We are Readers and Writers
English is at the heart of our curriculum. It is both a subject in its own right and the medium for communicating in all other subjects. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.
At All Saints our aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Incorporating the requirements of the National Curriculum 2014, our goal is for children to:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- be competent in speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
At All Saints, we are committed to fostering a love of reading from an early age. Reading to children is also crucial, right from the early years throughout the time pupils are at our school.
Competence in both word reading and comprehension are important so that children become fluent, confident readers. From Nursery onwards, they have access to a wide variety of books which they take home to read. We also have a Library from which children can borrow books of their own choice.
All classrooms have book areas where children can select from a range of material to read individually or to share with their friends.
Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 Reading Schemes
In school, children read regularly in staff led groups, using a number of reading schemes. The core schemes are Oxford Reading Tree Songbirds; Rigby Star; and Big Cat Collins.
Children take home graded books drawn from a wide variety of schemes to broaden their experience of reading.
Reading in Key Stage 2
In KS2, children continue to read regularly in staff led groups, with an increased focus on comprehension skills. These skills develop through children's high-quality discussion with the teacher and each other, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction texts. Reading for pleasure in its own right is promoted actively, as is helping children appreciate how reading helps us gain knowledge across the curriculum and wider world.
Throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, children are taught to recognise sounds, then read and spell the letter patterns that make up the English language. This enables them to read texts and represent words in their own writing independently.
From Reception class through to the end of Year 2, children take part in daily sessions of phonics based around the Letters and Sounds programme. The youngest children also use the actions from Jolly Phonics to help them make rapid progress.
Any child who is finding it difficult to learn the sounds is given additional support to ensure that they learn to read and write fluently and confidently from a young age.
At All Saints, we provide a rich environment for our children to become passionate, competent and creative writers. Drama, visits and visitors, artefacts and film clips are just a few of the stimuli used regularly to engage children. A strong foundation in expressing ideas and opinions verbally helps children clarify their thinking as well as organise their ideas for writing. Writing moves from early mark-making and emergent writing in Foundation Stage through to the production of articulate, imaginative texts across a wide range of genres and for a variety of purposes by the end of Key Stage 2. As children gain experience in writing they learn to evaluate their own work and that of others, so that they can effectively edit and improve their own writing.
Here is a link to the writing genres covered from Y1 to Y6.
Building on their knowledge of phonics, children are taught the conventions and patterns of spellings in English, alongside the many commonly used words that are irregular. Our approach is interactive, fun and investigative with regular opportunities to practice and apply knowledge in all subjects.
Have a look at our joined handwriting style.
Writing is aided by fluent, legible and speedy handwriting. To develop this, we teach handwriting of individual letters with flicks in Foundation Stage. From the beginning of Year 1, children learn to join their handwriting.