English is taught to the requirements of the National Curriculum for children in Key Stages One and Two and according to the Curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage for those children in Reception.
At St George’s we consider the teaching of English to be integral and fundamental to the whole of the primary curriculum and pivotal for all learning in every curriculum area. The study of English develops children's abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a variety of purposes, so using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. We feel that children who can communicate effectively are more likely to be confident and have good self-esteem.
Our objectives come from the National Curriculum 2014. English is taught each day enabling discrete skills to be taught progressively. Teachers structure lessons creatively to engage and accommodate the needs of all the children. Teachers plan lessons that are interesting for children and interactive. There is a balance of skills taught through shared reading and writing, teachers use modelling techniques to demonstrate. Children have opportunities to practice these skills through shared/guided writing/reading and speaking and listening activities. They have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts and use a range of resources to support their work.
In school, children are taught to read accurately, fluently and with both understanding and enjoyment. They are taught how to respond sensitively and critically to a wide range of texts and use reference materials with confidence for a range of purposes.
All teachers provide a 'print rich' environment and stimulate children's interest in books and reading. All classes have an area devoted to class books and the school organises events each year to promote reading. For example, Book Week, reading buddies, book competitions and book clubs and fairs.
Teachers ensure that children are taught to read and provide frequent opportunities to teach reading skills everyday. In these sessions, adults teach children to acquire and develop reading skills using a range of fiction and non-fiction material, including scheme books, purchased texts, newspapers and online material.
The school uses Oxford Reading Tree as the main reading scheme although a wide range of texts are also available to all children (class libraries, school library, books for struggling readers such as Rapid Readers, Project X texts). A workshop for parents of Reception pupils is held to introduce the scheme and encourage parental support.We expect children to move away from the scheme as soon as possible so that they select their own material to read from an appropriate selection of books (chosen by the teacher).
Children are expected to read at home daily from early on. Parents are encouraged to read with children throughout the primary years and are supported by staff to enable them to do this. Reading Record books for parents to record reading are available for KS1. As pupils progress through the school, the Reading Record book will begin to take on the form of a personal reading journal or log.
The school has a small library containing fiction and non fiction books. Children in Reception and Y1 have a timetabled slot to visit the library and choose books and listen to stories. The library is open at lunch time for older children to use.
Children are taught to write with growing confidence and precision in a widening variety of forms for different purposes and to discuss and evaluate their work. They learn to punctuate accurately, spell correctly and write in a legible hand. In the course of their daily literacy work, drama and the study of other media will extend children’s ability to communicate and to understand the communication of others.
Phonics is taught in daily sessions from Reception and across Key Stage 1. Pupils in Key Stage 2 requiring phonics teaching are also taught in 'phase' groups. Pupils are expected to apply these skills to their work in class and take work home to consolidate and practise phonics skills taught in class.
Children are taught spelling rules and patterns including how to learn spellings (meta-cognitive approach). We do not give weekly spelling lists to learn for a formal test but expect that children will learn spellings as part of their homework routine and provide words for practise. These are appropriate for the age of the child (based on the Framework expectations) and include words relating to current topics, scientific and mathematical vocabulary.
How can you help at home?
Parents play a huge role in supporting reading at home. Research shows that learning to read – and enjoying reading – is directly linked to children’s success at school and their best chance to unlock opportunities for the future.
This may be sharing a book, reading aloud or listening to a story.
We encourage parents to read to their children, and with their children, for a few minutes every day (bite-sized texts can be more appealing than struggling with a longer text if your child is reluctant). Listening to stories is a great way to nurture a love of books and helps a child access interesting content above their reading level.
Books and poems with rhymes and repeated words and phrases help fluency and confidence. Ask questions to keep them interested and read favourites again and again!
Speaking and Listening: Pupils are taught to adapt their speech to a widening range of circumstances and demands; listen, understand and respond appropriately to others; and express their ideas clearly.