The skills, knowledge and understanding that children develop in English are linked to, and applied in, every subject of our curriculum. The children’s skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening enable them to communicate and to express themselves in all areas of their work in school. Work is shared and celebrated regularly and children are encouraged to see themselves as readers and writers every day.
Whole Class Guided Reading
Central to our vision is that we should embrace an enjoyment of reading which will then permeate into all areas of our work. Whole class guided reading sessions enable children to engage with not just texts, but images and music, provoking children to develop their ability to express their own thoughts and ideas. Opportunities to discuss literal interpretations of a text and unpicking word or grammatical choices offer children exposure to a range of styles that they can then readily emulate in their own work. They are then encouraged to dig deeper and use inference and deduction skills to express their deeper understanding of how or why a text may be composed in a certain way.
Whole class discussions enable children to share their ideas in a supportive and diverse forum with the class teachers facilitating rich discussions. As a school, these opportunities have enabled children to develop their ability to articulate their ideas, in turn enhancing their written work.
Phonics and Spelling
Every day pupils have direct spelling and phonics sessions; in Year One they consolidate their phonic knowledge, then progress onto engaging and practical spelling sessions moving higher through the school. The spellings are taken from the expected coverage for each year group and include the key spellings that need to be taught directly. Pupils have their own spelling books that remain with them as they move into the next academic year and these, along with the high level of provision in the classroom (in terms of accessible scaffolding materials and learning walls), ensure that they build independent strategies to be able to check and correct their work.
Understanding why we are writing and who are we writing for is vital. Purpose and audience are the vehicles that are needed to be able to offer tangible writing opportunities. Because of this, when planning a unit of focused genre teaching, establishing this is always the starting point. This also means that coverage includes quality writing across the wider curriculum.
Immersing pupils in the planning stages encourages the development of ideas through drama, sharing thoughts and discussing how best to create our writing to engage the audience. Working collaboratively drives this dialogue and we ensure that pupils have opportunities to share their work or ideas. This includes termly productions, half-termly Celebration Worships with families and events linked to the Christian calendar, as well as daily feedback in sessions.