English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
read easily, fluently and with good understanding
develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Learning to Read and Write at St Edmundsbury CEVA Primary School
In Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, we teach your child how to read and write using phonics. Phonics is a method of teaching children to read by linking sounds (phonemes) with the symbols that represent them (graphemes).
We use the Little Wandle Phonics Scheme to teach phonics. This scheme is validated by the Department for Education and aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It is a detailed and systematic programme which begins when the children arrive in Early Years and aims for children to be reading fluently by age seven.
The scheme is split into different stages, known at phases. Generally, the children will cover Phases 2 and 3 in Early Years and Phases 3, 4 and 5 in Year 1. The phonics teaching continues into Year 2 where the children focus on applying their phonics.
In the summer term of Year 2, children will be introduced to the Accelerated Reader scheme. This wonderful tool allows children, parents and teaches to track and guide reading as they develop their skills by:
- making reading practice more effective for every child
- personalising reading practice to each child's current level
- assessing pupils' comprehension of their reading through book quizzes
- building a lifelong love of reading and learning.
Teaching Writing at St Edmundsbury CEVA Primary School
At St Edmundsbury, writing teaching is based around a class reading book. These can be found on your child's topic overviews.
Each cycle of writing is broken down in the following way:
- Shared examples of the focused text type (What A Good One Looks Like) with analysis of the structural and content features of the genre of writing.
- Specific grammar and punctuation taught which can be used in that genre of writing (we use Alan Peat sentences as a vehicle for this).
- Opportunities to use the grammar and punctuation is supported and scaffolded extended writing each week.
- Opportunities to write independently and show off what the children have learned! This happens at least once every two weeks.
These lessons are supplemented by additional lessons on spelling and a weekly Pobble write- a timetabled lesson where the children are given an inspirational picture to base a piece of writing around.
Examples of the Alan Peat sentence structures can be found below, including how they are broken down by phase across the school- these are great to mimic and practice at home!
At St Edmundsbury, we recognise that handwriting and presentation quality is the first judgement anyone makes when reading a piece of work. We follow the Teach Handwriting programme to support our children in reaching the highest standards with their presentation.
BBC 500-Word Competition
We were delighted to have so many wonderful entries to our 500-word competition. The children wrote their stories throughout October and November and posted them in the post box. We had a wonderful mix of styles, all inspired by different authors and experiences, which made for some wonderful reading. Our Chair of Governors, Mrs Parr, described being very moved by the children's efforts and the power of their words.
All of out stories were just brilliant, but we wanted to recognise Skye Kirk, Finley Manchett and Oscar Grove who took home prizes as the competition winners.
Thank you to the Friends of St Edmundsbury for providing Waterstones Vouchers to these children.