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English

 

 

“Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.” – Jeanette Winterson

 
 
At Dale Hall, great children's literature is at the heart of all learning, ensuring that every child has access to quality experiences of literacy.  Our text based curriculum, from The Power of  Reading, is designed to support children to become happy, confident and enthusiastic readers and writers, with all the benefits that this brings as they grow.  Thoughtfully chosen texts can broaden our pupils' experiences of life as they empathise with characters and consider important issues that confront us in the twenty first century.
 
We aim to foster a love of reading and fascination with vocabulary ( taught explicitly) which will enable our pupils to understand and evaluate the ideas communicated by others, and equip them with the literacy skills essential for lifelong learning.  Our chosen approach elicits a high level of engagement with a broad and varied range of high quality texts, enabling our children to become confident and fluent speakers who are able to express opinions, participate in discussions and debates and demonstrate their interpretation of the text through drama activities. 
 
The quality and style of language in the books that form the core of each year's curriculum provide a meaningful context for the development of grammatical knowledge and vocabulary that will enable our pupils to become fluent and confident writers, whilst the depth of understanding they have gained through interaction with the text provides a wealth of stimulating ideas to write about.  The essential skills of phonics and spelling are taught systematically at the appropriate level for pupils throughout the school so all aspects of the highly complex task of writing are developed.
 

“Some books leave us free and some books make us free.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

 
Mrs Graham

English Leader

“We read to know we are not alone.” – C.S. Lewis


Having spent many years as a High School English and Drama teacher and Head of English, I am delighted to be in Primary Education where creativity, inspiring literature and a love of writing composition can be freely developed.
I aim to make all English lessons inspiring and active so that children are fully engaged in their learning. This comes from reading quality children's texts so that children can empathise and fully imagine the world of their story.
High expectations are at the core of Dale Hall School and this is reflected in the carefully crafted writing, drafting and editing that you will see in our school and in the richness and diversity of the reading curriculum.

 
 
This is what our children say about English at Dale Hall School:
  • English is great! Our Power of Reading books take a lot of thought to understand! (Lily: Year 6)
  • I love the freedom of writing independently. (Tommy: Year 6)
  • I love reading it takes you into a whole new world! (Josie: Year 6)
  • We ask lots of questions in English. (Noah: Year 3)
  • We have been writing poems -I love rhymes. Poems don't always have to make sense, you can be free, you don't have to follow the rules! (Zara: Year 3)
  • I love The Ice Bear- it showed how humans and bears are so similar, this is like people, even if we have a different colour skin we are the same. (Isla: Year 4)
  • I love reading! I am meant to read until bedtime, but I sneakily read on! (Amelia: Year 5)
 
 
 
Here is some of the amazing and varied work to have been inspired by our study of the books.
 

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.” 

 
 
Home learning:
 
  • Read as often as possible with your child, discuss motives , think of questions , make predictions, talk about new vocabulary, but most of all enjoy reading together.
  • Go to live productions! We are lucky enough to have New Wolsey Theatre on our doorstep and many live shows at Christ Church Park and in our surrounding towns
  • Retell stories: children love hearing stories so share your family tales!
  • Ask your child to write a shopping list, send a thank you letter, keep a diary for a special holiday, write an imagined story, anything that shows them a real purpose for writing.
  • Discuss books and stories on television and at the cinema, so that children begin to have a critical language with which to discuss their preferences
  • Talk about new words that children come across in daily life.