English, and the teaching of English, is the foundation of our curriculum. Our aim at Fern House School is to ensure every single child progresses in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening – preparing them with the vital skills required in the wider world.
As a SEMH school, it is essential we are aware of the differing needs of learners and particularly vulnerable children in our school. With this information, we plan and teach personalised English lessons, which focus on the particular needs of each child. We recognise that each child has their own starting point upon entry to every year group and progress is measured in line with these starting points – ensuring every child can celebrate success.
English is not only a daily/discrete lesson, but is at the cornerstone of the entire curriculum and is embedded within all of our lessons. Through the use of high-quality texts and range of genres, immersing pupils in vocabulary rich learning environments and ensuring new curriculum expectations and the progression of skills are met, our pupils are exposed to a creative and continuous English curriculum. We intend on developing an enjoyment of reading, creative writing and purposeful speaking and listening for all.
At Fern House School, we intend to encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, to gain knowledge across the curriculum and develop their comprehension skills. It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their time at Fern House, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence.
As a part of English, reading contributes in forming the core of our curriculum. The systematic teaching of phonics – through the use of Letters and Sounds - has a high priority where needed throughout the school. For those pupils who have completed each phase of their phonics learning, we have implemented a separate reading programme – MIDAS Reading Detectives – focusing on their understanding of each reading domain and developing their comprehension skills.
We have also introduced a specific list of books – The FHS Ten Books for All - of which we promote and encourage all of our pupils to have read, by the time they have completed their learning journey with us at Fern House. These books have been carefully selected to develop our pupils’ love of reading, whilst exposing them to a variety of genres and authors.