We work hard to ensure that children develop spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is taught as both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects.

The English curriculum covers Speaking & Listening, Reading, and Writing including punctuation, grammar and Spelling. Our curriculum enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others clearly and effectively. It also helps them to consider the purpose of their writing and their intended audience. Children are strongly encouraged to read for enjoyment and to gain information as well as critically evaluate the texts that they select.


Reading at Otterburn First School

At Otterburn First School we strongly feel that reading is an essential life skill and is at the heart of the whole curriculum. 

Systematic phonics teaching begins as soon as the children have settled into Reception and continues throughout all year groups as the most effective strategy for teaching spelling as well as reading.  We use Read, Write, Inc. scheme because it provides a systematic and concentrated approach.  The scheme is used as a focus for guided reading and writing activities and children work in groups that are matched to their reading attainment.  All children in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 receive at least one guided reading sessions per week with their teacher. 

All children will have home reading books which are colour coded so that the children can choose from the level that matches their reading attainment. To ensure that the children experience reading across genres and that they read a rich variety of books, we use a range of reading schemes including Big Cat, Usborne, Oxford Reading Tree, Ginn and PM books.

Children are also able to borrow books from both our school library and from the Northumberland County Council mobile library, which visits our school once every three weeks.