At St. Stephen’s, we believe a high-quality of education in English is vital to teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.
Through high-quality teaching of the national curriculum, we aim 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.
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading)
In the Early Years and Key Stage 1, all children learn to word read using a well-trusted phonics programme called Read Write inc. Alongside this, children are exposed to a wide range of ‘real books’.
Throughout the school, children are introduced to a range of books through guided reading sessions. These are small-group teacher-led sessions where children share the same book, appropriate to their reading level. During this time, children are taught the deeper skills of reading and comprehension, such as inference. They engage in discussion with their peers, share thoughts and ideas, undoubtedly promoting reading for pleasure. Their skills are continually assessed and work towards personalised targets.
Developing a love of reading is at the core of our English curriculum. All classes have their own book corners where children can choose books at their leisure. Moreover, we have a well-resourced library which all classes visit at least once a week.
Each year, we take part in World Book Day which is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate books in a fun way.
Your child will be participating in the Accelerated Reader (AR™) program. AR is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading practice. Your child picks a book at his/her own level and reads it at his/her own pace. When finished, your child takes a short quiz on the computer - passing the quiz is an indication that your child has understood what has been read. AR gives both children and teachers feedback based on the quiz results which the teacher then uses to help the child set targets and ongoing reading practice.
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 two dimensions. In addition, pupils should be taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. These writing skills are taught through a rich and varied curriculum. We pride ourselves on using high-quality, up-to date and highly engaging texts as recommended by CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education). We engage children and develop understanding through drama in order to deepen and extend thinking before writing. The aim is to write for a purpose and share good pieces with parents and carers as an incentive. The literacy curriculum is linked with children’s current humanities topic as often as possible. Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) are taught within both reading and writing lessons. Children’s writing skills are continually assessed and children to work towards personalised targets.
Speaking and Listening
Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. Teachers therefore ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills through discussion, debate and drama. All classes perform assembly for the school, providing an opportunity for public speaking from an early age.
The following link contains material that will help you to support your children at home when learning phonics. This includes a video that demonstrates the correct pronunciation of each sound.
You may also like to access the following PDF's below:
- Reception Enjoying Reading
- Reception Enjoying Writing
- Recommended booklist Reception & Y1-Y2- Books to support phonics
- Recommended booklist Age 7-11
- Level 6 recommended booklist
- Children's Book Week recommendations- 0-14 and beyond
- Questions To Support Progress In Reading
- Advice To Parents - Helping with Reading & Writing At Home
- English Overview's Y1, Y2, Y3&4, Y5&6