At Blackgates, we promote a love for learning. We encourage children to develop their skills by working with them on their speaking and listening, reading, writing, spelling and handwriting.

During a writing unit the children will take part in an experience that will hook, entice and excite them. We believe that if a child enjoys what they are learning about, they are more likely to succeed. Support is given to our children through in-depth modelling of how to construct sentences and how to use appropriate vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. The hard work does not stop there, once our children have written a piece, we focus on how this can be improved through editing, we want our children to become resilient writers who strive to be the best they can be.

Reading sessions take place throughout the week. To ensure that our children learn the valuable skills of reading. They take part in guided sessions which teach them to retrieve information from texts, to use their inference skills to develop their understanding of a text and to think about the choices that an author makes. During these sessions the children are taught strategies to support them when reading independently. From Year 2, our children use Accelerated Reader, a scheme which supports children’s individual needs. Here the children are able to read books of interest and then complete quizzes to show their understanding of vocabulary and literacy skills. We believe that reading at home plays a vital part in children’s love for reading and for their personal development.

Phonics is taught from nursery; this gives the children an excellent understanding of the phonics sounds which make up words. By practising these regularly, children are able to move away from this, moving their learning on to recalling and recognising key spelling patterns.

Handwriting is taught from nursery to Year 6. We ensure that children develop the fine and gross motor skills that are needed for writing. By Year 6, we expect children to be writing in a fluent, joined, individual handwriting style.

This gradual build-up of skills, throughout their time at primary school, will ensure that our children have the foundations needed to secure a good understanding of English.