English is at the heart of our learning and teaching and essential to every area of the curriculum. It is through English that concepts are formed and we are able to make sense of the world and our place in it. Children are taught to read in a variety of ways. In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, children read individually and in groups; they are also given regular opportunities to share a book with others. Teachers read a variety of written material regularly with the children: fiction and non-fiction, stories, reports, diaries, poems etc. We place a strong emphasis on phonics in the early years of learning to read because we believe this lays the foundations for successful reading.
To develop writing at St Gilbert's, we use a whole book approach. This is an immersive approach to teaching English, allowing for connections to be made to other areas of the curriculum. Each year group has a set of core books that not only act as class novels, but are also used by the class teacher to underpin the teaching of English.