At St Francis, we believe that English is the main component that dominates our everyday lives. We endeavour to equip the children in our care, with the fundamental skills to communicate effectively, through reading, writing, speaking and listening. English is taught as a discrete subject and reinforced across the curriculum, through a range of experiences. Children are encouraged to express themselves creatively through drama, which enables them to have first-hand experiences of the characters and situations. They are able to develop their speaking skills, recognising the difference between the spoken and written language.
“Teachers should develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary as integral aspects of the teaching of every subject. English is both a subject in its own right and the medium for teaching; for pupils, understanding the language provides access to the whole curriculum. Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for success in all subjects. “
National Curriculum 2014
The new English National Curriculum enables the children to learn through a themed approach, allowing them to learn and consolidate ideas and concepts. This forms the basis of our whole school curriculum, which adopts a termly themed approach.
Each term in writing, texts are grouped together, to enable the learner to recognise the key language features and thus use them in their own writing. Grammar and punctuation are also included to support the relevant genres. This has proved very successful this term. Children are also taught to join their writing from the Foundation stage. A neat cursive writing style is modelled and is a school expectation.
Spelling is taught through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ scheme in Foundation and Key Stage One. Phonics sessions are scheduled every day to help children learn, practice and use the phonics in their own work. These skills are then consolidated throughout KS2 with further spelling strategies provided, in line with the curriculum. Spelling is considered to be an important part of English as it supports reading.
We encourage reading from an early age and have a reward system for the number of reads that children complete at home. This is very popular and the children actively participate. This feeds into the children’s success across the curriculum, whereby they become confident reading a wide variety of texts, to support other subjects and interests. We aim to have free reading children, who have a love and thirst for reading, both fiction and factual texts.
At St. Francis, there is a wide range of support for children who require extra support. These programmes are individually designed in consultation with the teachers, SEN coordinator and parents. Your support is vital to ensure the best possible outcome for your child.
Phonics is taught in school following the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme.
We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme and colours for reading and assess using PM Benchmark.