Language is fundamental to our ability to think, learn and communicate: it permeates every aspect of our lives; at home, work and play.
A wide variety of good literature is at the heart of our English studies, from Dick King-Smith and Anne Fine to William Shakespeare. We use drama, role-play and oral questioning to develop pupils' understanding of the written word and inspire in them a love of reading which will remain with them throughout their lives. This is supported by a fantastic library which you can find out about here.
Non-fiction, too, is highly valued and pupils learn to recognise and write a range of genres including newspaper reports, autobiographies, letters and reports.
The study of poetry is also a core part of the syllabus, through it we try to instil an appreciation of language and all its possibilities.
Big Writing is a concept that reached St Chris in 2006. It is described as the scientific teaching of writing skills. We now use it to improve our writing in all subjects. We firmly believe that creativity must always be supported by sound basic skills in handwriting, spelling and punctuation and this is reflected in our teaching.
Of course, we recognise that developing literacy skills can be a challenge for some pupils and we run support programmes in every year group. Staff work closely with the Learning Support Department to ensure that all pupils are able to make progress and achieve their best.
In Year 3 we cover a range of writing topics and styles, looking at myths and legends, information texts, shape poetry and writing instructions.
In Year 4 we cover a range of writing topics and styles, including historical stories, persuasive writing, newspapers and poetry.
In Year 5 we cover a range of writing topics and styles, including stories from other cultures, film scripts, instructions and choral poetry.
In Year 6 we cover a range of writing topics and styles, including story-writing, biographies, persuasive writing and poetry.
For a full list of topics see the UK Primary Literacy Framework