GSO Test

'Success for all, in all we do'


At the core of our English curriculum, is the daily opportunity for pupils to engage with high quality children’s literature to serve as both an inspiration for writing and encouragement to develop a love of reading. We carefully select texts to link with our termly themes and to support us in delivering a broad, balanced and engaging English curriculum, based upon the National Curriculum objectives.

Please see below for our termly themes and key texts.

Using a text as a stimulus, a learning journey is mapped out which immerses children in the author’s world and provides them with regular opportunities to write pieces both modelled upon and inspired by it. A key part of the learning journey, is the use of a range of speaking and listening techniques which enable children to internalise the rich vocabulary and grammatical structures they need to confidently write in a range of genres. As well as grammar and vocabulary, punctuation is also taught in context, as part of daily English lessons. Children are always shown what success looks like through the careful modelling of writing and are invited to co-construct success criteria for all to refer to. From the outset, pupils are encouraged to be reflective, aspirant writers and shown how to edit and improve their own writing.

We place great importance upon the development of clear, neat and joined handwriting which starts in the Early Years with the introduction of careful letter formation, moves on through Key Stage 1 to develop a cursive style and then into Key Stage 2 where pupils continue to have regular handwriting sessions in order to develop a neat, fluent and joined style.

Click here to see our handwriting style.

Spelling & Phonics

Spelling and phonics are a key part of our English provision and we use the SoundsWrite linguistic phonic programme, in Reception and Key Stage 1, as well as the No Nonsense spelling programme from Year 2-6. Early on, children are also introduced to the idea of everyday or common exception words and regularly taught a range of strategies to learn and write them. From Year 2 onwards we also give pupils regular opportunities to reflect upon their own spelling strengths and weaknesses and to compile short, personal lists of words which they need to learn. We then encourage pupils to pay particular attention to these words, when independently editing their writing.

It is our aim that every pupil leaves Fircroft as a fluent, confident and enthusiastic reader. This journey begins in Nursery with the regular sharing of stories and through encouraging children to recognise labels and signs in their environment. Then, when children start in Reception, they experience daily phonics lessons (using the SoundsWrite programme) as well as regular one-to-one reading and whole class storytimes. We build upon this at the start of Key Stage 1 by introducing children to ‘Guided Comprehension’, which develops pupils’ ability to summarise texts, clarify vocabulary and answer a range of comprehension questions.

Alongside the daily teaching of reading, we also encourage a love of reading through regular class visits and clubs in our beautiful new library; Reading Buddies, where different year groups pair up to share books and our Reading Ambassadors whose job is to champion reading in their classes. 

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