English provides the communication skills fundamental to functioning effectively on a personal, social, educational and professional basis. In recognition of this, English provides the mainstay of the school curriculum at Oxon School.
Our commitment to the teaching of English skills throughout the school reflects our belief that all children should have the tools necessary to progress their own learning at school across a range of subject areas and beyond.
Our aim is for all pupils to become confident, fluent readers who can write imaginatively using grammatically correct English, correct spelling and a neat, fluent handwriting style. They should be encouraged to be confident and competent in spoken language and listening skills.
The English curriculum has three distinct strands.
- Spoken Language
Spoken language is developed in each year group using a range of activities. Cross-curricular work is often a focus for quality spoken language, which in turn supports the development of reading and writing.
Phonics work is based on a systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. It is used daily from the Early Years Foundation Stage throughout key stage 1 and into lower key stage 2 (if appropriate) in a structured way. It provides an understanding of phonics and key words and their use in reading and writing.
Reading is central to English work in school, with the aim for all children being able to read fluently and with confidence, in any subject by the time they leave Oxon school. Children are encouraged to develop a 'love' of reading. Once teachers are confident in a child's ability to decode, they are provided with opportunities to read widely and often from carefully selected, quality, age-appropriate texts. Individual reading materials are carefully graded by reading levels known as ‘Book Bands’. Books are selected from a number of different commercial sources. ‘Real’ books are included in the ‘Book Bands’. Across the school, the children are encouraged to develop the habit of reading widely and often both for pleasure and information. Other reading materials are available in school including fully and partly decodable phonic books to aid children needing phonics support; year group texts for sharing; books to support specific children (for example dyslexic); and topic collection class library books to support cross-curricular work.
The writing skills of transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) are developed through a range of carefully selected activities. The children are encouraged to draft, reflect upon and improve their written work following appropriate feedback.