English throughout Lowerhouses School.
English is a key area of teaching and learning within the school.
Right from Nursery up through to Year 6, children are taught the fundamental skills needed in Speaking & Listening, Reading and Writing. These skills are essential so that they can access other areas of the curriculum. Wherever possible reading, writing and speaking and listening is linked to our half-termly topics and themes.
In Early Years and Reception Speaking and Listening activities allow children to learn new language and practice using it in a range of structured and unstructured activities. Children explore the world around them using language to describe, explain, recount and narrate. A range of narrative and non-fiction texts are used and children learn to understand the features of different kinds of books. Children engage in storytelling activities and adapt them to tell their own version of the story. Phonics teaching equips children with the building blocks of language and sets them on the road to becoming independent readers. Children are taught and encouraged to write. The children participate in the school’s Big Write sessions. In Early Years this will be as ‘mark making’ and as the children’s writing skills develop further in Reception, they start to write simple words, phrases and sentences.
Phonics is taught throughout the Early Years and Key Stage 1 classrooms. We follow the Letters and Sounds document for guidance, and support this with Jolly Phonics actions, songs, videos and resources. This approach directly supports our reading scheme, where we use fully decodable books published by Bug Club and Phonics Bug. In Key Stage 2 phonics sessions continue for children needing additional support.
In Years 1 and 2 children continue to be taught phonic decoding skills. They become more proficient and independent as they progress. The importance of using Speaking & Listening activities such as role-play, hot-seating and drama, allow children to practice their ever widening breadth of vocabulary and use of sentence structures. This in turn feeds into their writing. Guided Reading sessions allows teachers to work with groups of pupils to develop their reading comprehension and fluency. Afternoon Continuous Provision activities and tasks allow the opportunity for children to practice their literacy skills. Children will work individually, in pairs, in groups, and as a whole class to develop their literacy skills and knowledge. Teachers model good writing and children learn and practise through shared writing how to become a good writer.
Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 build on the work from Key Stage 1 and Early Years, gradually exposing the children to an ever widening range of text types and genres of writing. Children will learn how to read and write: Plays; Diaries and Recounts; Stories form Other Cultures and Traditions; Poetry; Myths and Legends; Explanatory; Instructions; Reports; Information texts; Persuasive texts; Letters; Traditional Tales; and Descriptive pieces. Children explore the features of these different text types. They learn how writers structure and use language for particular effect. They then learn through teacher modelling and shared writing how to write in a particular style until finally they are given the opportunity to write independently using the knowledge and skills they have learnt. Just as in their earlier schooling, pupils are given the opportunity to use a range of creative and speaking and listening activities to deepen their understanding of the texts they are reading.
Lowerhouses School believes that good literacy skills are absolutely essential for children. We want our children to love reading and writing, to enjoy it for its own sake, but also to recognise its importance and value. We want to help them become successful communicators in order to help them negotiate the path of life and fully realise their potential. Our aim is to make Literacy as enjoyable, stimulating and creative as possible whilst teaching the fundamentals needed for Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening.
The following is a glossary of the grammar, punctuation and spelling terminology we use with the children. You can also find information at: https://www.theschoolrun.com/primary-grammar-glossary-for-parents
Below is also a copy of the Upper Key Stage 2 toolkit children use when writing.