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English at The White House School


At The White House School we encourage all of our children to be good communicators. The ability to communicate is essential throughout life. The exchange of information, the articulation of needs and desires, the expression of opinions, the passing on of traditions and the enrichment of the spirit all depend upon communication, language and literacy skills. We need to be able to speak, listen, and express ourselves in written form. Literacy is fundamental to thinking and learning in every area of life.


Here at The White House School we assist the children to:


  • develop the ability to read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding
  • understand phonics and use them to read and spell accurately
  • use a full range of reading cues (phonic, graphic, syntactic, contextual) to facilitate reading and to correct mistakes
  • be interested in books, read with enjoyment and evaluate and justify their preferences
  • have an interest in words and their meanings and a growing vocabulary
  • develop a suitable vocabulary through which to understand and discuss their reading
  • listen with understanding and concentration and respond articulately
  • understand a range of genres - fiction, non-fiction and poetry
  • understand and be familiar with some of the ways in which narratives are structured through

basic literacy ideas of setting, character and plot

  • understand, use and write a range of texts
  • follow sound principles of grammar and punctuation
  • plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing
  • have fluent and legible handwriting
  • present their work neatly
  • develop powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness through reading and writing
  • participate in drama activities, improvisations and performances of varying kinds, using language appropriate to a role or situation
  • understand the importance of, and use, literacy skills across the whole curriculum


We do this by:


  • implementing a daily session dedicated to concentrated teaching of English
  • employing whole class, group and individually differentiated teaching strategies as appropriate
  • hearing children read on a regular/daily basis
  • linking with other curriculum subjects as vehicles for literacy work where appropriate
  • offering children with SEN a differentiated programme of study, according to individual needs and abilities identified in their IEPs, and taking into account their previous experiences
  • involving parents as active helpers e.g. Reading Mums
  • using home reading to support curriculum work
  • informing parents through informal consultations, written reports, Parents’ Evenings etc.
  • assessing learning on a regular basis and using this assessment to inform future teaching