The ability to communicate effectively for a range of purposes and in a variety of ways is essential and at the heart of everything we do at Moorfield.
We aim to foster in every child a love of reading. A rigorous programme of phonics in the lower school ensures our youngest pupils have the knowledge and strategies they need to decode texts and build their own words using the sounds they know. By keeping phonics sessions small and focused, each child receives teaching at exactly the right level for them, with carefully selected books sent home to support learning.
As pupils develop their reading fluency, they move away from reading schemes and enjoy choosing their own books from our well-stocked and ever-expanding library. Library lessons are a real highlight of the week for many of our children: for every pupil, one lesson per week is dedicated to simply enjoying a good book on a beanbag in the library! A successful 'Reading Rosettes' system rewards those pupils who extend themselves by reading classics such as The Railway Children, and children in years 5 and 6 work towards reading certificates designed to introduce them to a broader range of high quality children's literature. All classes share at least one novel per year together as a class, increasing to four or five novels per year by the time children reach year 6. Books increase in complexity throughout the school, with children completing a more formal literature study in their final year. Typical books for this include Goodnight Mr Tom and The Silver Sword.
Reading and writing go hand in hand and pupils at Moorfield are able to draw on their extensive reading experience to bring their own writing to life. In our most recent inspection report, inspectors noted, "Pupils of all ages produce a wide variety of competent writing." With an increasing national focus on spelling, punctuation and grammar teaching in primary schools, we are proud of our teachers' ability to ensure these basics are covered, without losing the fun and the passion for language, which is so vital if children are to become articulate and expressive adults.
Building confidence in public speaking is a key focus of the English curriculum at Moorfield. Pupils have a variety of opportunities to shine in this area, such as our annual poetry recital, entering prose classes in the Wharfedale Festival and debating lessons in year 6.
"The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village."
Roald Dahl, Matilda