The National Curriculum
The National Curriculum for English is divided into the areas of:
- Spoken Language
- Writing - Transcription and Composition
- Writing - Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation
Speaking and listening is an important part of developing a child's English skills. Children are encouraged to become fluent speakers and good listeners. In early years there is a focus on 'plan, do and review' where children express what they are going to do, go and do it and then report back what they have done. By being able to talk in sentences children become more able to write in sentences. Children are encouraged to speak whatever language is their home language, as if a child is secure in their home language then they are more likely to acquire a good understanding of English. Spoken language encompasses listening skills; following instructions; participating in discussion; vocabulary and standard English; drama, performance and confidence and speaking for a range of purposes.
Children have an opportunity to read a wide range of books. We encourage them to use their
knowledge of words and sentences to understand the meaning of books and stories. We make sure children have many opportunities to share books with teachers, with their friends and their families.
We want children to become enthusiastic readers of stories, poetry and drama as well as using their reading skills to find out information. The school follows the ELS programme to teach phonics. The school has a wide range of reading schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat, Floppy Phonics, Ginn, Word Sparks and Bug Club.
At Acacias, the children enjoy many types of reading experience including independent reading, guided (group) reading and shared reading within the writing process. Targeted children will receive one to one reading sessions with an adult in school focusing on word reading and fluency. Guided reading is where small groups of children explore a range of texts in focused sessions with a class teacher. The teacher will hear the children read and will use their expertise to ask a range of questions to move the children on in their learning and the children will share their own responses to the texts. This is part of a carousel which progresses across school but always includes vocabulary development, comprehension questions and reading for pleasure. The texts accessed in guided reading are usually of a level higher than their home reader to help them to make progress.
We have invested in a large selection of books of different genres at all levels to enhance this learning.The teacher will keep records and assessments of the children’s progress in guided reading sessions which might not appear in their home/school reading record but will inform the teaching and learning within school. Guided reading increases the frequency and quality of how your child is taught to read in school.
Through a focus on reason, audience and purpose of writing, children develop the enjoyment of writing and the understanding of how important it is to thinking and learning. Initially they will focus on being able to form a sentence orally and this helps children to write their structured sentences. Later the children learn to plan, draft, proofread and edit their writing and use their writing skills across a range of other curriculum areas.
We teach the children to develop neat, legible handwriting through a carefully structured handwriting scheme.