Reading, writing, speaking and listening skills, together form the key components of human communication. We learn from one another through our ability to communicate, and so it is undeniably true that English lies at the heart of all learning at St. Margarets-at Cliffe Primary School.
Reading is the door to creativity, to visualisation and to greater knowledge; it is the gateway to fantastic, impossible realms, planets and worlds. Research tells us that children who read for pleasure on a daily basis develop a wider vocabulary, greater general knowledge and a far better understanding of other cultures. It is perhaps one of the single most important factors in a child’s development. Naturally, we therefore believe that it is every child’s right to learn to read, but we hope that our children go far beyond this to develop a true love and pleasure for reading.
We follow an integrated phonics and reading programme: Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
The programme has been organised so that children are taught letters and sounds progressively and systematically. Children learn how to say phonic sounds, how to blend sounds to read words and to read sounds in words and books. Children learn to read as quickly as possible so that they can move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading.
Our teaching team are enthusiastic reading roles models who demonstrate and encourage a love for reading, children have access to a wide variety of reading materials through class reading areas, and the carefully selected model texts used in the teaching of English. Children have books read to them daily in classes as well as a weekly whole school story assembly. We share a dedicated reading for pleasure time every day, and encourage reading a wide range of different genres.
Writing – Talk 4 Writing
From the earliest stages of emergent writing, we aim to foster a true love of storytelling and writing through the joy it is able to bring.
We recognise the role that ‘talk’ plays in our understanding of the written word and so, through ‘Talk for Writing,’ children are regularly given opportunities to listen to and retell stories and non-fiction texts. Through retelling texts, using actions or drama to help internalise patterns, children are able to first imitate, but then innovate and invent their own version of a text. Children are supported in their ability to innovate upon a known text through shared and guided writing, whilst the invention stage teaches children the subtleties of an author’s craft. Children are encouraged to reflect on their own learning, and the learning of their peers, and to edit and improve their writing as a direct result.
We believe that all children should take pride in their learning and so we ensure that children have opportunities to show what they can really do, providing them with the opportunity to create a piece of learning which they can be truly proud of. From Year 2 children are given a publishing book in addition to their English writing books. We want our children to feel like authors, and to promote the importance of perseverance in the editing process. Our children take pride in publishing their finished pieces of writing at the end of the Talk for Writing process.
Mrs L Wallis - Subject Leader: English