• The teaching of English at Eversley Primary School encompasses a range of core skills – speaking and listening, reading, writing, spelling, phonics and handwriting—that underpin day-to-day communication and all other aspects of the school’s curriculum.

    We understand the importance of spoken language in children’s development and that it is the foundation of development in reading and writing. Children are taught to use Standard English, achieved through the reading and study of good quality age-appropriate texts and modelled by adults within the school. The language pupils speak and hear is vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar, which in turn influences their reading and writing.

    Enrichment opportunities within the school, such as public speaking via class assemblies, Christmas performances and Harvest and Easter assemblies, allow children to apply their spoken language skills and perform in front of an audience. Other extra-curricular activities which support the development of spoken language include public speaking competitions against other local schools, drama clubs and Year 6 pupils running an election campaign to become Headteacher or Deputy Headteacher of the school for a day.

    We aim for all children to become fluent and confident readers, who demonstrate a good understanding of what they are reading through a range of texts across the curriculum. We also want our children to develop a love for reading and not only enjoy reading for pleasure but use reading to find information and gain knowledge in all subjects.

    At Eversley, the teaching of reading is made up of two strands—word reading and comprehension.

    Word reading is taught from Reception to the end of Year 2, using synthetic phonics which enables children to decode and build words. Building from this foundation, we work with children to develop reading fluency, which in turn helps children understand what they have read. Using a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and poetry, children develop a variety of comprehension skills including: recalling information, inference, predicting, summarising and understanding the author’s purpose and viewpoint.

    We believe parents play a vital role in helping children to practise their reading skills. From Reception, children will bring home books to share with parents that help to foster a love for reading, and as time progresses children will then read to adults at home. All children across the school are encouraged to read four or more times a week at home, with reading recorded in reading diaries. Children that achieve this are entered into a reading raffle each week where they can win a reading book. Special reading treats at the end of every term, such as story time in Santa’s grotto or a pyjama reading party, take place for children that read four or more times a week throughout the term.

    Comprehension is further developed from Year 3, through Accelerated Reader. This is an online quizzing system for children to answer questions about a reading book they have read, ensuring that children are understanding what they are reading.

    Reading is key to helping children develop their imagination and creativity, which in turn can inspire their own writing.

    Writing is taught through two strands—transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating and structuring ideas).

    Children are taught to use and apply their knowledge of phonics to spell phonetically regular words. Understanding root words, prefixes and suffixes and other components of words help children to spell more complex and phonetically irregular words as well as deriving the meaning of different vocabulary.

    Children are taught the basics of handwriting in Reception and Year 1, learning to form lower and upper case letters and numbers accurately, moving on to joining letters in Year 2 and 3. By Year 4 children are expected to be using joined handwriting, developing a consistent and personal style.

    The teaching of writing composition includes children learning to use a range of punctuation accurately and understanding how different grammatical devices can be used to impact their writing. Children’s creativity and imagination are nurtured through studying inspiring and high-quality books; using a variety of stimuli such as films or artefacts; written tasks set within real-life contexts and writing for a range of audiences. We also allow opportunities for children to develop their writing skills through writing opportunities across other curriculum subjects.

    Enrichment opportunities in writing include a termly school newspaper club and a range of creative writing competitions that have resulted in the past with the publication of children’s work.