Each class organises a daily Literacy lesson, supplemented by handwriting, spelling and guided reading activities during further sessions. Punctuation and grammar activities are specifically planned to support literacy basic skills.
In Reception, children learn Communication, Language and Literacy through guided teaching and a range of appropriate activities. Children are taught daily phonics following the phases incorporated in ‘Letters and Sounds’. This is supplemented by phonic bug and phonics play. All children in class 1 receive this teaching. In Class 2, 'Letters and Sounds' teaching is focused upon year 1 pupils and those children in year 2 still needing phonic support.
To support phonetic readers, we have developed the use of several published schemes, which have been arranged in coloured 'book bands'. Children are encouraged to read at home every night to develop their skills and parents record comments for the teacher in the homework diary. Every child also has access to an online reading scheme ‘Phonic bug’, where they have online books to read at home. These are matched to the book band each child is working on. When the children have reached the Ruby level, they are deemed confident and fluent readers and can become a ‘free reader’, choosing any book they wish from the school library.
In KS1 and KS2 children are tested every week on their spelling. The teacher provides word lists for the children to take home and learn; based upon a spelling pattern or ‘rule’ which has been introduced in school. Spelling sessions are supplemented with activities which support the application of spelling patterns.
From the Foundation Stage, we teach the ‘Truly Cursive’ style of handwriting and promote fluent, neat and joined handwriting. Most children are expected to begin joined writing in Year 2.
Language development is one of the most important aspects of the curriculum as it is the basis of communication and learning.
Speaking and listening, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling are all areas we aim to develop to very high standards by providing a rich and stimulating environment with varied resources and use of a range of media: books, pictures, games, discussions, websites, stories, poetry and drama.
Great emphasis is laid upon the teaching of reading and a variety of teaching methods and approaches are used to encourage and motivate children’s learning, developing skills and fostering a love of books from the earliest days at school.
Children are given a Home/School reading diary and an individual reading book to read at home with parents as part of our Homework policy. We encourage our children to read at least five times per week at home. School library books are also available for the children from our school library. We also encourage a love of reading by organising book related theme days and other activities and initiatives that reward children for reading.
Children are encouraged to speak clearly, thoughtfully and confidently. Discussion of work, different issues and current events with the teacher and with other children enables each child to assemble their thoughts, to express themselves with clarity and to develop logical debating skills. They are also encouraged to speak publicly in a variety of different situations such as school productions and Church services.
The children are given many opportunities to develop language skills through a multiplicity of writing experiences. Common words and spelling in word families are learned, revised and tested regularly.