At Gillibrand, we understand the importance of language and communication, reading and writing.  We ensure that vocabulary is at the heart of all learning and that reading and writing are given a high priority.  We aim to:

  • offer an exciting, stimulating and accessible curriculum
  • develop the skills of each child to highest level
  • nature confident, creative children who leave school with an enjoyment of and passion for English


At Gillibrand, we champion reading.  Reading is a high focus and a love of reading is fostered across school by staff and children alike.  Early reading is taught through daily, systematic, synthetic phonics using Letter and Sounds.  The individual needs of the children are taken into consideration and children are taught in groups that reflect the phase of the phonics program that they are currently working within. Further support and guidance are provided for those children who require it, particularly when they do not reach the required standard by the end of Year 1 or Year 2.

All children participate in Guided Reading sessions where they are given opportunities to develop their skills of retrieval, inference, prediction, summarising and evaluation.

Not only do we teach reading daily though Guided Reading, we continuously promote reading through sharing a daily class novel with our classes.   In addition, we provide opportunities for children to consolidate their reading skills in all areas of the curriculum.  We consistently review the texts available in our school so that reading enriches the themes and topics being taught.

We are fortunate to have our own school library, which all classes visit on weekly basis.  Annually, we also celebrate World Book day and throughout the year hold a variety of book clubs and, whenever possible, we aim to inspire children through giving them the opportunity to meet real authors.

The teaching of reading is supported by a wide range of high-quality school and home reading books from reading schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat, produced by publishers including ‘Oxford University Press’, ‘Pearson’ and ‘Collins’.


We understand that confident, fluent readers become confident and fluent writers.  At Gillibrand, we use our English lessons to teach the skills required to become a successful writer, then apply these skills to a written piece of work in subsequent lessons  Where possible, we ensure writing opportunities are planned to give children a real audience and purpose for their writing including, for example, through using their writing skills in different subjects..  We also provide opportunity for children to develop their writing through teaching them the skills required to edit and improve their work effectively. One way this is achieved is through our class blogs.  Children can receive comments from not only their peers and staff within the school, but also their parents and the audience of the real world.


Speaking and Listening

We believe that ‘writing floats on a sea of talk’ and that vocabulary is at the heart of all learning. In all subjects, we prioritise speaking and listening, as it is a transferable skill that supports the development of pupils’ writing and reading skills. Throughout the teaching sequence of English, we plan and deliver lessons that allow children to develop their speaking and listening skills successfully. In all other subject areas, we create opportunities for children to transfer and apply their literacy learning effectively.