All children are taught English discreetly daily; this includes spoken language, reading and writing.
Verbal skills are assessed for all children as they progress through the school. We encourage all children to become articulate and considerate in their use of language across the curriculum. Opportunities to develop these skills are included within the curriculum through drama, show and tell activities and English.
As a Voice 21 school, we teach the children the skills of speaking and communication from an early age. Developing learners who can reason together, have the vocabulary to express their knowledge and understanding is paramount to their future success.
Regular reading, with its twin aspects of word decoding and comprehension, takes place throughout the school, when the children are taught specific reading skills. Stories are read to the children in whole class groups suited to their ages. All Children have an individual reading book for reading homework, and are heard to read in school by an adult regularly and frequently in the younger classes. We encourage children to enjoy reading. We celebrate World Book Day in school and organise fun activities to encourage good reading habits.
Every classroom has a reading corner to encourage a love of reading.
Each class has a whole class reading book per term which is read together with the adults. These quality texts will allow the children to build their experiences and by the end of key stage 2 they will have read a range of quality texts – both classic and modern.
Explicit reading sessions teach and model life skills to comprehend a range of texts: vocabulary choice; retrieving information; questioning the text further; making connections with life experiences, other books, films and stories they know; summarising information that they have read.
Both the transcription aspects; spelling and handwriting, and composition are regularly taught. Children are encouraged to write in a variety of forms and styles. They are also introduced to good pieces of writing by significant authors and poets.
In English, each class follows an age appropriate writing cycle for a variety of genres. Within each cycle, the key features of the text type are discussed, the key skills to compose the text are taught explicitly, vocabulary may be introduced, a cycle of “I do, we do, you do” is followed: the teacher models how to write an exemplary version, the children work in pairs and small groups to write their own version, and finally the children write independently. The final piece is celebrated and shared (with peers, with other classes, through “publication”). Children in EYFS have access to writing through continuous provision as well as adult led activities.
English is taught across the week for a minimum of 45 minutes per day.
Spelling tests and handwriting activities are carried out regularly. Children with legible, joined handwriting and using a 'tripod' grip, are granted a pen license which allows them to write in pen.
From EYFS upwards, we follow the continuous cursive scheme of handwriting, where children are expected to "start from the line every time". They are expected to join as soon as they can form letters correctly.