English

The school provides for the teaching of reading, writing, speaking and listening, through the key skills and, where possible, this is linked to topics.  Building on the skills developed in the Foundation Stage, children are taught early reading, speaking and listening and writing skills.  Initially we aim to develop an interest in books and independent reading skills so that children will be eager to read.  Phonic awareness – understanding letters, combinations of letters and the sounds that they make - plays a crucial part in this.  To aid in the teaching of phonics we use a combination of materials from ‘Letter and Sounds’ and ‘Read, Write Inc’.   Reading is taught in individual, guided and whole class shared sessions.  Each classroom is equipped with a variety of well-known and well-liked reading books, big books and electronic text, both fiction and non-fiction.  School uses books from the Oxford Reading Tree to support the teaching of reading. However children will also read from other books not in this scheme.  Children have timetabled weekly access to our library where they can borrow books to share at home.  An interest in the written word is encouraged by giving children access to many forms of writing, through handling books, sharing stories and making their own books.  As the children move through school, the range of skills they are taught becomes progressively broader.

At Key Stage 2, the children develop higher order reading skills. While some children still need support with working our what the words say, the emphasis in Key Stage 2 shifts more to comprehension.  This involves a deeper understanding of texts, including ‘reading between the lines’. 

In writing, emphasis is placed on developing a secure grasp of sentence structure, vocabulary, punctuation, sentence openers, connectives, good quality handwriting and knowledge of the other conventions associated with different types of writing, as part of weekly writing lessons.  Again, care is taken to ensure that the children experience a wide range of types of writing with a variety of audiences, both to build their knowledge and to stimulate their enjoyment of the subject.

Throughout their time in school children have many planned opportunities to develop good speaking and listening skills.  These include one-to-one discussion with teachers, contributing to class discussion, sharing experiences with other children and, more formally, public speaking opportunities in assembly and school performances.  Drama is an excellent vehicle to deliver speaking and listening.  Children are encouraged to develop a wide vocabulary and to express themselves clearly.

We held a "bacon and book breakfast" as part of our reading week in School.  Parents were invited to come into school, have bacon sandwiches and read a book with their children.  The morning was a huge success and enjoyed by parents, children and staff.