(Taken from The National Curriculum in England 2014)
English, like all languages, has 3 strands: Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing. All are inextricably interlinked and first comes oracy (speaking and listening).
Speaking and Listening underpins almost all learning in class. From reciting poetry as performance to debate, discussion and explaining how they solved a problem, oral language underpins every subject. Oral language not only allows children to express their thoughts and ideas, it helps them to form clear thinking and ideas
Key to children accessing learning in many different subjects, reading is of great importance to us as it is to parents,carers and indeed children.We colour-band books, according to difficulty. Texts from different schemes and ‘real’ books are included: fiction and non-fiction. Reading using a variety of books develops good habits and independence. Children read different authors and genres (types of text such as poetry, stories, reports,explanations and recounts or diaries) They develop their own preferences and use the different styles in their own writing. Books children bring home are generally easier than those they read in school Guided Reading sessions because we aim to nurture lifelong readers. This will not happen if children only engage with books they find hard. We hope children will want to curl up with a book or read an easy story just for the love of it, or perhaps to a younger sibling, as well as enjoy the challenge of more complex work. Through teaching challenging texts in school and reading texts with more ease at home, children develop fluency and mastery in both decoding and understanding. In the first two years there is an emphasis on learning to read, as children gain fluency this changes to focusing on reading to learn. As children progress and mature the type of books changes. Easy readers in the infants are replaced by high interest low reading age books for less confident readers in the Juniors. We also have challenging material that bridges the gap to adult literature, suitable for confident and mature older readers. We also have a number of Kindles in school.
From speaking and explaining their thinking, children move on to writing their thinking. They begin to write in words and sentences. Children's reading provides models for their own writing. We teach children to write using a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.
Shopping list, thank-you letters, postcards and memos all provide real-life situations for children to develop their written language. Drawing is also an important part of mark making. Children learn some marks are pictures, others symbols, words or numbers.
Phonic knowledge underpins reading, writing and spelling. We undertake Letters and Sounds phonic sessions every day across the whole school. We teach children to decode words for reading and encode words for spelling. Children progress to spelling work from the National Curriculum (2014) once their phonic knowledge is secure.