At Gillibrand we aim to develop an exciting, stimulating and engaging, high-quality English curriculum that inspires our children to succeed and excel in all aspects of English.  We do this through fully adhering to the aims of the National Curriculum and fostering a healthy curiosity and interest in the different aspects of English. At the heart of our English curriculum is skilled and effective communication through speaking, listening, reading and writing. Wherever possible, we intend to deliver lessons where children learn through varied forms including author visits, role play, drama and reading challenges, leading to the children being equipped for life to communicate skilfully and confidently with a diverse range of audiences.  We believe English encompasses the acquisition of knowledge and breeds a positive attitude to learning, teaching perseverance, and empowering our children to be confident, intelligent and effective communicators.  Throughout the curriculum, the children will acquire and develop the key speaking, listening, reading and writing knowledge that has been identified within each genre and across each year group, as well as the application of high quality vocabulary, handwriting and spelling.  We ensure that purposeful reading and writing opportunities are provided for the children to ensure that our children continually apply their English skills across the curriculum.


As a core subject, English is a key component of the curriculum and, as such, the learning of key English skills and knowledge is an integral part of our English and wider school curriculum. English working walls, displaying the reading to writing process, along with key spelling and vocabulary, are used to provide effective and powerful content being learned within each unit within each year group.  The progression of skills for phonics, reading and writing are developed through and across each year group and key stage.  At Gillibrand, teachers promote a positive and passionate attitude to English learning within their classrooms and reinforce an expectation that all children are capable of succeeding and achieving high standards in English.

Our whole school approach to the teaching and learning of English involves the following:

  • Daily systematic synthetic phonics is taught in YR-Y3 following the Phonics Shed programme
  • English is taught each day following a structured, progressive range of skills and genres. Teacher planning and teaching ensures that all children, of all abilities, are tailored for in each lesson.
  • Where possible, we plan exciting opportunities for the children to apply English skills across the curriculum, enabling skills to be embedded in a meaningful context.
  • Children read and write with a purpose and an audience and their work is published within the classroom and community.
  • At Gillibrand, we champion reading.  The children are read to each day, enjoying a range of poetry, fiction and non-fiction texts.
  • Children in reception, Y1 and Y2 use 'Reading Eggs' to enhance their reading and accelerate progress. 
  • All children read frequently to adults within the school day.  Our books are taken from a range of publishers including ‘Pearson', ‘Collins’ and 'Phonics Shed'.
  • Discrete handwriting and SPaG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) sessions are taught to the children, enabling them to learn the skills needed to become effective readers and writers.
  • Children enjoy visits to the school library, the local library and book shop to handle and explore a range of high quality texts.
  • Children are inspired by working alongside established children’s authors (eg., Pie Corbett and Matt Goodfellow) to learn and refine the craft of writing.



Our highly effective approach to the teaching of English at Gillibrand Primary School, results in an engaging English education, that ensures progress, retention of knowledge and development of skills and provides children with the foundations for skilled communication that they can take with them once they complete their primary education. We provide challenging and memorable experiences that encourage children to be curious and critical thinkers, intelligent questioners and effective communicators.  The skills of the children are developed to the highest level, creating confident, creative children who leave school with an enjoyment of and passion for English.