Look at what's happening in our learning...

Lots of us invited our adults into class to read with us - we loved this! We also came to school dressed as our favourite book character. Some of the Y6 children went to read with Y3, and some Y3 children went to read to our Reception friends at Airedale Infants! We had lots of 'book' fun!

We love books! We love dressing up! We love World Book Day!


JRR Tolkien- Author of

The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit

 J.R.R. Tolkien is an internationally renowned fantasy writer. He is best known for authoring 'The Hobbit' and 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy.

Who Was J.R.R. Tolkien?

Born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa, J.R.R. Tolkien settled in England as a child, going on to study at Exeter College. While teaching at Oxford University, he published the popular fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The works have had a devoted international fan base and been adapted into award-winning blockbuster films. Tolkien died in 1973 at 81.

Early Life & Family

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on January 3, 1892, to Arthur Tolkien and Mabel Suffield Tolkien. After Arthur Tolkien died from complications of rheumatic fever, Mabel settled with four-year-old J.R.R. (then called Ronald) and his younger brother, Hilary, in the country hamlet of Sarehole, in Birmingham, England.

Mabel Tolkien died in 1904, and the Tolkien brothers were sent to live with a relative and in boarding homes, with a Catholic priest assuming guardianship in Birmingham. J.R.R. went on to get his first-class degree at Exeter College, specializing in Anglo-Saxon and Germanic languages and classic literature.

His work

The award-winning fantasy novel The Hobbit — about the small, furry-footed Bilbo Baggins and his adventures — was published in 1937 and was regarded as a children’s book, though Tolkien would state the book wasn’t originally intended for children. He also created more than 100 drawings to support the narrative.

Tolkien retired from professorial duties in 1959, going on to publish an essay and poetry collection, Tree and Leaf, and the fantasy tale Smith of Wootton Major. His wife Edith died in 1971, and Tolkien died on September 2, 1973, at the age of 81. He was survived by four children.


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.