Philosophy for Teaching English

The aim for English in the 2014 National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through reading for pleasure.

The National Curriculum aims for English are to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely, and often, for pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audience
  • use discussion to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentation,  demonstrating to others and participating in debate

At WJS, our English curriculum is driven by a range of quality texts which seek to challenge and lead the development of the personal and cultural capital of the children attending our school. Texts provide a stimulus and opportunity to be immersed in rich vocabulary – one that will support development and nurture a genuine love of reading. We believe all children are authors and that the links between reading and writing are heavily intertwined. Children are encouraged to question author’s choices and explore the context in which a text is written. We enrich English with visits from authors, trips and experiences that provide a real purpose for reading and writing.


English is taught through a sequential journey that encourages children to read like a writer and write like a reader. The children use high quality texts each term, and writing is genre specific dependent on the writing outcome.

Work is planned over a 3 week sequence and ensures there is a balance of skills and application. Well planned learning objectives are mapped out over a complete sequence. We plan a sequence backwards, beginning with the end of unit outcome and focusing on the skills that need to be developed in order for children to meet the required expectation.

The skills of retrieval, analysis, exploration and deduction are taught explicitly. This may be through whole class analysis lessons. Children will be taught how to deconstruct a text and explore how author’s effects and techniques contribute to the effectiveness of writing. This expectation is in all year groups and aims to develop a deeper understanding of language choice and composition. Children will be able to articulate author preference and also question authorial choices in every year group.

We promote a love of reading and children are exposed to a variety of authors from the past through to the present, promoting a range of genres with non-fiction and fiction texts. Our learning environment support opportunities and spaces to develop the enjoyment of reading and include classrooms and shared spaces (school indoor and outdoor library).


  • Children will produce at least one non-fiction and one fiction unit of extended writing each term
  • Children should be exposed to a rich diet of genre-specific texts within each unit and have the opportunity to explore author’s choices, make comparisons and deepen understanding
  • There will be opportunities for shared writing and modelled writing 
  • Children will take pride in their presentation using a cursive script for handwriting, valuing the editing and revising process as part of the writing journey.
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