There are four elements to the English Curriculum – Speaking and Listening; Reading, Writing and SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar). Children’s future learning depends on their ability to communicate orally and in writing, to read fluently and with understanding. The school follows the scheme of work set down by the National Literacy Strategy.
Speaking and Listening
Through discussion, children learn to express themselves clearly and listen to other people’s views. We encourage the children to express and explain themselves clearly and confidently. Children will be expected to listen to stories, poems and other verbal activities, concentrating on instruction and direction and will develop improving listening skills. Drama and games are used to support direct teaching and learning activities.
We believe that reading is one of the most important skills the children have to acquire. From the beginning we encourage parents to become fully involved in helping their child to learn to read. The teaching of reading is focused around the Sounds Write Phonics scheme and the Institute of Education Curriculum banded books. It is supported by a wide range of other reading material both factual and fictional.
The children will bring home a book everyday and parents are expected to share this book with their child. The children also have a reading diary that informs parents and teachers on the individual’s progress. Anyone listening to the children read will record a comment in the diary. The children are taught the importance of this record which can be passed from one teacher to the next as appropriate. Teachers also keep detailed records of reading groups and progress is monitored regularly.
All children have phonics lessons daily, using the Sounds Write scheme, which supports their reading progression.
We are fortunate to have a well-stocked library that the children can visit weekly. They also learn to use the library as a resource, developing more advanced study skills. The children are encouraged to read a variety of material.
The children will learn to express themselves in writing through reporting things that have happened to them and by using their imagination.
The children are encouraged to write from the very beginning and are taught handwriting skills using Nelson Thornes materials. As progress with spelling, punctuation, drafting, and re-drafting increases, skills improve and writing becomes more mature. All children’s writing is valued and teachers will provide a structured programme of writing work to allow them to develop into writers.
Presentation, handwriting and spelling skills are vital to this development
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Skills are developed alongside our Sounds Write Phonics programme. We encourage parents to help with spellings, which are given regularly for the child to learn at home.
We know that systematic progression of phonics supports children’s literacy skills. We use a comprehensive phonics programme called SoundsWrite, which is taught across the whole school at dedicated times each day. Progression is monitored closely by teachers. Children in Year 1 have a phonics screening test administered in the summer as directed by the Department of Education.