At St Richard’s, we recognise that strong foundations in English are necessary for children to be able to access all areas of the curriculum and for their future lives. A high-quality education in English will 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 reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; Therefore we ensure that English skills are developed through all curriculum subjects, as well as through discrete English lessons.
At St Richard’s CE Primary School, we aim to offer the opportunity for children to:
- Listen attentively, understand and appreciate language through exposure to a wide vocabulary.
- Speak confidently and clearly and use appropriate language for different situations.
- Read with fluency, confidence and good understanding.
- Develop a love and enjoyment of reading and read for pleasure, as well as for study.
- Communicate confidently through writing coherently in a wide range of situations and adapt their style for different purposes and audiences.
- Express their ideas using correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.
- Take pride in their handwriting and the presentation of their work.
Speaking and Listening
Great emphasis is placed upon developing children’s spoken language, as this is crucial for learning to read, write and to be successful in all areas of learning. Children learn how to communicate successfully with others and to express their ideas using a broad vocabulary. They learn to speak in a variety of situations, for various purposes and for a range of audiences.
Reading & Phonics
Our approach to reading at St Richard’s is to develop fluency, comprehension and a love of reading. We are a CLPE Power of Reading School. This approach uses high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts to engage children in both reading and writing for pleasure through exploratory and creative experiences. The project has been running for over 10 years in schools all over the UK and is proven to not only raise academic standards, but also children’s love of literature. By sharing books and stories from when they join us, children are actively encouraged to read and write for pleasure and enjoyment.
The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of reading at St Richard’s are as follows:
- Shared reading: Children across the school take part in regular shared reading, where an adult or pupil reads to the class.
- Guided reading: All children take part in daily guided reading sessions with a different reading skill being taught each day by the Teacher or Teaching Assistant. The acronym VIPERS is used to help children recall the key reading skills for comprehension: Vocabulary, Infer, Predict, Explain, Retrieve, Summarise.
- Independent reading: Children get regular opportunities to choose and read alone or share books with each other. Each classroom has a dedicated themed book corner.
- Phonics: Our Reception, Year 1 and 2 classes take part in daily phonics sessions to support early reading and spelling using the Letters & Sounds programme. For more information please click here.
- Resources: Book banded reading resources are used across the school. Children work through each band before becoming a ‘free reader’ where they are supported in choosing their own books. Schemes used by the school include Oxford Reading Tree, Project X and Collins Big Cat.
- Reading at home: Each child has a reading record book which logs books that they have read and comments about their reading. Pupils, parents and teaching staff make comments in this book. Children are encouraged to share or read a book with their parents at least 5x per week. Teachers check reading records daily.
We encourage children to write for a range of purposes and audiences using a high quality text as a stimulus. They learn the rules of punctuation and grammar, through daily 15 minute sessions, so that they can express their ideas, opinions and views with clarity and confidence. Regular attention is given to spelling, presentation of work and handwriting.
The opportunities, organisation and provision for the teaching and learning of writing are as follows:
- Daily English lessons.
- Learning through the use of one high quality Power of Reading text per half term.
- Varied resources used as exciting stimuli for writing including film and animation.
- Writing linked to Topic and Science work.
- Clear ‘Success Criteria’ used to enable children to self-assess and improve their writing.
- A fortnightly independent writing activity where children have the opportunity to apply their writing skills in an extended piece of writing.
- Spelling: The school uses the Spelling Shed scheme to teach spelling progressively. Each stage refers to a school year e.g. Stage 1 is aimed at the expectations for Year 1. Rules and patterns are taught in class and then children are given a list of spellings to learn for weekly testing. Pupils also use the Spelling Shed platform or app to play games and complete activities to help them learn the spelling rule or pattern both in school and at home.
By the end of each key stage, pupils are expected to know, apply and understand the knowledge and skills set out in the relevant programme of study from the National Curriculum: