At St Mary and St Margaret’s we firmly believe that English in all its forms should be at the centre of children’s learning.
High quality teaching and learning in all aspects of English should enable children to read, write and speak fluently, therefore allowing them to communicate their ideas and emotions to others. English is a key skill which is essential for all aspects of everyday life including independent learning and the world of work. Children should develop a love for English through their enjoyment of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
We encourage children to develop skills to communicate effectively in speech and writing, to listen with understanding and to be responsive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable readers. We will enable children to achieve this passion for English through providing stimulating and exciting experiences based around high quality materials and opportunities for learning which will lead to every child reaching and fulfilling their potential.
Our aim is to provide high quality teaching and learning experiences, so our children become enthusiastic, confident and independent users of language in the spoken and written word.
We not only teach the fundamental skills of reading but also nurture children’s reading attitudes and behaviour with the aim that all children read for pleasure. The reading book that a child is sent home with is aimed at a level which they can read independently to an adult. In guided reading sessions, children read more challenging texts with teachers and teaching assistants to support the development of their reading ability. The children also read a whole class reader in dedicated sessions where they enjoy, learn and explore a text together. Children are also taught how to read for meaning so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding of a text.
We have a fantastic, well-resourced and recently refurbished library, which offers a wide range of fiction non-fiction books, journals and magazines for everyone to enjoy. A dedicated group of Year Six children take the role of school librarians and support other year groups in allotted ‘library time’.
The teaching of writing is delivered in a creative, stimulating way and children apply what they have learned in their English sessions in a many cross-curricular activities.
Children are taught through a writing process where they are introduced to the different types of writing (genres) Children are able to unpick the key features in order to plan and create their own piece of writing. The teaching of grammar and punctuation is also an integral part of all English work and children are taught how to punctuate and structure their writing correctly, becoming fluent with the relevant terminology. Once a child has created a piece of writing, they then develop the skills needed to analyse and edit their work: constantly working towards taking those next steps to improve their writing.
Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some sounds are represented by 1 letter, like ‘t’ and some by two or more, like ‘ck’ in duck. Children are taught these sounds and how to match them to letters. Phonics is the building blocks of reading and writing and equips children with the skills needed to become independent readers and writers.
At St Mary and St Margaret’s we have a structured approach to the teaching of phonics and use a Government approved scheme called Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. Based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum and preparing children to go beyond the expectations of the Phonics Screening Check.