World Book Day March 7th 2019

English allows us to imagine, think and create and makes a crucial contribution to children's development as successful learners. 

Literature in English is rich, varied and influential.  It helps children to develop their imagination, see the world through the eyes of others and read and write for pleasure.

At Christ Church, we give children opportunities for creating and responding to all kinds of texts, including those which combine words, images and sounds, offers access to the world of knowledge and imagination and generates lasting enthusiasm and enjoyment. 

We follow the National Curriculum (2014) for English whilst ensuring that all English teaching is enjoyable and purposeful. We do this by ensuring we take a creative approach to all our English teaching. 

Storytelling Week 

The week began with the most amazing puppet show “The Three Pigs” By Rod Burnett. He captured everyone in the room and as he launched Christ Church Primary School’s Storytelling Week focused around Traditional Tales and Fairy Tales!

Visits from Authors, Illustrators and Storytellers. Visits to libraries, book shops, museums and the zoo were just some of the amazing activities enjoyed by the children as part of storytelling week. The week engaged everyone and resulted in some fantastic art work, story writing and storytelling performances.

Children across the school enjoyed a variety of fun and creative activities. The children enjoyed taking part in a ‘100 word story competition’, a character quiz and other whole school events. The children loved coming back to school for a bedtime story and even had hot chocolate and a cookie or two!

What a fantastic week!

Dahl-licious day celebrating the 100th birthday of Roald Dahl 
The day began with an assembly. The hall was filled with all our favourite characters from Roald Dahl's superb books. The children learnt all about Roald Dahl and his work before being treated to extracts from George's Marvellous Medicine, Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Twits. The children loved hearing the teacher's read extracts of his fantastic work. The highlight had to have been the extract when Bruce (Mr Eades) had to eat chocolate cake in front of the whole school community thanks to the very frightening Miss Trunchbull (Miss Barsby)
Buried Bones Writing Competition
We were delighted to be asked to take part in a poem writing project run by the M-Shed, called Skeletons: Our Buried Bones.  The standard of writing was incredible and the year 5 teachers were really pleased that they didn’t have to select the final two poems. Evan and Jessica’s poems were selected and their poems and recordings were part of the exhibition.   
Recommended Reading Books 
As mentioned in the newsletter in January. Happy Reading!
'Book in a Jar' competition entries
Subject Leader: Mrs Richardson
National Curriculum documents and policies can be seen below:

Home Learning in English

There are some great websites and App's that can be used to aid English learning at home. Here are some to try at home. Do check this page as they are updated every term.

Phonics programme we use with our Letters and Sounds at Christ Church. There are some great games for EYFS/KS1

Phonics play


Phonics at Christ Church

We teach synthetic phonics throughout the school. We primarily follow Letters and Sounds but use Read, Write Inc. (RWI) to support the teaching of phonics. The programme is split into six phases. It aims for children to develop fluent word reading skills and have good foundations in spelling by the end of Key Stage 1. Your child’s class teacher will be able to tell you which phase they are working in. The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, using Read, Write Inc. to introduce sounds to the children. Children will then learn further sounds in line with Letters and Sounds and RWI. In order to support children to make the most progress in phonics, regular assessment is carried out to ensure all children make progress with their phonics, reading and writing. Phonics is taught to children in years 3, 4, 5 and 6 where needed.


Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

In 2011-2012 the Government introduced the statutory checking of phonics for Year 1 children. The Year 1 Phonics Screening Check is a national check of children’s phonic knowledge that all children in England are required to complete. The check comprises of a mixture of real and nonsense words which children have to decode/read. The check takes place at the end of year 1. An example of the check published by the Department for Education can be viewed below.


Parents will be given more information about the screening check while their child is in year 1.


Spelling at Christ Church

We use a ‘phonics first’ approach to spelling and build on the phonics teaching in EYFS and KS1. We teach spelling as discrete spelling lessons using an investigative, problem solving approach. We follow the National Curriculum Spelling progression for Year 1 – Year 6.


Reading at Christ Church

Our school reading books incorporate a range of reading schemes to enable children to have a breadth of reading experiences and the opportunity to read books that interest them. The books include Oxford Floppy’s Phonics, Oxford Songbirds, Biff, Chip and Kipper, Project X, and Treetops. The books are split into groups following a colour band system. Children will work their way through the colour bands throughout their time in the school, before they move onto free choice reading books. We encourage parents to read with their children for 10 minutes every day in Reception and KS1, 15 minutes every day in year 3 and 4 and 20 minutes every day in year 5 and 6. Throughout the school we ask parents to volunteer to help with reading and we have teaching assistants who target individual readers.

Children also take part in guided reading. In these small guided groups children read with an adult focussing on specific reading skills. This involves a carousel of activities that develop children’s comprehension skills, spelling skills and free writing skills as appropriate for the children’s age. 


Writing at Christ Church

We have a consistent approach to the teaching of writing across the school. This involves the use of the ‘Power of Reading’ Approach and ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. When appropriate writing experiences are linked to the children’s project, and therefore are rich in purpose. Teachers plan opportunities for children to;

  • Explore and read a range of texts linked to the genre.
  • Develop their speaking and listening skills, including role-play, drama and presentational techniques.
  • Develop a good understanding of the features of different text types.
  • Experience high quality teacher modelled writing.
  • Plan and complete short and extended pieces of writing.
  • Evaluate, edit and improve written pieces of work.

Children are encourages to be creative writers and to recognise the features of high quality written work.

Children have daily skills sessions to improve spelling, handwriting, punctuation or grammar.

Handwriting at Christ Church

We teach handwriting using the Read, Write Inc. Scheme. We teach handwriting from reception, once children’s fine motor skills allow them to correctly grip a pencil to write. The children work through three stages:

  1. Letter formation
  2. Relative size
  3. Joins

Handwriting is taught explicitly in every class and applied in writing across the curriculum.