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Gilmour Infant School

Learning Together, Growing Together




'Reading Together, Learning Together'

English Rationale

English is the language of learning in every curriculum subject.  English allows children to learn independently and is therefore empowering.  At Gilmour Infant School the teaching of English  is enjoyable, motivating and challenging.  We teach basic skills and provide a rich, meaningful and engaging learning environment.  We strive to inspire a love and appreciation of English and ensure that every child becomes a competent reader and writer.  



At Gilmour Infant School it is our intent to provide children with a board, balanced and challenging English curriculum.  Children will embark on an exciting journey that supports and develops their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

The children will become confident speakers who initiate and engage in discussions with others.  We will equip children with the necessary skills required to become capable and confident readers, thus providing a lifelong love of reading and literature.  By immersing the children in a rich variety of texts we will inspire their imagination.  Children will develop an extensive vocabulary that will inspire them to write clearly and accurately for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences.  By developing children’s reading and writing we aim to prepare them for lifelong learning. 



These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, comprehension, writing, speaking and listening and grammar. We use the Read to Write teaching units and resources by Literacy Counts to teach a fully inclusive English Curriculum that follows the cycle of immerse, analyse, plan and write. Pupils are immersed into a range of fiction and non-fiction texts and through engaging lessons they are equipped with the skills to write for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. 



In addition to daily English lessons, children excel in early reading through the teaching of phonics.  Phonics and spelling rules are taught systematically throughout Early Years and Key Stage One. At Gilmour Infant School we use Read, Write Inc. This complete systematic synthetic programme provides structure and support for children in Reception and Key Stage 1 to become fluent and confident readers.  Children learn to read sounds and blend them into words. They apply this phonic knowledge to read and comprehend Storybooks that are carefully matched to the sounds they know. Children learn to read these books with a storyteller’s voice.  Children also learn how to form letters using mnemonics and to spell correctly using their Fred fingers. They learn to compose their own writing - drawing upon ideas from the story they’ve just read.   Children are taught in homogeneous groups and using 1:1 Read, Write Inc. tutors children receive additional support to ensure they reach their full potential and to close identified gaps in their learning.   Children's progress is tracked each half term.  


Story Time

Children are read aloud to in class on a daily basis.  Story time is inspiring and is hugely exciting for everyone. We aim to develop children’s English skills and inspire them to develop a love of reading and a knowledge of a variety of authors.  The fiction and non-fiction texts are carefully chosen in advance for a variety of reasons:

  • Books that elicit a strong response, curiosity, laughter, anger, excitement and empathy 
  • Books to extend children's vocabulary 
  • Books that have illustrations which are engaging and reflect children from all backgrounds and cultures
  • Books that help children connect with who they are
  • Books that help children to understand the lives of people whose experiences and perspectives may be different from their own

Children's Choice - Once a week each class receives two mystery books.  Children enjoy reading the blurb from these mystery books and during the week are invited to vote for the book that they most want to listen. 



Gilmour School and Class Library

Throughout the school children are encouraged to choose books independently.  Each classroom has its own designated and inviting reading area which includes a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books, some of which are linked to current class topics.  Each week every class visits the school library to choose a book that they take home to enjoy reading for pleasure with their families. 


Reading for Pleasure

Our aim is to develop a love of reading and children that read for enjoyment. Reading for pleasure is promoted in a variety of ways, in school and with families and the wider community. Throughout the school week children are encouraged to ‘Drop everything and Read’ this time gives children the opportunity to enjoy a book of their choice and promotes health and well-being. 

All children and adults are encouraged to bring a book to school once a week to join in with the after school ‘Book Swap’. 

Each class has elected two Reading Ambassadors that meet regularly with the School Council to discuss ways in which we can further promote reading for pleasure. 

We encourage reading fairs with visiting publishers and we are actively fundraising to fund future author visits to school.

We work with outside communities such as ‘Garston Children’s Centre’ to promote a love of reading at home and in school.  

Each half term ‘Learning Together’ homework sheets include recommended reads for children and families to enjoy.



At Gilmour Infant School we use both formative and summative assessments to inform medium term and weekly planning.  Assessments are also used at half termly Pupil Progress meetings.  Target children are identified and intervention planned and implemented.  Assessment data is submitted termly and achievement and progress of groups of learners is analysed.  Lesson observations, book scrutinies, learning walks and pupil/parent/staff voice are all used to monitor the teaching and learning of English across the school. 

Published data (2018/2019) shows that the number of children working at or above the expected level at Gilmour Infant School is above National and Local averages in Reading and Writing.  Children achieving greater depth for Reading and Writing are above the National average.  Year 1 Phonic data shows an upward trend for the third year (2017/18/19) and continues to be above National and Local averages.   

Covid Recovery Curriculum September 2020-21

Find below, an audit of English skills and knowledge covered 2019-20, up to the Coronavirus Lockdown period (March – July 2020). This will inform future planning, documented in the revised Recovery Curriculum Map for English. We will teach them this year, either as an additional unit or by revisiting and enhancing the skills as part of the planned curriculum.


Spelling Overview