The aims of teaching English are:
to enable children to speak clearly and audibly, and to take account of their listeners;
to teach children effective communication, both verbal and non-verbal, through a variety of drama activities;
to help them become confident, enthusiastic and independent readers, through an appropriate focus on word-, sentence- and text-level knowledge;
to foster the enjoyment of writing, and a recognition of its value;
to encourage accurate and meaningful writing, be it narrative or non-fiction;
to enable the children to use the correct spelling, grammar and punctuation;
to help children develop a fluent, joined style of handwriting using the cursive style.
APPROACHES TO SPEAKING AND LISTENING
We recognise the importance of spoken language in pupils’ development across the whole curriculum - spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Opportunities to develop these skills include: a yearly speech competition, class assemblies, talk partners, drama and performances. All of the speaking and listening skills are taught in Literacy, across the curriculum and during extra-curricular activities too.
We recognise the need for all pupils to speak, read and write Standard English fluently and accurately, while acknowledging that a pupil's own dialect, or other language is of prime importance. It is our school policy to encourage children to use Standard English.
2. APPROACHES TO READING
We use Storytime Phonics to deliver daily discrete phonics lessons in FS and KS1, enabling children to decode efficiently. This is continued into KS2 where necessary.
Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions and children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during whole class guided reading sessions.
Many exciting and rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books, i.e. Book Fair, World Book Day and Book Jam. All children are also involved in judging the Read It Again awards, giving them the opportunity to read acclaimed recently published texts. Some children have the opportunity to engage in discussions about the texts with peers from across the county and some of the authors themselves.
We recognise the value of adults (both in school and at home) reading aloud to children, in order to improve their grasp of story language, enthuse them with a love of books and inspire them as writers.
3. APPROACHES TO WRITING
We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling. Our approach to teaching writing covers the ‘transcription’ and ‘composition’ requirements of The National Curriculum (2013). Teachers are flexible in their selection of Literacy experts’ strategies to suit the needs of the children and text type being taught (for example Ros Wilson and Pie Corbett).
4. APPROACHES TO GRAMMAR AND SPELLING
The teaching of Grammar and Spelling is in line with the requirements of The National Curriculum (2014). Our expectations were created as a whole staff and are outlined in our progression grid. It details the expectations for the teaching of grammar and the agreed terminology (from the NC glossary) which must be used by each year group. Grammar is taught discretely but, of course, these skills are also embedded within Literacy lessons where appropriate.
To be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill. When spelling becomes automatic, pupils are able to concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. Whilst we note that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling can have a profound effect on the writer’s self-image.