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The skills that children acquire in English remain with them throughout their lives, and enable them not only to read and write, but to communicate, socialise and interact with others in our society.

[1] Britton, J. (1970). Language and learning. Coral Gables, FL: University of Miami Press.


In school, the work we do in English impacts on every subject area, whether it be explaining a chosen method of working in Maths, debating an issue in an R.E. lesson, writing a letter, report or leaflet, or agreeing the rules of fair play in sport sessions. Beyond the confines of the classroom, children interact socially on the playground, taking part in creative and inventive role-play situations as well as taking turns in games, they engage in dialogue with other adults when eating packed lunches or having hot school meals, and they demonstrate listening skills during Assembly time.

The National curriculum aims for English are:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate


English is taught every day at Dorothy Barley infant school for 1 hour.


Within English the children are taught a wide range of Genres for example: Fiction, Non-Fiction and Poetry. They have the opportunity to learn in a variety of ways. We encourage the teachers to use drama, role play, hot seating, freeze framing, story mapping and a selection of other styles.



At Dorothy Barley Infant School, our aim is to use quality texts across Key Stage 1 and 2 to inspire and give purpose to our children's writing. From the earliest stages of emergent writing in the Foundation Stage, we aim to foster a true love of storytelling and writing through the joy it is able to bring. We recognise the role that ‘talk’ plays in our understanding of the written word and so, children are regularly given opportunities to listen to and retell stories and non-fiction texts. Through retelling texts, using actions or drama to help internalise patterns, children are able to first imitate, but then innovate and invent their own version of a text; these stages of writing form the basis upon which all of our writing units are taught. Children are supported in their ability to innovate upon a known text through shared and guided writing, whilst the invention stage teaches children the subtleties of an author’s craft.  Children are given opportunity to play with words, read as a writer by investigating authors' use of language in a range of texts.  Children become confident planners for their writing and are taught how to edit and improve their own written pieces - just as real authors do!