We teach English through many different subjects, such as History, Geography, RE and Science. We also teach it as a subject by itself. English incorporates Reading and Writing.
We primarily focus on:
- Fiction, and
- Helping the children to become confident readers
Reading and Phonics
At St Anne’s, we teach the children how to read and decode words the moment they come through the school gate. In Nursery, using the Jolly Phonics scheme, the children are taught how to listen for sounds around us in our local environment (Phase 1). This is done in a practical way, so that it’s memorable and enjoyable for the children. When appropriate for the children, they are also introduced to Phase 2 of Jolly Phonics – learning initial letter sounds. The children in Nursery have access to a wide range of texts. They are read to daily in class and can choose books to take home to enjoy with their family each week.
When moving into our reception classes, the children progress through Phase 2 of the Jolly Phonics programme. They learn initial letter sounds in the autumn term and then move on to learning the alternatives. This is taught as a whole class session and the children then have time to consolidate their learning through teacher-led and child-led activities in and out of the classroom. The children have their own reading diary and a book that they can read; this is a simple book with the initial sounds in that they have learnt so that they can blend and read independently. The children will also take a trickier book home – this is for the whole family to read and enjoy together. In Reception, the children are taught how to sound out simple words by pointing at the letters and saying the sounds all together. The children also get books read to them at the end of the day.
In Years 1 and 2 the children will carry on working through the Jolly Phonics programme and workbook. They are taught how to blend sounds together; read split digraphs and become more familiar with high frequency words; they will now be able to decode phonetically plausible words. The children will develop their reading skills by reading specifically levelled books that will challenge their reading skills and help to concrete the phonics skills that they have learnt. During KS1 the children will also work through the Jolly Grammar programme. This helps them to learn the correct terminology for specific grammatical features and practice when and where to use them.
In KS2 (from Year 3 onwards) the children continue to bring home a suitable levelled reading book and more challenging books for family enjoyment. The children are still encouraged to decode new words where possible, using their phonics knowledge and known spelling patterns. They will also get extra phonic support where needed to help fill in any gaps in their learning.
Children from Years 1-6 take part in guided reading sessions on a daily basis which are formed of core activities which children rotate around through the week to ensure that children develop a range of skills centred on key reading skills. Reading within these sessions is often supported by the use of ‘Reciprocal Reading’ which develops skills such as ‘clarifying’ and ‘summarising’ the text as well as other skills such as asking questions on the text and predicting future events. These skills are key to develop children’s understanding of the texts they are reading.
Writing – Best Write
Children from Years 1-6 have the opportunity to produce pieces of work in their ‘Best Write Books’. These books are taken with children through their time at St Anne’s, providing them with a book reflecting the progression of their writing skills they have developed on their journey through school as a writer.
Before producing a piece of writing in their best write books, children will have developed skills suitable for a specific style of writing. These skills will then be put into action when children produce their ‘first draft’. This is then edited by the child with help from feedback from teachers until they are happy to commit it to their best write book.
Through English lessons, children will have an opportunity to write in a range of styles for a range of purposes- many writing opportunities will link into a book being studied in class.
Writing – Handwriting
The children develop their handwriting following the style highlighted below.
Handwriting is taught explicitly throughout the school, up to Years 5 and 6 where handwriting continues to take place but as part of a guided reading activity focused around weekly spellings.
Writing – Spellings
Spellings are taught on a weekly basis with children receiving weekly spellings as part of their homework. These are then tested to ensure children are developing a sound understanding of word/sound patterns. In addition to weekly tests, children are assessed on spellings as part of termly assessments in school. Year group spelling lists are sent home at the start of the year. Please speak to your child’s class teacher if you would like a copy of this.
Writing – Grammar and Punctuation
Grammar and punctuation is taught explicitly from Years 1 up to Year 6 through the Jolly Grammar Scheme of work. These explicit lessons are then followed up within other lessons as the children’s work is marked using the school’s marking codes to identify any grammatical or punctuation mistakes. Similarly to spelling, grammar and punctuation is assessed termly as part of our school’s assessment week.