We strive to support all pupils to develop strong speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Pupils are exposed to a rich and balanced curriculum, where they have the opportunity to read real texts, discuss and debate meaningful issues and write for a purpose. Consistency is key and children are taught vital skills through the use of Read Write Inc, before moving on to a Talk for Writing approach in Upper KS1 and KS2. The use of these programmes ensures that pupils develop their skills in a progressive way.
In EYFS, Reception and Year 1, Read Write Inc is used to teach children how to synthetically decode words and become fluent readers, as well as confident speakers. It provides opportunities for regular partner work, which allows pupils to build on their speaking and listening skills, whilst becoming confident readers. Read Write Inc also allows the children to develop their ability to write through oral rehearsal. Children in Year 1 also have the opportunity to develop their creative writing skills, whilst exploring a range of different texts.
Lower KS2, Years 2 – 4 reading is taught through the use of the seven assessment focuses. Children are regularly provided with individual reading sessions, or small guided group sessions, where they are able to develop their knowledge of different reading strategies. Children are exposed to a range of different text types; both modern and classic. Writing is taught through a Talk for Writing approach where the children are able to learn and imitate a story or text before innovating and creating their own piece of writing.
Upper KS2, Years 5-6 children often adopt a more independent approach to their reading, through the use of literary circles known as Reciprocal reading. Within small groups, children take on one of five roles e.g. The questioner or the clarifier. By taking on a particular role, children have the chance to take ownership over their reading and develop their inference skills.
Children are also encouraged to speak about parts of books that they have enjoyed through the use of Book talk. During whole class reading sessions, children reflect and discuss what they have read. Writing is taught in a progressive way, where the children have the opportunities to explore and internalise the features of a particular text type before moving on to planning and constructing their own versions. There are also many opportunities for children to develop their speaking and listening skills, through whole-class debates and group presentations.
We regularly provide the children with opportunities to develop their passion for English, outside of the classroom. We were recently visited by authors Shane Hegarty, Jo Simmons and Melanie Arora, who were able to share their inspiration for story writing with the children. There are also a number of different creative writing challenges and reading challenges held throughout the year to ensure that the children are enthused – last year we held a ‘Readathon’, which helped to raise the profile of reading across the school. Children in Upper KS2 are invited to visit the Globe in London on an annual basis, as part of their unit on Shakespeare – it is always a memorable experience.