All children have a time tabled session of English every day. We have recently started using the Literacy Tree as a complete thematic approach to teaching English that places children's literature at its core. It is a whole school approach which provides complete coverage of the National Curriculum expectations for writing, grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, spelling and grammar and provides a purposeful application within a wide variety of written outcomes.
In Key Stage 1, children have a daily phonics session where they follow the Letters and Sounds Programme. We also use Jolly Phonics to engage and enthuse children with a multi-sensory approach to reading and spelling. All children are expected to read at home at least five times per week and are encouraged to join and use the local library.
Grammar, Punctuation and Vocabulary:
Children are taught transcription skills both discretely and as part of their literacy lessons. We aim to make learning about language fun and engaging and we use a range of activities and resources .
We teach children to spell using a range of strategies. We pay attention to sounds, pattern and shape, as well as encouraging the child to develop observation and memory. Children are encouraged to explore and “have a go” with spelling. They must also become accurate, so that spelling is an automatic activity. Children may be asked to learn spellings within the same word family or pattern of words, or to learn specific words that are often misspelled in their work. Key Stage 2 children will use dictionaries to look at the origins of some English words.
This term we will be launching a new handwriting scheme. Children will be learning to write in a fully cursive style throughout the school, beginning in Class R.
Research shows many benefits of learning to write in this style, including being able to join up quicker and more confidently, less chance of letter reversal and confusion and improved spelling.