English at The Minster

"Reading about the BFG this term, we’ve been finding out interesting stuff about different potions.  Working on posters and drawing dream jars has also been fun" … Year 4 pupil

Speaking and Listening

A wide range of speaking and listening activities are planned for throughout the school.

All children are encouraged to develop skills of discussion, planning together, questioning, evaluating tasks and presenting findings to others. To develop these skills, children are given many opportunities to work collaboratively with others, in pairs or groups, with adult support or independently.

As part of the curriculum, children are encouraged to participate in a variety of drama related activities, including role-play and the performance of short plays.

All children in the school are encouraged to participate in class assemblies, which give them the opportunity to perform to a wider audience.

During any oral activity, children are expected to listen politely and attentively to speakers (including other children).



All children have access to many exciting and stimulating reading materials. They have opportunities to listen to fiction and poetry read to them by adults or other children.

A range of reading activities is systematically planned for in the classroom. These take place during the whole class teaching of reading. The sessions are planned to develop reading skills and techniques, such as prediction, reflection and understanding of a wide variety of aspects of literature.
Children use an English journal in which to record any comprehension work and activities. Children take home reading books with their English journal. They are able to record the books they have read in the reading log in this journal. 
Each class book corner has a selection of fiction and non-fiction materials. Through topic work and visits to Croydon Library, children have opportunities to develop reference and study skills. The school makes use of an increasing bank of artefacts, visual material, DVDs, and other computer programmes to enhance this aspect of the English curriculum.
The school has the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and other levelled reading books in which children are able to choose books tailored to their learning needs. Children work their way up the stages until they are able to become free readers. 



Children have opportunities to write for a wide variety of purposes and for a wide range of audiences. They engage in activities such as story writing, poetry, factual accounts and reports, writing in role and letter writing. Where possible, they have the opportunity to write for real purposes.
Children are systematically taught about formal aspects of language, such as style, grammar, punctuation and spelling. They are encouraged to re-draft their writing to improve content, punctuation and spelling. Our pupils are taught to use joined handwriting throughout the Junior school.
Aditionally, all children have the opportunity to enter story writing and poetry writing competitions.