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English, Humanities Faculty

English, RE, History and Geography Faculty

Faculty Newsletter

Faculty Newsletter 2018

Speaking and listening

Speaking and listening is an essential building block in English.  Children are given lots of opportunities to talk, ask and answer questions and present to an audience.  The school follow Hertfordshire guidelines for the teaching of speaking and listening.  Children are thoroughly assessed in speaking and listening on entry and given extra support where necessary.  We value what children have to say and through a variety of methods teach children to have a voice.


Daily phonics lessons take place in Foundation Stage and KS1.  We follow the guidance in Letters and Sounds and the LCP scheme of work. We provide children with a range of practical experiences to develop their phonic knowledge.
In English lessons and ‘Child Initiated Learning’, pupils are encouraged to develop these skills further through reading and writing activities.  Children are screened for phonic knowledge at the end of Year 1 and again in Year 2 if required.  Parents are informed of these results in the end of year report.


Reading is an essential part of life in school.  We use the Oxford Reading Tree as the core school reading scheme.  We supplement this with a range of other schemes and books in order to give children a varied reading experience.

As children move through the scheme, they are able to choose their own books from a selection of modern and up to date titles in the school library.  We update the school library regularly and involve children in the choices that we make.

All classes from Reception have weekly guided reading sessions. Children develop reading strategies with their teacher in a small group. They also have the opportunity to practise these skills independently.  Specific guided reading books from Oxford Reading Tree are used in these sessions along with other relevant and age appropriate materials.

Parents are encouraged to hear their child read each night and they are welcome to help their child change their reading book at any time.  In addition, the library is available after school for pupils and parents to borrow extra books.


Writing is given a high priority in school. Children are given a variety of opportunities to write for different purposes including: writing their name, creating a list, retelling a story, creating a newspaper report or a persuasive letter.   As much as possible, teachers use real life experiences or rich texts to inspire pupils.  Pupils who read a wide variety of high quality texts are much better placed to write in an engaging and exciting way.

Each year group follows Hertfordshire guidelines to ensure pupils are meeting the appropriate standards for their age.  Grammar teaching is a significant part of the curriculum and pupils are expected to understand and use a different technique to develop the accuracy of their writing.  The guide below is to support parents and pupils with this.

Transcription is another important part of the writing curriculum.  Handwriting and spelling are significant building blocks to becoming a confident writer.  Good grip and correct letter formation are key elements children need to learn early on in their school career.  Teachers use the national curriculum to teach spelling and ensure the correct words are being taught in each year group.
Children are given plenty of opportunities to write for pleasure and to share their work in sharing assembly or with the Head teacher.  We endeavour to prepare   pupils well for the requirements of secondary school.

English Expectations

Bronze Eco Award

We are very pleased to announce that the Eco-Warriors have been successful in achieving the Bronze Eco Award.  We now have an action plan in place which is displayed on the Eco-Warriors display.  We will now start to work towards the Silver award.

Spring 2019

We are celebrating our link with our twin school, Ngezi Primary which is in Kadoma, Zimbabwe.

We had a very interesting assembly learning about life in Kadoma and the Ngezi primary school.
Each class then wrote letters to Ngezi Primary to tell them about life in Stevenage and at Trotts Hill. These letters will be sent to the school and their pupils will reply!

Stevenage links with Kadoma, Zimbabwe since 1989: History

1990 – Fire service helped fund fire engines for Kadoma

1991 – Library – Stevenage donated books and money to help build a library in Kadoma

Late 1990s – Martin Masaraure, Head Teacher of secondary school in Kadoma, had the idea of ‘twinning’ some schools with schools in Kadoma.

2002 – a Stevenage primary teacher (Christina Moyo) visited a school in Kadoma: Cam and Motor Primary School. She helped to launch the partnership schools.

2004 – 7 Kadoma teachers came to visit 14 Stevenage primary schools. One of the teachers even came to visit Trotts Hill!

By 2017 – 19 primary schools in Stevenage are now linked with different schools in Kadoma.

Life at school in Kadoma:

  • There isn’t always electricity, so the staff built their own wood-burning ovens
  • Always wash their hands before they eat their lunch, outside!
  • Assemblies are outdoors as they can’t build a hall big enough to fit all the children in
  • Ngezi Primary has 1000 children in the class. Half the children start school at 7:30am until 12pm; then the other half of the children start school at 12:30pm and finish at 4:30pm.
  • Have special lessons: including, how to keep after chickens and grow crops (agriculture)
  • Speak a language called Shona, but learn English as soon as they start school. By the time children are 10 years old, every lesson is taught in English.

Autumn 2018

The children of Trotts Hill made a whole school Poppy this morning using different materials to remember those who fought and died in the war. Purple poppies were also made to remember the animals that lost their lives.
During a Remembrance assembly we learnt about how Stevenage was a place of refuge for people from Belgium and a place where the Australian and New Zealand army members trained. Thank you to Anette Clynes for lending us WWI resources to use.
Jake, Jaydon and Sinead read “In Flanders Fields” by John Mccrae followed by a 2 minute silence. The Year 5 and Year 6 children read aloud the names of the 200 men from Stevenage who fought and died in World War 1.

Eco-Warriors 2018

  • Brooke and Jake
  • Zara and Alfie
  • Lacey and Hayden
  • Evie and Koray
  • Molly and Abbie

The Eco-Warriors are currently working to achieve the Bronze eco-award.  They have completed a site survey and environmental review and have taken part in an assembly encouraging the pupils and staff to only use reusable plastic bottles.  They have produced posters which are on display in the hall. They are also working to reduce our use of electricity and can be seen turning off lights around the school!