Our children need to develop a passion and skill for writing, in which they feel comfortable in experimenting with different styles and formats. From the Foundation Stage, all children’s attempts at writing, including emergent writing, are valued and built upon, so that children appreciate the importance of their writing in conveying meaning to the reader.
In KS1 and KS2 SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) is taught both discretely and as an embedded part of English lessons. Across the wider curriculum, children are encouraged to use the skills they are learning in all writing. These skills include using interesting and ambitious vocabulary, a wide range of conjunctions and thinking of interesting ways to open sentences.
When writing, we ask our children to think carefully about Audience and Purpose. Teachers plan writing lessons based around different purposes and their audiences. You can see our overview below.
Early Reading - for further details on our phonics curriculum in school, please see our Phonics curriculum page.
Reading has the highest priority in our school - we are determined that every child learns to read and develop a love of reading.
Children entering our school in EYFS are immersed in phonics from Day 1. We follow the ELS synthetic phonics programme and ensure that all children have a reading book matched to the sounds they know and understand.
From Year 2, our children begin to use the Accelerated Reader programme. There is a dedicated half hour time slot each day (1-1.30pm) for children to read their AR books. Children take a diagnostic reading test every half term, choose a book from our fantastic library at their level, read the book and then take an online quiz. This provides both the child and the teacher with immediate feedback. Accelerated Reader gives teachers the information they need to monitor students’ reading practice and make informed decisions to guide their future learning.
Because students receive regular feedback from Accelerated Reader, teachers are given many opportunities to praise students for their successes and to discuss with them what they have been reading. Our bronze, silver and gold Bookworm badges are awarded to children who read for understanding.
Our main objective is to foster in children a love of reading. They will be encouraged to value books and read for learning and enjoyment, from a wide range of literary texts from all genres.
Children will be encouraged to read with fluency and understanding, utilising a combination of strategies including phonic knowledge, contextual clues and sight vocabulary. Children’s awareness of syntax, punctuation, expression and comprehension will be developed and assessed through explicit teaching of reading as well as individual reading.
Two of our five literacy lessons each week are dedicated to National Curriculum Reading objectives. Children also take part in an adult-led Guided Reading session each week.
Oral language has a key role in classroom teaching and learning. Discussion and interaction can engage children’s imagination and foster creativity.
In our school the key areas are:
- Speaking: being able to speak clearly and to develop and sustain ideas in talk.
- Listening: developing active listening strategies and critical skills of analysis.
- Group discussion and interaction: taking different roles in groups, making a range of contributions and working collaboratively.
Talk is an underlying factor in the development of literacy, with children engaging by responding to text and explaining their choices and rehearsing their ideas in advance of writing. In maths, children are encouraged to explain their thinking and relevant language is developed.
In the Foundation Stage, children’s speaking and listening skills are developed across the curriculum as well as specifically in activities such as listening games, Talk through Stories, NELI and role play.