We aim to promote high standards of language and literacy through quality teaching across the curriculum. We encourage children to foster a love for reading and writing through a range of literacy activities as well as encouraging high standards and expectations in order that all children can work towards achieving National Standards in English.
The curriculum includes reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, grammar and punctuation, speaking and listening and drama.
We recognise the importance of speaking and listening in supporting children to become innovative thinkers, skilled debaters, lifelong readers and confident writers. We encourage them to speak to range of audiences and to develop good listening skills. Each class has a weekly drama lesson with a specialist teacher which helps develop these skills.
English is also closely linked with other areas of the curriculum. Children visit museums, art galleries, places of religious worship and other places of interest for history and geography as well as watching plays by visiting theatre groups or working with authors. These experiences are used to help extend and inspire children’s writing.
The English curriculum revolves around high quality key texts which cover a range of fiction and non-fiction genres in reading and writing.
We regard reading as an invaluable life skill and encourage children to become confident and independent readers for both purpose and pleasure.
In the Foundation Stage and at Key Stage One, all children are read to and encouraged to read a range of texts for enjoyment. Children in Reception are read with weekly on a 1:1 basis to help develop their accuracy, fluency and confidence. In the Summer term, Reception children also begin to participate in weekly guided reading sessions where they have the opportunity to discuss a variety of high quality texts. In Year One, a structured daily supported reading programme takes place where comprehension skills are developed and children’s progress is closely matched to the complexity of the text. This continues into Year Two where children are introduced to more challenging text, taught how to retrieve specific information or ideas and supported to make increasingly complex inferences.
In teaching phonics throughout the school we use Letters and Sounds as well as Jolly Phonics to provide a broad and balanced approach. This helps them to make links between reading and writing and involves the teaching of sounds, spelling patterns, high frequency words and words that are not able to be sounded out phonetically. Those children continuing to require further phonic teaching are moved onto the Sounds Write programme.
Reading scheme books are levelled and colour-coded to ensure an accurate match for each individual reader. We use books from a variety of schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Treetops and Dandelion Readers.
Guided reading also continues on a weekly basis for all children throughout Key Stage Two. In these sessions, children are encouraged to explore texts in greater depth, study the effects of language and identify themes and conventions as well as continue to develop their retrieval and inference skills. Children who require extra support with their reading, continue to read on a 1:1 basis with an adult or receive support from our specialist reading teacher.
Children are exposed to a wide range of high quality texts, drama, debate and role play which provides inspiration for a wide range of writing genres covering non-fiction, narrative and poetry. They are also encouraged to write with confidence for a variety of real purposes.
Children in Reception and Key Stage One, receive daily phonic sessions following the Jolly Phonics and/or Letters and Sounds programme.
Handwriting is taught in conjunction with our spelling scheme - Spelling Bee. The children learn the rules and conventions of spelling patterns as well as the statutory words specified in the National Curriculum whilst being taught a cursive script (‘Write On’).
Grammar and Punctuation is taught in a meaningful context through a range of genres as well as one off discrete lessons. We use Rising Stars to assess children’s progress termly.