English

At St Piran's School, the main aim within the English department is to encourage a lively interest in the subject and to develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Aim

Without the ability to articulate thoughts, ideas and feelings or to be able to read or write, children cannot exploit the educational avenues open to them. Our English Department ensures that pupils develop these skills so that they can communicate effectively and creatively through the spoken word and written language.  From this flows an appreciation of language and literature, combined with an enthusiasm for, and awareness of, the rich tapestry that is the English language.  

Equipping Children for the Future

Children are taught English every day. Here at St Piran's School, we seek to equip the children with the literacy skills with which they can access the wider curriculum; we also seek to develop an interest in, and appreciation of, literature for its own sake. Programmes of study reflect the aims of the National Curriculum 2014, fostering confidence and developing skills in the key areas of speaking and listening, reading and writing. The new curriculum places an emphasis on word reading, transcription, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Our objective is to teach these skills while still teaching the children how to write creatively in a range of different fiction and non-fiction genres. We also place value in comprehension skills and our reading programmes are taught with this in mind.

Approach

The teaching of English in the classroom is complemented by a wide range of enrichment activities. We inspire a love of learning through many creative events and stimuli from outside visits from authors, theatre companies, competitions and studying a range of texts. Through our main and class libraries we develop the enjoyment of reading, to inspire and develop skills of enquiry and creativity. We also provide opportunities for children to find their own voice through a range of speaking and listening exercises, including class assemblies, debating, story-telling and performance poetry.

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Lower School

In the Lower School department, we use a variety of schemes, tailored to the needs of our children to teach many of the key English skills. These skills aim to instil a love of reading and writing through a stimulating environment and specific teaching. This enables each pupil to progress in reading and writing letter sounds at a pace that is suitable for the individual, and thereby decode efficiently and write with growing confidence. 

Middle School

In Middle School, we encourage the transfer of skills learnt in English to other curriculum subjects, promoting cross–curricular links in addition to providing opportunities for our pupils to write for different purposes, entertaining a range of audiences.  We aim to nurture each individual pupil's creative abilities in order to produce work that is unique, and that the child is proud of.   

Upper School

In Upper School, pupils are taught in ability sets, providing smaller groups with further opportunities to extend, enrich and support the child’s individual learning.  Typically, sets contain between 10 and 18 pupils.  Children can move between sets according to their level of progress, attainment and confidence. We also encourage children to become enthusiastic, independent and effective readers. They are introduced to a wide range of literature through independent and shared reading and given the opportunity to read for their own pleasure as well as to seek out information. Pupils are taught to develop, organise and express their ideas for a variety of purposes, including diaries, letters, reports, essays, stories, poems and reviews. The pupils are guided in their ability to organise and structure their writing, use paragraphs, punctuation and grammar correctly and develop their vocabulary and accurate spelling. Our teaching in Upper School also prepares pupils for their schooling beyond St Piran's through interview and exam practice for secondary school examinations.

Opportunities in English

A plethora of opportunities are also available throughout St Piran's to perform in a multitude of ways; acting, singing, speaking and listening, and through Spring Presentations and Christmas plays children become part of a production. The culmination of all these experiences encourage pupils in their last year to bring their talent, skills and drama training together to perform in their final Year 6 Leavers' Production. The performances that the children have performed in the past include: The Vackees, Pirates of the Curry Bean, Bugsy Malone, Trolls, Shakespeare Rocks and many more.

Aims of the English Department:

  • To teach the youngest children reading, writing and spelling through a phonetic structured approach.
  • To equip the children with the literacy skills with which they can access the wider curriculum.
  • To seek to develop an interest in and appreciation of literature for its own sake. 
  • To foster confidence and develop skills in the key areas of speaking and listening, reading and writing.
  • To express themselves imaginatively and creatively and communicate with others effectively.

Programme Content:

  • Emphasis is on developing speaking and listening and reading skills, through word building and synthetic phonics and through group discussion and role play.
  • To develop higher order reading skills, including inference and deduction.
  • To have the opportunity to write extended compositions across a range of fiction and non-fiction genres.
  • Comprehension, spelling lists, handwriting, stories, poems, library skills and reading aloud will happen throughout every year.
  • To develop higher order writing skills, advising, arguing, persuading, informing, describing, analysing and reviewing.

A Subject for Everyone

English is for everyone. Our students are encouraged to express themselves and reinforce their opinions with thoughtful, reasoned arguments. We foster a passion for reading and writing and give pupils an insight into how language affects them and the world around them.