What does English at St Anne's look like?
At St Anne’s, we use English to communicate in both written and spoken form. We use language to build our view and opinion of the world and our community, firmly believing that developing a love of our language in our pupils is vital in achieving success at school and later in life. The exploration and enjoyment of the English language is our priority and we value all its aspects: speaking, listening, reading and writing. English is taught daily across the whole school with work appropriately differentiated to match all abilities.
Speaking and Listening
Talking is fundamental to learning. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to state their ideas and opinions. Just as important is the need to listen carefully to others and respond in appropriate ways. At St Anne’s, pupils are given opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop their speaking and listening skills, in paired, group or whole class situations. Therefore, role play and drama activities are intrinsic elements of speaking and listening across the school. Extra support is given to children with Speaking and Listening difficulties and with English as an Additional Language.
At St Anne’s, we follow the Bug Club reading scheme which allows our pupils to log on online both in school and at home. Children have access to a wide range of genres which are carefully matched to their age, ability and interest. All children have allocated books and a log on – if you do not have yours, please let your child’s Class Teacher know. We also have the successful Power of Reading scheme which allows our children to access a rich array of age-appropriate texts read to them by adults, this allows every child to access wonderful and memorable literature.
Children who read for pleasure gain a richer vocabulary, more knowledge, critical thinking skills and become independent learners.
We have a daily Shared Reading session through which our pupils listen to a wide-range of texts. These texts are to enable our pupils to develop their listening skills, widen their vocabularies and create enthusiastic writers. Guided Reading is an important part of our curriculum. Children work in focused groups to develop their reading skills and their understanding of texts; this is further supported as we move up the school with whole class comprehension session which allow all children to focus on one text or other literary medium and promote deeper understanding and comprehension skills. We provide children with rich reading experiences within the English lessons and encourage them to appreciate the author’s use of language and writing techniques in order to develop their own writing skills. In addition to this, St Anne’s pupils access a shared reading session every day. This allows our pupils to listen and interact with a range of different texts with more complex vocabulary, so our pupils are encouraged to deepen and develop their own vocabulary. Pupils take their reading books home daily to share with their families/carers.
As they go through the school, they are given more responsibility for making their own reading choices both from the excellent resources we have in school and from home. It is vital for pupils of all ages to read aloud to an adult at home so that they grow in confidence and fluency.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
We place great value on the importance of accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and grammar. We follow the National Curriculum 2014 to ensure that teaching is both structured and rigorous throughout the school. Each year group from Year 1 upwards, has termly blocked spellings which are accompanied by handwriting activities. We have daily handwriting and spelling practice. We ensure a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One with additional intervention sessions in Key Stage Two for those children who require additional support. Children have access to Phonics Bug which, similar to Bug Club, allows children to access phonics games and resources online. To support our grammar sessions, we use the Grammar Hammer scheme – the children love to apply their knowledge and understanding of the grammar they have learnt that week in their Grammar Hammer session.
At St Anne’s, we aim for children to be independent & creative writers. We encourage them to write clearly and with confidence in any given genre. We teach them to use punctuation and grammar accurately, to be able to proofread their own work and make amendments and improvements. As mentioned above, our pupils are encouraged to develop their own handwriting styles through daily practice and put their skills to use across the curriculum. Children are given a wide range of opportunities in which to develop their writing skills and display work of which they are proud. Through our English curriculum, we aim to nurture in the children a love of literature and language, and the confidence to continue reading and writing throughout their lives.