As an academic subject, English is unique in the fact that it is also how we communicate our feelings, thoughts and experiences to the world. At St Stephen’s, we strive to enable our children to interact, discuss and communicate effectively, as well as equipping them with the practical and academic skills they need to succeed.
The reading and comprehension skills that our children learn between the ages of 4 and 11 are the building blocks that they need in order to succeed both in their academic careers and in their adult lives. At St Stephen’s, our aim is to produce not only capable and confident readers but readers with a love and appreciation of books and literature. The ability to read gives your child a magic key, enabling them to access learning and understanding for the rest of their lives. Not to mention a skill, which will make long journeys, rainy afternoons and eventual commutes pass by, not in boredom but in excitement, wonder and absorption. At St Stephen’s, we use the Read, Write Inc scheme to teach our children synthetic phonics and then the Oxford Reading Tree, once the children can confidently decode and have passed the phonics screening. In all years, set reading books are supplemented by a wide range of quality texts, from the classroom book corners and our excellent library, that the children can read for pleasure both with an adult or independently. From Year 2 upwards, we use Letter-join to teach handwriting and The Spelling Shed to specifically teach spelling.
Through reading, experience, exploration and excitement, the children at St Stephen’s learn to write enthusiastically and imaginatively in a wide range of genres and for a variety of purposes. Our children learn the essential rules and technicalities of the English language as part of a blended and purposeful curriculum, which encourages reflection, peer review and the embedded cycle of drafting, editing and redrafting to create the best work possible. We encourage our children to delight in the rich magic of language, to weave linguistic tapestries with their words and to create amazing, tangible worlds to transport their readers to.
Programs of Study