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At Darell, the English curriculum allows children to develop their reading, writing, speaking and listening so that they become competent and enthusiastic readers and writers equipped with skills for life.

Throughout their time in school, our children enjoy daily English lessons appropriate to their age and stage of development. We inspire our children by carefully choosing a broad range of texts to use in class as well as building in opportunities to use other media as a stimulus for writing. This allows us to ensure that English lessons are both fun and challenging for the children. We also offer a broad range of exciting learning experiences which enables children to develop and use their literacy skills in other areas of the curriculum (such as history and geography). We believe this creative learning environment allows for all children to build confidence and have every opportunity to achieve their very best.

At Darell, we want to create a positive attitude towards reading and engage children with literature they might not otherwise encounter. All children regularly take part in story time and have access to a range of books, both fiction and non-fiction, helping them to develop a love of reading.

Each year, a range of visitors, including Richmond Library Service, authors. illustrators and storytellers visit the school as part of our annual Book Week. This is an annual celebration of events and activities aimed at encouraging reading for pleasure and inspiring children to write themselves.

How we teach reading at Darell

In school we use a variety of graded reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree and Pearson’s Bug Club.

The reading scheme is organised into coloured bands, which progress as shown below.

Within each band there is a variety of books, providing exposure to different genres including both fiction and non-fiction.

How we teach phonics

At Darell, we use the synthetic phonics approach to phonics teaching, providing daily lessons. The teaching sequence is planned using the National Curriculum and the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme published by the Department for Education supported by the use of a range of other resources from published schemes. An emphasis is also placed on applying phonic knowledge during reading and writing.