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What we do

At Downs, our vision is to ensure our children experience a varied and creative curriculum. We believe English provides many opportunities to inspire and develop children's creativity, as well as to develop technical skills. We provide a supportive and stimulating learning environment, where children are given a wide range of opportunities to talk, listen, act, read and write with a focus on purpose and audience.

Our English curriculum contains both book-based and genre-led units. We have selected rich texts to support our topics, which have proved very popular with the children. We read together in class to inspire a range of writing. A list of these books, along with other recommended reads, can be found in the Word document link below. However, we prefer children not to have read the core texts prior to starting them in class.

In lessons, we use a range of teaching strategies, including modelling the writing and reading comprehension processes, effective questioning, developing ideas for our working wall, providing opportunities for relevant discussions between learning partners, guided focus group work and ‘Talk for Writing' to name a few. 

The rules of grammar and punctuation are taught in a meaningful way by focusing on how they affect the reading of a piece of writing as well as its level of formality. Active learning is something that appeals to lots of children, and we use grammar games and 'Kung-Fu Punctuation' to help build children's knowledge and skills.

The children are taught how to plan and write cohesively and creatively to produce pieces that they enjoy writing and their audience enjoys reading. Developing children's vocabulary, through the process of reading and in speech and writing, is also one of our key priorities.

We have high expectations for every learner. By building their confidence, providing the support needed to succeed and extending their learning, we do all we can to ensure that when they leave us, they are secondary school ready. 

More than anything, we strive to instil a passion for reading and writing in every child. 

Please note that Reading also has its own section, in which you will find more detailed information about this aspect of the English curriculum.


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