Our Approach to English
At Whitegate School we aim to help children to develop a love of the English language through the spoken and written word. We believe that literacy is not just an end in itself but it provides the key to unlock all other areas of learning enabling all pupils to take a full and constructively critical part in society empowering them aesthetically, socially, spiritually and morally.
At Whitegate School we explore and develop children’s writing, reading, phonics, speaking and listening skills across all elements of their learning, not just in their daily English lesson.
We follow 'Letters and Sounds' to deliver phonics and ensure children learn the skills to decode words effectively. The teaching of Phonics starts in the Autumn Term of Reception and continues throughout the school until the children are secure in all phases. Sometimes this is delivered as bespoke or Wave 3 (1:1) support. Phonics is taught daily with the expectation that children use their learned decoding skills when reading and writing. In Key Stage 1, while spelling is reinforced in English lessons, punctuation and grammar are also taught within English lessons. In Key Stage 2 spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught explicitly and within English lessons.
Learning to read involves a variety of strategies for children to use. At Whitegate School, we do not follow a particular reading scheme but expose our children to a variety and breadth of texts at the age appropriate level they are at. We use books from the 'Rigby Star', 'Oxford Reading Tree' and 'Collins' reading schemes.