The teaching of English throughout the school is continuously evolving to deliver a vibrant and engaging curriculum.
The importance of reading cannot be overstated. Books form the very essence of our curriculum. All children have a reading book “on the go” and our experienced librarian helps to nurture and extend all readers by offering weekly class library sessions and individual recommendations, alongside a wealth of games and activities in the Library. Once a week, the whole school “drops everything and reads” (DEAR) and small groups of children can be found in every classroom, corridor and nook sharing their chosen book. Year 5 has copies of The Week Junior delivered to them and Year 6 read two broadsheet newspapers.
We hold an annual House Book Bingo Competition for individual children following on from Book Week.
We offer a creative English curriculum based on a vast array of written text including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, myths and legends. These texts provide the stimulus for the children to create rich, varied and inspired writing. Grammar is taught intrinsically through the text and independently from it, which helps to introduce and embed challenging concepts.
Comprehension is taught weekly in all Junior classes and follows the Galore Park Scheme which is closely linked to the ISEB (Independent Schools’ Education Board).
The Infants follow a creative English curriculum and within this, phonics is taught formally using our own programme. We use the Oxford Reading Tree Programme, coupled with a rich and varied selections of age-appropriate books in each Infant classroom.
All children have weekly spelling tests and we follow a handwriting scheme to help the children develop a neat, cursive hand.
There are many opportunities for performance. As part of our annual Book Week in October, all Junior School children participate in the House Spoken English Competition, sharing their own poems with the community. In the Trinity term, we hold an evening of poetry performance with children from the Juniors performing well-known classic poems to an audience. Year 6 performs a play in the MCT theatre and the other Junior classes offer a service in St Barnabas Church. All classes produce a class assembly. We have regular author visits, workshops and trips to enhance the curriculum too.
The children regularly enter national and international English competitions (including the Queen's Commonwealth Essay Competition) and many have enjoyed significant success along the way receiving regional and national recognition.
English is alive and vibrant here at Alleyn’s Junior School.
We continue to meet with great success in national English competitions.