RC Primary School, Stevenage
Jesus is our guide, let us follow Him
Our Learning / English
English is an integral and fundamental component of the whole Primary Curriculum. A good literacy education is pivotal for all learning in every curriculum area.Developing good communication skills are at the core of our English curriculum and ensure that children are able to function effectively in everyday life.
The National Curriculum for English divides the subject up into the following areas:
Spoken language: speaking, listening & responding;
Reading: word reading;
Writing: transcription: spelling and handwriting;
Writing: composition; and
Writing: vocabulary, grammar & punctuation. English is taught daily and is woven into many other curriculum areas.
How do we teach reading at St. Margaret Clitherow School?
Developing a love of reading is key to developing excellence, not just in English but the whole curriculum.
In the EarlyYears, children begin to read by developing their ability to differentiate between the range of sounds they hear around them, before being introduced to letter/sound correspondences which will enable them to learn to decode the written word. Some of the strategies used to help children remember these letter/sound correspondences include actions, songs, and stories. This work continues in daily discrete phonics sessions throughout EYFS and KS1. In Year Two, children learn how to apply more complex spelling rules.
Alongside learning to decode the written word in discrete phonics sessions, children in EYFS and Key Stage One are encouraged to develop their understanding of what they read through noticing interesting vocabulary, recalling information, making inferences about characters and events, making predictions and sequencing events. These skills are further developed during English lessons and Reading lessons in Key Stage Two, where children also learn how to explain authorial choices, as well as summarise information found in texts. Children are given opportunities to enjoy reading aloud to others in an expressive way which show understanding, as well as having the opportunity to listen to their teacher reading to them each day.
How is our curriculum delivered?
We begin with a high quality text to engage and stimulate pupils interest, as well as developing their reading and writing skills. The engagement begins with discussion about the text. Children are encouraged to think about the audience, purpose and effect on the reader, before learning more about the features of the different text types. The children are encouraged to set goals, plan and manage their time, as well as being involved in a positive dialogue about their work. There is a regular writing process, which begins with thinking, saying, writing, reading, followed by opportunities to revise, redraft and improve their responses to texts. This opportunity for self- reflection and feedback, whether in spoken or written form, is key to the development of confident readers and creative writers. We provide opportunities for the children to engage with a range of platforms for writing using new technology.
How can you help at home?
A regular routine for enjoying reading is key.
Discuss favourite genres and authors with your child and talk about what you enjoy.
In the early stages, before your child becomes fluent, the reading books they bring home will be closely matched to their phonic knowledge.
Read different texts to your child. Reading bedtime stories, which your child is unable to read independently, will awaken their desire to explore new worlds and new experiences. It will also expose your child to ambitious vocabulary and more complex sentence structures.
Develop favourite books that your child reads and re-reads many times over. This will give your child a familiarity which will develop confidence in using the vocabulary and also the structure of a good story.
When listening to your child read, remember that re-reading a passage again once they have decoded it enables them to fully understand what they have read and develop a more fluent style.
Encourage them to notice new vocabulary and then find out what it tells them about characters and setting.
As your child becomes more fluent, they will want to read silently. s well as reading silently, provide opportunities for your child to read aloud to an audience, dramatically and expressively.
Remember– reading isn’t limited to fiction or books. Magazines, comics menus, leaflets and instructions are all rich sources of reading material.
Above all, have fun!
At SMC we believe that the basis of good writing begins with good talk.
Encourage your child to talk about what they’ve done, seen, heard, smelt, and touched.
Encourage them to describe in detail and model good adjectives to extend their descriptions.
Let your children see you writing – notes, cards letters or shopping lists.
Show them that you are not perfect! Revise, redraft and correct your written work, explaining what you are doing.
Encourage your child to write their own notes, cards and lists. Provide different sizes, types and colours of paper. Use special pens, pencils, stampers, envelope. Maybe you could create a special writing box or area.
Play games which might include Boggle, Scrabble or Guess Who.
Help your child to organise and sequence ideas. Draw simple pictures to show how events in a story can be organised.
Use magnetic letters to build words or cut out words from newspapers to build sentences.
As children get older and their skills develop they might enjoy keeping a journal or notebook of ideas, including favourite words, phrases or descriptions from books they have read. Encourage them to write in their favourite genres, whether this is writing fiction or non-fiction. They could write stories or they could research topics of interest and write information leaflets, or even write instructions or recipes.
Support your child with their weekly spellings by using a dictionary or search engine to find their meaning, looking for patterns within the words and using the Spelling Shed tasks and online games.