The aims of teaching English are:
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum 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. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
Reading at St Paul’s:
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading)
It is essential that teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions; different kinds of teaching are needed for each. Our aims at St Paul’s are to promote reading for pleasure and to teach children to read easily, fluently and with good understanding. We support children to develop the habit of reading widely and often, both for pleasure and information. Reading is taught daily through guided reading sessions. Children are also encouraged to read for pleasure in school.
Each child within the school will have a Reading Journal to take home with them to record their weekly reading at home. At St Paul’s we encourage children to read often at home to improve the reading skills they are learning in school.
Phonics and Early Reading
In Early Years children follow the Jolly Phonics scheme to learn their early letter sounds. They have lots of fun learning songs and actions to each letter and digraph (two letters that make one sound). This is also accompanied by the Letters and Sounds phonics programme which then continues into Year 1 and Year 2. Pupils leave Year 2 with a good understanding of phonemes, digraphs and trigraphs (three letters that make one sound). They then apply this knowledge in their reading and writing skills independently.
Children start the Reception year reading a selection of Pink banded reading books and then move on to books with more tricky words and sentences. We have a number of early reading interventions in place to help those pupils who need extra support. Reading Recovery is at the heart of these interventions, a one to one intensive reading support that makes a huge difference both in terms of reading progress and helping to boost the pupil’s confidence and self-esteem, allowing them to reach age expectation at the end of the programme. FFT is another individual reading programme which has produced excellent results for the children in Key Stage 1 and lower Key Stage 2. We encourage reading for pleasure to help our pupils gain a love of reading offering them a varied and rich range of different books and pupils are encouraged to read regularly at home with their carers.
Writing at St Paul’s:
The programmes of study for writing at key stages 1 and 2 are constructed similarly to those for reading:
- transcription (spelling and handwriting)
- composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)
It is essential that teaching develops pupils’ competence in these 2 dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These aspects of writing have been incorporated into the programmes of study for composition.
Spelling and Phonics at St Paul’s:
We use Letters and Sounds as a way of teaching phonics, for children to identify phonemes and graphemes to be able to blend and segment words. Phonics is taught daily in KS1. Spellings are taught using the No Nonsense spelling scheme of work and are taught 4 times a in KS2. Each week children will be given spellings to practice at home in sentences and are tested weekly.
Handwriting at St Paul’s:
Handwriting is taught daily at St Paul’s focusing on cursive formations of letters. Children will also learn their spelling throughout their handwriting lessons.
Phoneme - The smallest unit of sound. There are approximately 44 phonemes in English (it depends on different accents). Phonemes can be put together to make words.
Grapheme - A way of writing down a phoneme. Graphemes can be made up from 1 letter e.g. p, 2 letters e.g. sh, 3 letters e.g. tch or 4 letters e.g ough.
Blending- This involves looking at a written word, looking at each grapheme and using knowledge of GPCs to work out which phoneme each grapheme represents and then merging these phonemes together to make a word. This is the basis of reading.
Segmenting - This involves hearing a word, splitting it up into the phonemes that make it, using knowledge of GPCs to work out which graphemes represent those phonemes and then writing those graphemes down in the right order. This is the basis of spelling.
Reading Recovery Teacher led 1:1 intensive intervention to support year 1 children in developing early reading and writing. BRP (Better Reading Partners)
Teaching assistant led 1:1 intervention to support emerging readers in developing fluency in reading and comprehension. FFT (Fischer Family Trust)
Teaching assistant led 1:1 early Literacy intervention to support children in developing reading and writing skills.
Precision teaching Teaching assistant led 1:1 intervention to develop knowledge of high frequency words.
Inference training Teacher or Teaching assistant led in small groups to develop children’s inference skills (predicting future events and using clues from the text). Develop vocabulary from the text in their own writing.