We aim to equip our pupils with the Language and Literacy skills which are vital for their development as confident communicators and learners.
We aim to do this through:
- A cross curricular approach to ensure that pupils are motivated to practise, extend and apply their literacy skills in a range of contexts.
- A broad and varied curriculum which promotes a multi-cultural society and equal opportunities for all.
- Engaging and motivating our pupils with lively, interactive teaching which takes account of a range of varying learning styles.
- Ensuring speaking, listening, reading and writing are fully integrated in teaching across all areas of the curriculum.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
The development of communication and language is the foundation of all literacy development and an essential element of all learning. We want our pupils to become excellent listeners and to be articulate with a rich and extensive vocabulary. We therefore ensure that throughout the school there are continual opportunities for children to participate in:
- Whole class discussion
- Small group discussion
- Partner talk
- Drama based activities such as role play, freeze frame, Forum theatre etc.
- Story Making
That our pupils develop a love of reading and understand its importance in our lives is central to the teaching of reading in our school. Children are taught a range of reading strategies, enabling them to become fluent readers and understand a variety of texts. We encourage the children to use phonics first and then within the context of the Simple View of Reading the children are encouraged to develop good word recognition and language comprehension using a number of other reading cues: contextual, syntactic, graphic and pictorial.
Children are introduced to a broad range of fiction, poetry, drama and non-fiction texts from different cultures and times on paper and on screen. They are encouraged to understand and interpret a range of texts and engage with and respond to the texts in a number of ways:
- Adults read to pupils with follow-up discussion or activities.
- Shared reading – enabling pupils to access texts which they may not be able to read independently. At KS1 – the focus is modelling and teaching reading strategies. At KS2 – the focus is exploring and analysing the text to improve comprehension and compositional skills.
- Guided Reading – may be whole class or small group work with a focus on specific reading objectives. This gives the children the opportunity to read texts and work cooperatively on a variety of tasks including, discussing, empathising, comparing and evaluating.
- Individual reading – using texts based (in the early years) on their phonic ability and as they progress through the school and gain in fluency texts which they are able to read independently.
- These books are taken home daily and a reading record is kept. The child may also read this book to a teacher, teaching assistant or other adult during the school day such as community volunteer readers. Paired reading – older children within the school are paired with a younger child and they share books and read to each other each half term. This has proved to be highly motivating to both ages.
- Independent reading of library or class corner books. This may be individually, in pairs or small groups either for research or purely pleasure.
- Storytime – all children from Reception to Year 4 listen to a story read by an adult daily.
- Reading Events e.g. World Book Day, Book Week, Holiday challenges, Library Lottery, Individual class challenges etc.
Phonic skills are taught discretely and daily in the Foundation Stage and KS1, based on the objectives outlined in the EYFS, the National Curriculum and Letters and Sounds. A range of multi-sensory activities and resources are used to cater for visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. The objective is to develop accurate reading and spelling strategies by teaching the common spelling patterns of phonemes.
SPELLING, PUNCTUATION AND GRAMMAR (SPAG)
In Foundation Stage word lists are sent home to support the children in their learning of common exception words and high frequency words.
In Year 1 a small number of words based around the GPCs, common exception words or high frequency words taught so far or from the Year 1 statutory spelling list are sent home to be learnt each week.
The No Nonsense Spelling Scheme forms the basis of the teaching of spelling from Year 2 to Year 4. Currently in Key Stage 2 ‘Spelling Shed’ is being trialled to see if it enhances their spelling ability. In Years 2, 3 and 4 words are sent home to be learnt each week.
We encourage children to become competent, confident, highly-motivated writers, able to write in a variety of styles, with an awareness of the different purposes of writing in our society.
Writing is taught:
- during English lessons and extended and reinforced across the curriculum with strong links to speaking, listening and reading.
- in interactive shared writing sessions, where the teacher models the writing process talking through the strategies used and then inviting the children to make contributions.
- in guided writing sessions when the teacher works with an ability based group, supporting their writing, providing on-going feedback, referring to individual and group targets and showing the way forward.
- in independent writing where pupils are asked to apply the skills they have learnt to a specific unaided task.
- in extended writing which may involve drafting and redrafting and might take several days to complete.
- through Story Making – an innovative, multi-sensory approach to storytelling where children learn a range of strategies including, listening to and learning stories, re-telling them with actions, creating story maps, drama, role-play, hot-seating and reading. In this way they begin to acquire the language of story, the essential precursor to writing successful stories.
All classes have English working walls which are used to support and scaffold the children’s writing.
Pupils are taught to develop a neat, clear and fluent joined handwriting style. In Foundation and KS1 we develop coordination, fine motor skills and handwriting using multi sensory methods with the children being taught letter formation using the Read Write Inc rhymes and characters. When letter formation is secure they move onto the pre-cursive letter formation and then the cursive handwriting scheme SENTER is used. Children are taught to join once they have learnt to form single cursive letter shapes correctly. In KS2 children use a joined handwriting style throughout their independent writing and are taught to increase the legibility, consistency and quality of their handwriting. In YR4 children who are able to demonstrate a neat, joined handwriting style are rewarded by being able to use a handwriting pen.