English at St Stephens Community Primary School
At St Stephens, we believe English is fundamental to success for all pupils.
They need to be articulate communicators, have a love of reading and be able to write for a range of audiences and purposes.St Stephens teaches the National Curriculum.
The aims of teaching English, as outlined in the programmes of study 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.
Children will be provided with opportunities to:
- Talk for a range of purposes.
- Regularly use partner talk to develop ideas
- Use talk to clarify thinking and understanding
- Communicate to different audiences
- Listen and respond to different people
- To use discussion to probe and remedy misconceptions
- Observe and participate in dramatic activities
Opportunities to develop spoken language and listening skills will be developed through activities in English lessons such as book talk and storymaps. It will also be developed across the full curriculum e.g. through class discussions in SMSC.
Drama will be used to enhance spoken language, including opportunities for:
- Characterisation and exploring dialogue
- Performing poems and rhymes
- Exploring issues and dilemmas
- Participation in class and school productions
- Film making and broadcasting using digital media
At St Stephens, we believe that reading feeds children’s imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
We ensure that children are taught to read widely, fluently and confidently for pleasure using a range of authors old and new.
Children will be taught two key reading skills:
- word reading (phonics)
Word reading – the ability to decode words- will be taught through the use of the synthetic phonics scheme using Phonics bug.
Children will be benchmarked to assess which level of books they should be reading and to ensure that they progress appropriately. We use a colour-coded reading scheme to ensure progression.
It is our aim to encourage children to learn to love reading and to read regularly outside of school. Schemes such as Bug Club and read for my school are used to encourage this reading for pleasure. Celebrations such as World Book Day are used to invite authors into school and promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books.
The school library is regularly updated so we can provide a range of high quality texts to encourage children to read widely.
At St Stephens, children will be taught to write, organise and present texts for a variety of readers and audiences.
Children will be taught two key writing skills:
- Transcription – the use of correct spelling and grammar
- Composition – articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing
Spelling continues to be taught throughout the school and forms a key part of homework activities.
Children will be taught to write imaginative texts using a ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. This involves immersing children in quality texts which they learn, retell and write.
These writing activities will be stimulating, relate to the children’s experiences and interests and be prepared for real audiences and purposes. Expectations are high and children will write texts using a range of sophisticated vocabulary, varied sentence structures and an increasing range of punctuation.
The spelling and grammar appendices of the new curriculum will be followed in each year group.
At St Stephens we aim to deliver a fun, interactive and fast learning platform for children when they first learn to read. We currently use Phonics Bug and Phonics Play daily to help us deliver comprehensive phonics development. This programme offers our children the teaching of synthetic phonics through videos, interactive games and reading/spelling sessions.
Phonics is taught for at least 20 minutes every day in Foundation, Year 1 and Year 2 and we assess progress regularly to ensure that any child who is falling behind is targeted with quick interventions.
The Phonics Bug programme also provides parents/carers with access at home through their child’s personal log in.
The children have access to many different books linked to this programme which are phonetically decodable. They also use other schemes within our school to support their reading. We ensure phonics is used as the first method children use to decode new words to read or to attempt to spell in writing. This enables us as a school to offer children the opportunity to develop a path to a lifelong love of reading, whilst ensuring rapid progress towards age expected outcomes.
All pupils will take the Year 1 phonics test in the summer term and results are published and shared with parents.