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How do we teach English?

At Thorpedene, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we help children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language, and to equip them with the skills needed to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.

English is at the heart of all children’s learning. English enables children both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas.

‘Teachers should develop pupil’s spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.’

Our English curriculum at Thorpedene gives all pupils a wide range of opportunities to develop their literacy skills, through a cross-curricular approach. All teachers plan and teach English so that children have a chance to develop and apply their literacy skills in a meaningful context. Children are taught in blocks of learning each half-term which includes poetry, narrative and non-fiction and these are linked with the year group’s topics.

As well as this, children have weekly spellings, punctuation and grammar (SPaG) lessons and a love of reading is fostered through guided reading, cracking comprehension, accelerated reader and whole class story sharing.

Parental engagement is important to us at Thorpedene and we hold workshops to demonstrate how we teach English and how you can support your children at home.



Our school has chosen Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised phonics programme to teach early reading and phonics. Phonics supports the children with their early understanding of how to make the connection between the spoken sound (phoneme) and the written representatives (grapheme). Once the children have mastered the ability to blend these sounds together, they will be on their way to building fluency in their reading. The phonics programme teaches the children the sounds in a specific order and this is then supported by guided reading sessions, books and resources that you can also use to practise at home. Phonics is taught daily along with the guided reading sessions and the children will have access to all books via an online system. Workshops to support parents/carers with how this is delivered is held in the autumn term. All children will undertake a statutory phonic screening assessment in the summer term of year 1. Any children who do not pass will sit the retake the following year.