English: A love of language.
The development of English is fundamental in all areas of the curriculum and therefore is given high priority. The four language modes: speaking and listening, reading and writing (including spelling) and handwriting, are interdependent. The purpose of language is communication; therefore the child must learn to speak clearly, listen attentively, read with comprehension and write with clarity of thought, and legibility. In order to do this the basic skills have to be mastered and the practice of them must be consistent, progressive and well balanced in line with the National Curriculum. We use the Read Write Inc phonic scheme to support early skills in reading and spelling.
Reading is the most vital skill learnt in the early years of school. We aim to teach children to become fluent independent readers and to develop a love of literature and books. We recognise that children learn to read in different ways and aim to provide them with a variety of learning approaches and strategies. These include the phonic approach and learning high frequency words. We use various reading schemes and use a colour code system whereby all children can be matched with text appropriate to their reading age level. The school has a well-stocked library from which children choose a book each week. Parents are actively encouraged to be involved in the process of reading with their children and books are regularly taken home to be enjoyed together.
We aim to make children competent, confident writers, to enable them to use the written word to communicate effectively. Opportunities for writing occur throughout the curriculum as well as in specific English lessons and the children are taught many different genres e.g. lists, stories, diaries, dialogues, accounts etc. In this way they begin to understand that writing takes different forms for different purposes.
Children begin by learning the basic sounds, leading to blends and later to more complicated rules. Different spelling strategies are taught e.g. phonics, onset and rime, and look, cover, say, write and check. Children are encouraged to learn spellings at home.
Children learn the correct formation of letters in the Nursery and Reception. Initially we teach the cursive script unjoined. Later, in year 2, they are taught how to join up letters into a fully cursive script. Formal handwriting lessons take place in school to improve legibility and neatness.