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JM Barrie- Author of the play Peter Pan


Born on May 9, 1860, in Scotland, J.M. Barrie was a Scottish dramatist, best known for writing Peter Pan in 1904, or The Boy Who Would Never Grow Up. The son of Scottish weavers, he moved to London to pursue his interest in becoming a playwright. There he met the Llewelyn Davies boys who inspired his masterpiece. Based on Barrie's enchanting characters, Disney created the animated classic, Peter Pan, in 1953.

Perhaps to escape his difficult home life, Barrie took to going out for long walks in London's Kensington Gardens, where he met the five Llewelyn Davies brothers in the late 1890s. He found inspiration for his best-known work—Peter Pan—in his friendship with the Davies family. (Barrie would later become the boys' guardian after the death of their parents.)

'Peter Pan'

The famous character of Peter Pan first appeared in the 1902 book The Little White Bird. Two years later, his play Peter Pan premiered on the London stage and became a great success. Audiences were drawn into the fantastical tale of the flying boy who never grew up and his adventures in Neverland with the Darling children. Barrie also wrote a book based on the play called Peter and Wendy, which was published in 1911. The book earned raves from critics.

J.M. Barrie died on June 19, 1937, in London, England. As a part of his will, he gave the copyright to Peter Pan to a children's hospital in London. After his death, Barrie's beloved characters were transformed into animated figures in the Disney classic Peter Pan (1953). The story was also the basis for the 1991 film Hook. And a live-action version of the story, Peter Pan, was released in 2003.Barrie's most famous play continues to be a favourite with young and old alike.

English Teaching at AJS

At Airedale Junior School, English is embedded into the whole curriculum. Through developing language and the written word, we equip children with the skills they need to confidently carry them along their learning journey.

We support the children to:

  • Develop their reading and listening comprehension skills.

  • Develop their understanding of and ability to write a wide range of text types including fiction, poetry and non-fiction texts.

  • Develop a secure understanding of grammar and punctuation.

  • Develop their ability to understand spelling rules and apply their spelling across the curriculum.

  • Develop their handwriting skills with the aim that the majority of children will have a fluent and cursive writing style by Year 3.

  • Develop their spoken language skills in order to speak confidently and appropriately in a range of contexts and to a range of audiences.


Purpose of Study

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. 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; our aim for all the children leaving Airedale Junior School is that they have the skills necessary in reading, writing and the spoken language to take an active role in the community and wider world, supporting them on their journey through education to secondary schools and beyond.


The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word. It aims to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:

  • read easily, fluently and with good understanding
  • develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
  • acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
  • appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
  • write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
  • use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
  • are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.

At Airedale pupils will be taught;

Spoken Language

Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that children hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. Teachers at Airedale will ensure children develop confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Children will develop a capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write. Children will be supported through discussion to identify and address misconceptions.

All children will be able to participate in and gain knowledge, skills and understanding of drama through role play and hot seating. The curriculum is enriched with regular opportunities to share and respond thoughtfully to drama and attend professional theatre performances both in and out of school.


At Airedale Junior School we promote the development of word reading through high quality phonics provision and systematic teaching of spellings using the Read Write Inc schemes. We look to deepen children’s understanding of the meaning and structure of a wide range of text types and stories through encouraging children to read widely and for enjoyment. All classes read a wide range of stories and texts every day.  Children explore the work of a wide range of authors both within their own ability range and beyond through whole class reading books.  Through linked texts, reading is an integral part of our history, geography and science curriculum.

Reading at home with Parents

For home reading books we try and encourage children to read a variety of books, magazines, comics and newspapers. Children are assessed by adults in school to see where their strengths and areas to devlop are. We invest heavily in high ualty reading material for children to take home and borrow. We have also invested heavily in an online reading scheme, ‘Bug Club’ which can be accessed on most mobile devices. Children are expected to read at least 3 times a week at home as a homework task.


Children will have the opportunity to write for a range of purposes applying the knowledge skills and understanding that they learned about a particular writing genre or author. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Over the course of the year children will demonstrate their writing skills through a variety of non-fiction, fiction and poetry work. 

Pupils will have the opportunity to compose and structure their writing and will be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their written work. Writing down ideas fluently depends on effective transcription: Spelling and handwriting play a key role in this. School use a fully cursive handwriting style which supports children making links between spelling patterns and word shapes.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar plays an important role as part of our English curriculum, being central to the effective teaching of the English language. At Airedale Junior School we aim to incorporate these areas into the teaching of English through lesson content and starter activities.

Attainment will be tracked in a variety of ways and all children will receive weekly homework tasks based on the spelling programme. They will practise their spellings regularly at home and in school. It is an expectation that all children will practise at home as a homework task.

Grammar is taught in a structured way so that all children have the opportunity to practise and apply grammar skills in their writing. It is expected that children will use the same level of grammatical understanding in all work across the curriculum.

Where children exceed their age-related expectations, teachers will plan work to deepen children’s understanding and mastery of the topics covered.