Dorchester St Birinus Primary School

Dorchester St Birinus Church of England School


At Dorchester St Birinus we aim for all our children to

  • be able to express themselves effectively through speaking and writing
  • be readers who read for pleasure and education.
  • be able to listen to people, form opinions and ask questions so that they leave us as effective communicators.

Our children begin their English learning journey in the Early Years. We ensure that our Reception children are immersed in a language rich environment. An important aspect of communication is allowing our children opportunities to speak and listen. We encourage all children to articulate themselves clearly and effectively, drawing on their reading, playing and experiences to help with this. From playing in the Early Years to debates and presentations in Year 6, the children are encouraged to find their voices and use language to clearly communicate their needs, thoughts and feelings.

Our children follow Twinkl phonics. Children bring home an 'I can' reading book which is linked to the phonics they are working on. We use a range of phonic reading books from various schemes including Twinkl, Oxford Reading Tree, Songbirds and Bug Club.  They can try to read this independently. We also have a range of PM reading books and other diverse books that children will bring home as they become more proficient readers.

Children will also bring home a 'we can' book which is a reading for pleasure book chosen by the children to be shared at home. 

As children move into Key Stage 2 and become independent readers, they will begin to choose their own reading book. Classes are also taught the skills of reading such as inference and comprehension through whole class guided reading using aspirational and interesting texts. 

We are passionate about exposing our children to a range of exciting and diverse texts. We stock our library with the idea that the books children read should provide mirrors (where they see their own self reflected in what they read) and windows (an opportunity to see into a different world). 

Children learn to write in a range of contexts by following planned 'learning journeys' which are linked to a specific text. We teach our children about the effect of their writing on their reader, developing their knowledge of word types and widening their vocabulary. We also follow the National Curriculum guidance with regard to teaching our children grammar and spelling skills so that by the time they leave us in Year 6, our children can communicate effectively in writing.