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St Gabriel’s

St Gabriel’s

  • Sandleford & Junior School Open Morning - Thursday 13 February

  • Senior School & Sixth Form Open Morning - Friday 13 March


The English Department develops the four fundamental skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening so that all children are able to communicate effectively in these ways. By broadening their knowledge of the English language, pupils also begin to foster a love of literature.

In Year 1 and Year 2, the children are introduced to a wide range of writing genre, including recount writing, postcards, traditional tales, poetry and non-fiction texts. Creative writing is inspired through role play and storytelling and is extensively modelled by staff. Examples of excellent writing are explored using the Wordsmith resources, which allow the children to access books and interactive resources on their iPads. Children also explore real books and the work of poets, such as Michael Rosen, when developing their creative writing skills. Writing tasks can be written individually, through paired activities or as a whole class and may be presented using pencil and paper, eBooks or even as iMovies.

The teaching of phonics is delivered using The Jolly Phonics scheme and children are introduced to a cursive script for handwriting and encouraged to join from the beginning of Reception. Fundamental grammatical and spelling rules are discretely taught and constantly encouraged and developed through the children's creative writing.

In Years 3 to 6, the English curriculum follows the Wordsmith Scheme. Through this exciting and creative scheme, pupils gain an understanding of the views and styles of different authors and poets, using a variety of resources, including novels, non-fiction, poetry anthologies and short films. Using iPads, children can access eBooks, enhance their learning and find a variety of new and exciting ways to present their work. Technology offers access to the curriculum and a wide variety of exciting resources. As well as improving literacy skills in all the traditional ways and covering all elements of the national curriculum, children are involved in many different speaking and listening activities, drama, games and role play. Activities are diverse and designed to be both challenging and inclusive. Teachers have high expectations of pupil achievement and focus on meeting individual needs, working alongside the Individual Needs Department, where necessary.

Personal reading is actively encouraged and closely monitored at every stage, and all pupils are members of the Junior Library. We are justifiably proud of the children's reading standards. The majority of children read at above or well above national reading levels.

In addition to the curriculum, there is an exciting range of enrichment activities, including trips, visiting speakers and competitions. There are also extensive links with extra-curricular groups including Library Club and Cineclub. Shakespeare Week, National Poetry Day and World Book Day are celebrated every year.

superhero writing