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English touches every part of our daily lives, it is not just a subject within our schools but it's a life skill. We understand that to communicate effectively in Britain today, children must master English. Here at Lewis Street and Christ Church, English develops the critical skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.

Literacy skills are initially taught through the 'Read Write Inc' programme. Read Write Inc is a nationally acclaimed programme that uses a structured and systematic approach to teaching literacy to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. The programme is delivered daily from nursery up to Year 2, and beyond where there is a specific need. Sessions are completed in small groups to allow staff to give each individual child a high level of support and challenge.

Reading skills across Lewis Street and Christ Church are taught and developed through phonics, guided and whole class reading, comprehension and shared reading. We want our pupils to grow into confident and inquisitive readers who willingly read for pleasure. Reading has an impact not just in English but across the entire curriculum. Children who regularly read are more successful learners across a wide range of subjects in school. Whole school reading strategies, such as our 'Count Down to Christmas' celebrations are used to encourage and reward reading both inside and outside of the classroom.

Writing is linked to our wider curriculum topics and novel based reading. We encourage and develop writing across a range of genres. Using the wider curriculum to guide writing opportunities encourages creativity and sustains interest and enthusiasm for writing. There are also many opportunities to write within foundation subjects too. Handwriting is developed right from nursery following the ISHA 'Achieving Excellence in Handwriting' programme which promotes excellence in handwriting and high quality presentation skills.

At Lewis Street and Christ Church our Talk Project increases discussion between children to enhance reasoning skills as well as helping our pupils become more confident speakers. Our Talk Promises are a guideline to effective pupil talk within the classroom. The talk promises were developed by staff and pupils across the partnership.

Our Talk Promises are:

  • We show we are listening by looking at the speaker.
  • We join in because all ideas lead to learning.
  • We speak in full sentences in a clear voice that can be heard by everyone.
  • We give each other time to think.
  • We build on, or challenge with respect, each other’s ideas.
  • We ask questions if we don’t understand or would like to learn more.

Partnerships with parents, carers and families are critical in developing literacy skills. We expect children and adults at home to engage in reading at least 5 times per week. Each time a child reads at home please complete their reading record.