Golcar Junior Infant And Nursery School

Welcome to

Golcar Junior Infant And Nursery School

  1. Learning & The Curriculum
  2. English


"When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share feelings and thoughts through language."


James Earl Jones 

Why is it important to learn English?

From the moment that a child starts the process of speaking, there is a frustration when he/she is unable to communicate their needs effectively. Therefore, the development of speech and a varied vocabulary is a key life skill that our children need from an early age. If they are able to do this effectively, our children can communicate at home, at school and in the wider world. Competence in English enables children to be able to express themselves emotionally throughout their lives and develop empathy and understanding towards others so they are better equipped to form and maintain positive relationships.

Nurturing our children and enabling them to speak confidently and listen attentively is essential; and thus it empowers them with the qualities that they need to achieve their full potential. The skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing enable children to organise and express their own thoughts and to access the knowledge and ideas of others. Through the teaching and learning of English, our children will begin to understand more about how to play a positive and successful role within their community, both as a child and as an adult.

What does English look like at Golcar JI&N School?

English is driven by the development of speech and a broad vocabulary; this is initially taught and encouraged through phonics and early reading. Reading is at the heart of all that we do; our main aspiration is to ignite and develop a life-long love of reading in every child that is encouraged and nurtured at every step of their school journey. Our children will continue to be taught how to communicate clearly and effectively through increasingly more complex reading material, detailed writing, and speaking and listening activities (discussions, debates, role-play, performing etc.). We teach our children how to express their feelings, thoughts and ideas for different audiences and purposes through a varied range of genres (fantasy, comedy, mystery etc.) and text types (play-scripts, narratives, persuasive writing etc.).

The teaching of English in our school is taught in a way that progressively links knowledge and understanding from all areas of the subject (drama, grammar, punctuation, spelling etc.) and equips our children with the necessary skills that they will recap and build on each year based on the National Curriculum, Literacy Framework, Early Learning Goals and Chris Quigley’s Essential Milestones. We assess our children at all times whether that is through written feedback or an individual conversation or at the end of a unit/term when we conduct summative assessments. Feedback in English does not always come from an adult either; we encourage and promote peer and self-assessment of the children’s learning by giving them opportunities to evaluate a range of written work, performances and presentations. The way in which we teach, assess and celebrate English has been chosen based on creating a natural inquisitiveness; enabling our children to build on and encompass what they have learned previously; and provide everyone with key life skills that they can apply in their community and beyond.

How do we celebrate our learning in English at Golcar JI&N School?

World Book and Poetry Days

Christmas Performances

Writing Competitions

Visiting Authors

Library Visits

Reading Mornings

Super Learning Days

Summer Reading Challenge



Phonics and Reading

Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) is our chosen phonics programme. It teaches children to read by identifying the phonemes (smallest unit of sound) and graphemes (written version of the sound) within words and using these to read words. Children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills they need to become fluent independent readers and writers. Children have access to phonetically decodable books in line with the scheme which they access in class for Guided Reading and take home to share with parents. 


The principles of ELS are based upon:

  •  the delivery of whole-class, high-quality first teaching with well-structured daily
     lesson plans
  •  the use of consistent terminology by teachers, children and parents
  •  the use of consistent resources that support effective teaching
  • repetition and reinforcement of learning
  • regular and manageable assessment to ensure that all children ‘keep up’ rather
    than ‘catch up’ 


The new scheme is being taught in Reception and will follow into Year 1 in September 2022. 


Whole School English Overview 

Further information 

Reading Plus

We have now signed up to the Reading Plus program which can be accessed here: https://readingsolutionsuk.co.uk/

The program is designed to build upon phonics and phonemic awareness to develop reading fluency, comprehension and re-engaging reluctant readers. The reading materials range from Year Two up to GCSE so there are plenty of texts to choose from. The texts are relatively short therefore we want the children to read three texts per week; the more they read the more points they will earn for their avatar. 

The office have already sent out a PING message with the details about logging onto the program.

Below is a link which will take you to website and provide you with all of the information you need to use the program.