English, as a subject, is foremost in education and in society. The acquisition of the skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing are the key to success across the curriculum.
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.
We aim to develop the children’s ability to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others.
In Foundation Stage and Year One we use Talk and Talk for Writing to develop the vital skills needed to understand the processes of writing. Talk for Writing originated from an ex-teacher named Pie Corbett http://www.piecorbett.org.uk/ and focuses on children learning the language structures of key texts types through rehearsing exemplar texts verbally and through games until it becomes internalised. It appears to then allow children to gain confidence and write pieces of writing which engage the reader and are appropriate to the text type in a creative, fun and individualised way.
In Year Two and Key Stage Two, we cover different genres through a book study which is usually linked to our topics or RE. Grammar is linked to the genre we are teaching at the time.
We aim to enable children to be enthusiastic, responsive and knowledgeable listeners and readers so they have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.
Throughout the school, we follow the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme for individual reading books and children are also involved in Group Guided Reading sessions with a member of staff. To encourage a natural love of reading, all pupils and staff participate in ERIC (Everybody Reads in Class) once a week where everyone reads a book of their own choice from home or the library.
We also believe that it is extremely important that parents read regularly with and to their children throughout their time at primary school from Early Years to Year 6; discussing, predicting and questioning what has been read is vital in developing a secure understanding and a lifetime love of the subject of reading.
Handwriting, Grammar and Spelling all have a raised importance in the curriculum.
Cursive handwriting is taught and promoted from the very beginning. We start with an emphasis on practical activities developing co-ordination in Early Years before teaching formation of individual letters with pre-cursors in Key Stage One before moving onto joining letters together in Year two and Lower Key Stage Two and then encouraging children to develop their own individual style in Upper Key Stage Two.
Grammar is taught within each genre we are looking at in English and skills are expected to be applied by the children to their writing across the whole curriculum. Wherever possible, correct usage of grammatical terms is used throughout the school to encourage a greater understanding by Year 6. We follow the format of Attack Spelling Programme as a whole school through spelling lessons, but focus on year group spelling patterns and specific words. This occurs twice weekly in Key Stage One and weekly in Key Stage Two.
In Key Stage One we deliver a consistent approach to phonics using a programme called Letters and Sounds. Every pupil in Foundation Stage and Key Stage One works through the programme to help them decode (sound out) words that they read. Reading is linked into understanding what they have read. Using small group work on a daily basis allows staff to pin point any individual who may need additional support in this area and will plan intervention activities if needed.