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English

Through the English curriculum, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.

Literacy is at the heart of all children’s learning. Literacy enables children both to communicate with others effectively for a variety of purposes and to examine their own and others’ experiences, feelings and ideas, giving these order and meaning. Because literacy is central to children’s intellectual, emotional and social development it has an essential role across the curriculum and helps pupils’ learning to be coherent and progressive

Reading

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 Reading is important because it develops the mind. Teaching   children to read helps them develop their language skills. Learning   to read is about listening and understanding as well as working out   print.  

Through hearing stories, children are exposed to a rich and wide   vocabulary. This helps them build their own vocabulary and improve   their understanding when they listen, which is vital as they start to   read.Good readers produce good writers!

Studies show that reading for pleasure makes a big difference to children’s educational performance. Evidence suggests that children who read for enjoyment every day not only perform better in reading tests than those who don’t, but also develop a broader vocabulary, increased general knowledge and a better understanding of other cultures. In fact, reading for pleasure is more likely to determine whether a child does well at school than their social or economic background.Image result for book talk the training space

In St. Bridgets we use the Book talk approach as a vehclie to teach reading skills.  They are a collection of age related skills that cover learning from the end of Foundation Stage through to Year 6. It is organised to flush neatly with the Reading Rainbow and follow the ‘Three Reasons to Read’ approach used during Book Talk sessions.

 

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Writing

As a school we use The Write Stuff approach to writing. The Write Stuff brings clarity to the mechanics of the teaching of writing. It is a systematic approach to witing which teachrs use to raise standards within their classrooms because the systems are clear and easy to follow, they make sense to teachers and children alike. It is a whole school approach to standards in sentence structure following a method called "sentence stacking". Sentence stacking refers to the fact that sentences are grouped together chronologically or organizationally to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can apply immediately to their writing.

An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken into three separate chunks:

1. Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence

2. Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques

3. Enable section – the children write their sentence following the model. 

The Write Stuff method reinforces grammar through the use of:

The FANTASTICs which are an acronym that summarise the ideas of writing

The GRAMMARISTICS are a classroom tool that enables the teacher to drive key grammar messages.

 The BOOMTASTICS help children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual 

Capture

Phonics and Spelling

We deliver Phonics in line with the government programme 'Letters and Sounds'. Children enjoy taking part in rigorous, well-paced and exciting sessions which begins in Reception Class. Within this programme, there are six overlapping phases which are summarised for your information below.

Phase 1 (Nursery/ Reception): Activities within this phase are divided into seven aspects, including environmental sounds, instrumental sounds, body sounds, rhythm and rhyme, alliteration, voice sounds and finally oral blending and segmenting.

Phase 2 (Reception): Children learn 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. They blend sounds together to make words and segment words into their separate sounds. During this phase the children begin to read simple captions.

Phase 3 (Reception): Children are taught the remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes are introduced such as 'ch', 'oo' and 'th' which represent the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. They develop reading captions, sentences and questions. 

Phase 4 (Reception/ Year 1): No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants, e.g. swim, clap, jump.

Phase 5 (Year 1): Now we move on to the "complex code". Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.

Phase 6 (Year 2): Throughout this phase, children work on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.

Children participate in a 20 minute phonics session every day. These lessons take place in small groups ensuring that children make good progress. In the daily phonics lesson the children will learn using all their senses including singing, using magnetic letters and playing games. The children are taught to apply their new learning across the whole curriculum. Children begin by learning sets of lower case letters by ‘sound’ and build on this until they are confident to use all representations of sounds outlined in the  government programme of “Letters and Sounds.” Initially we use the Speeds Sounds scheme which is a systematic phonics programme.

Teachers carry out ongoing assessments to ensure that sessions are appropriate for children to progress well

The teaching of spelling continues throughout KS2 with a transition between phonics and spelling lessons in Year three. Currently we follow the spelling shed scheme as a vehilce for learning. The teachers also teach different strategies to learn spelling and encourage children to use their spelling journals to learn their spellings.

Image result for the spelling shed

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