At Hexham First we know and understand our children. We have created a curriculum that encourages them to become enthusiastic and engaged with English. We work hard to provide our children with rich and varied learning opportunities that help them to become confident and enthusiastic learners. We want our children to have a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to independently express their emotions and their ideas appropriately in a range of circumstances. Through our English Curriculum, we strive to teach the children how important their reading, writing, speaking and listening skills will be in the real world so they are equipped for the changing world that they will grow up in. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures.
Our pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure and to read widely through our reading scheme, school library and through our reading expectations.
We use Read, Write Inc for our phonics programme in Nursery, Reception and Year 1. Individual reading books are matched to phonic levels from reception, then matched to book bands from year 2.
Our guided reading sessions cover a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction books and help to advance the children’s comprehension skills. Bug Club is used in Key Stage 2 to encourage pupils to be life-long readers.
Parents are given reading guidance and clear expectations about reading at home. This is shown on the school website and on Class Dojo.
We develop writing skills so that our children have the stamina and ability to write at the age expected standard. We provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors. We promote the importance of written work by providing a writing purpose. Teachers use key texts to teach the National Curriculum objectives and to provide a model for writing.
Handwriting sessions are regularly incorporated into the English lessons as well as a discrete lesson.
Pupils are taught to develop their competence in spoken language and listening to enhance their ability to communicate across a range of contexts and to a range of audiences. They are given opportunities to work in groups of different sizes – in pairs, small groups, large groups and as a whole class. From nursery, adults model how to take turns and when and how to take part in conversations. School Council, Pupil Voice and Eco Schools provide platforms for debates and opportunities to voice their opinions and to communicate to the rest of the school.