At Our Lady Queen Of Heaven Catholic Primary School we aim to make our lessons purposeful and enjoyable so that each individual pupil can engage in their own learning.
English is a core subject because it is a thread that runs through the whole of the curriculum. This journey begins in Reception by learning phonic sounds. Phonics is at the centre of all reading and writing and therefore remains an important skill throughout their primary school career. We use Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds throughout Early Years and Key Stage 1.
Speaking and Listening:
Speaking and listening is at the heart of all learning. Children need opportunities to continually develop their vocabulary. Through first-hand experience and listening to an ever increasing variety of vocabulary the children will develop their understanding of language and how to use it. Once they can express themselves verbally they can begin to develop the skills they need to read and write this complex language. Being able to speak clearly and communicate effectively is a lifelong skill, which is why it is imperative that speaking and listening must be key in all areas of the curriculum. This could be through drama activities, performing play scripts and poetry or even just talking through ideas.
The most important thing to remember when helping a child learn to read is it must be enjoyable and fun. Reading gives the children full access to all curriculum subjects. Children are exposed to different texts continually, giving them the opportunity to find pleasure in reading. This will help them develop into strong independent readers. Picture books are fantastic for all ages (including grown-ups). Discussing the pictures with your child will not only enhance their enjoyment, but it will also help to develop their comprehension skills.
Reading is taught in school individually, in guided and shared reading groups and as a whole class. The children have the opportunity to not only read to themselves and to an adult in the class, but also to an audience and for a purpose such as following instructions. These diverse experiences will help them to become confident readers. Reflecting this at home and encouraging your child to read a wide range of texts will be extremely beneficial to them. As a school, we use reading schemes to support readers but it is equally important that children read can read a range of texts. As children move into Year 3, children are encouraged to further develop their reading repertoire moving away from scaffolded texts. Perhaps you could try sharing comics, recipe books, sports results in the newspaper, emails and websites about their school topics or a personal interest they may have.
Good readers become good writers, the richness, depth and breadth of reading determines the writers we become.
We encourage our children to write in a variety of genres. Over the year they will cover areas such as letter writing, writing a diary, writing a recount, story writing and writing instructions. This also feeds into writing in other subjects across the curriculum. The skills we teach within writing are; handwriting, spelling, phonics, grammar, punctuation, style, content and appropriate and adventurous use of vocabulary. We have a wonderful school library with thousands of books, this is a great asset for us as children learn to write and spell through reading good reading materials. Children need to develop stamina in writing and are often encouraged to write for extended periods. We often give children the choice of how to present their writing and in which genre. Children need to be given the opportunity to reflect on their writing. We teach them editing skills so that they can understand how to improve their work.
To find out more please see our policies for English and Handwriting below: