English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The national curriculum for Literacy aims to ensure that all pupils:
- To teach children effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal, through a variety of drama activities, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings.
- To enable children to speak clearly and audibly and to take account of their listeners, adapting their speech to a wide range of circumstances and demands.
- To encourage children to listen with concentration and to respond orally to different stimuli.
- To develop children’s interests in books and reading for enjoyment, so they are able to talk about their preferences and opinions.
- To develop confident and reflective readers, through contact with challenging and engaging texts.
- To encourage children to have an interest in words, their meanings, developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
- To know, understand and be able to write a range of genres within non-fiction, fiction and poetry.
- To have fluent and legible handwriting.
- To plan, draft, revise and edit their written work.