Our English leader is Mr Kirk.
Language is the means by which we communicate. Achieving competence in speaking, listening, reading and writing is a vital part of a pupil's education. Without effective language teaching, a pupil's capacity to succeed throughout the whole curriculum is limited.
The English we study is a range of texts and genres, aiming to give pupils a well-rounded experience and understanding of literature. Pupils are taught to write in a variety of forms and for a range of purposes and audiences. Pupils plan, revise and proof-read, considering the effectiveness of their writing. In order to write well, knowledge of grammar and spelling is essential. Pupils receive regular teaching in these areas as well as punctuation and vocabulary work.
During their time at St Swithun’s, pupils learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of fiction and non-fiction. In reading, pupils are taught how to retrieve information, analyse, predict and evaluate what they read.
The school uses Sounds Write for teaching phonics. The children will be introduced to phonics and hearing sounds when they start Nursery. When children begin learning their phonemes, they will have a reading book which contains the phonemes they are learning. This will help them to be a successful reader from an early age. Children will also learn the high frequency words.
The school uses a range of reading schemes to support the teaching and learning of reading and comprehension:-
- Oxford Reading Tree
- Rigby Star
- Sounds Write
- Talisman Series
- Dandelion readers
The children will be matched with a text appropriate to their reading age. Parents are actively encouraged to be involved in the process of reading with their children and books are regularly taken home to be enjoyed together.
The school also uses Accelerated Reader to support reading across the school.
Speaking and Listening
Spoken language underpins the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak. It is vital for developing pupils’ vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. As a school we will ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Children are given opportunities for exploring their thinking skills through discussion, debate, drama and role play. In order to do this the basic skills have to be mastered and the practise of them must be consistent, progressive and well balanced in line with the National Curriculum.
Reading is the most vital skill learnt in the early years of school. Through reading pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. There are two strands of reading, being able to read words and being able to understand the meaning of words and sentences. Our school aim is for pupils to be fluent and independent readers by the time they leave us, with a love of literature and books.
We aim to make children competent, confident writers, to enable them to use the written word to communicate effectively. Opportunities for writing occur throughout the curriculum, as well as specific English lessons, and the children are taught the many different genres, for example, lists, stories, diaries, dialogues and accounts. In this way they begin to understand that writing takes different forms for different purposes, for example, children are actively involved in developing the school’s newsletter for parents and children. We actively seek to provide opportunities for outside visitors to visit our school to stimulate and enthuse our learners in the writing process.
Handwriting is taught weekly to develop the children’s letter formation. Children are encouraged to be able to join their letters by the end of Year 1 and this is encouraged within every lesson throughout the school. By Year 5 children will be able to use a pen.
Spelling, vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
Children follow our structured Sounds-Write scheme from entering school in Nursery . This scheme teaches children to blend, segment and manipulate sounds in words independently. There are many different spelling strategies that we teach children to help them to decode spellings effectively. Spellings are also used to enhance children’s vocabulary and the children are encouraged to use these newly found words in their everyday writing. Each week children are given weekly spellings to learn at home and to investigate spelling rules.
There is also a focus on grammatical structures and punctuation. We encourage children to edit and improve their writing, focusing on their spelling, punctuation and grammar.