English at GEMS Jumeirah Primary School

The study of English at Jumeirah Primary School is a bespoke programme of study which aims to support children in becoming confident speakers, balanced readers and to have the skills to write for specific purposes.  At Jumeirah Primary School, we explicitly teach Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in English and ensure that the children then transfer these skills into all subjects.

Our aim is to develop children’s communication, language and essential English skills. We ensure that they have the ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, subsequently ensuring that they have the tools of language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings confidently. We believe that the ability to communicate gives children the capacity to participate more fully in their society and become skillful communicators. Working together with others leads to the wider development of social relations, which include friendship, empathy and sharing emotions. We encourage the children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Children use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations. 

Speaking and Listening

Spoken Language underpins the development of Reading and Writing, therefore, our English Curriculum is designed to continually develop children’s confidence and competence in Speaking and Listening skills. We focus on developing the capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, to prepare their ideas before they write, as well as teaching them to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate. 


At JPS, we are extremely proud of the way we teach Reading and are committed to developing ‘Balanced Readers’. The skills of reading are taught explicitly so that children are able to comprehend on three different levels.  We have a wonderful bank of reading resources, which support readers at all levels and reflect the international nature of our school. JPS strives to promote a love of reading throughout the whole school, from FS1 to Year 6.  


In Writing, it is important that children are exposed to a wide range of different text types. Our aim at JPS is to enable children to write with confidence, fluency, accuracy and meaning in narrative and non-fiction across a wide range of text types. We support children to increase their ability to use planning, drafting and editing to improve their work and the work of their peers. A balance of Modelled, Guided and Independent strategies are used to support and extend learning. This approach is highly supportive to all children, especially ELL and SEND. Writing is assessed regularly and teachers effectively use assessment information to inform planning to ensure that children are always meeting their full potential. 


At JPS, we are incredibly proud of our innovative approach to Spelling!  We treat spelling as a problem-solving activity, not just a list of words to learn off by heart. We know that to be successful spellers, we need to learn four spelling knowledges. These are: phonological, visual, etymological and morphemic. These knowledges give our children the tools they need to learn how to spell practically any word!  All of our children from Year 1 – Year 6 practise learning these spelling skills both in the classroom and at home as part of their Home Learning. All of our classrooms have specially designed ‘Word Windows’, which help to make learning spellings fun and exciting.


The ELL programme at GEMS Jumeirah Primary School is designed to give support to children whose first language is not English. The aim of this programme is to develop and strengthen English skills, enabling children to be successful in the mainstream classroom. At first, it may seem that some children are doing ‘just fine’ when it comes to learning English, however the level of English skill necessary to comprehend and apply new information to mathematics or scientific text is far greater than the knowledge required for basic communication.

In order to adequately address the diverse needs of children who are identified as English Language Learners, assessments are carried out and specific intervention is put in place during the school day. The content of the sessions is a combination of direct English language instruction and content-based instruction, designed to boost vocabulary and comprehension skills in various academic areas. Along with establishing a strong conversational level of English, a key part of the programme is working to expand knowledge of content-specific vocabulary. Ultimately, children will be able to effectively listen, speak, read and write fluently in English.

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