit back to back. One child (speaker) gives clear information/ explicit instructions to the listener. The listener has to ask questions to help understanding and gain information. For example, speaker has to describe object, picture, character or setting that the listener has to draw. Alternatively a speaker can give directions from one map while the listener draws the route on a blank version of the same map.   This involves one child in role as a particular character walks down the ‘alley’. Children voice the character’s thoughts for and against a particular decision or action the character is facing, acting as his/her conscience.

Online support for English

Please find below a list of useful English educational websites to aid your child’s home learning in a fun and engaging wa!.

Phonics

Top Marks – Phonics

Top Marks – Learning to read

Mr Thorne does Phonics

Letters and Sounds

Phonics Play

BBC Deep Sea Phonics

BBC Words and Pictures

Alphablocks Guide to Phonics

Writing

Talk for Writing

Story writing tips

Crickweb KS1

Crickweb KS2

Top Marks Literacy Foundation Stage

Top Marks KS1

Top Marks KS2

Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling

Top Marks KS1

Top Marks KS2

Wacky Webtales (Great for learning parts of speech)

Speak and Spell

BBC Spelling and Grammar

Reading

Oxford Owl (Access to 250 free e-books) 

The Summer Reading Challenge

Roald Dahl

Please be aware that these websites are external to the school and we are not responsible for their content or advertising.

Bi-annually we hold a ‘Book Week’

Book Week is a biannual event and always a great success. We often invite storytellers and puppeteers into school who provide a rich stimulus and depth to our week.

Fantastic in-depth studies by each class are shared at the end of the week with the whole school in full costume.

Interactive displays are made posing questions and tasks for the rest of the school to do.