English at St John's
The teaching and learning of English contains three interlinking skill strands; speaking and listening, reading and writing. One of our key aims is that children leave St John's with a love of literature and language in many forms, and will be able to express their thoughts clearly and fluently in both written and spoken forms.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening underpins all learning in class. from reciting poetry for a performance, to class debate and discussions, or explaining how they solved a problem - oral language is the foundation of every subject. Speaking and listening allows children to form and express their thoughts and ideas, as well as understanding those of others.
Phonics and Spelling
A secure phonic knowledge is key to successful reading , writing and spelling. Foundation Stage (Reception) and Year 1 undertake our Systematic Synthetic Phonics based programme (Little Wandle) with phonic sessions every day to practise and develop a range of skills. Children are taught to decode, segment and blend words for fluent reading and accurate spelling.
Once their phonic knowledge is secure, children progress onto the 'No Nonsense Spelling' scheme. Through this scheme, children from years 2 - 6 learn and revise the spelling rules from the National Curriculum (2014).
At St John's, we place great emphasis on reading and aim to provide the children with a range of books and other reading materials to support this. We aim for children to be able to read fluently, and with understanding, so that reading becomes a source of enjoyment and pleasure.
Throughout the year, we monitor children's progress through a range of approaches (including whole-class, small group, and 1:1 reading) in order to support them reaching their full potential. We encourage and welcome support from home with the reading process. Reading widely provides children with models and inspiration for their own writing.
From being able to verbally express their thinking, children move on to expressing their ideas and thoughts through drawing and mark-making and writing. Children are encouraged to express themselves by writing in different contexts and for a variety of purposes and audiences, in both fiction and non-fiction pieces. At St John's, we aim to develop children's creativity, imagination , vocabulary, spelling and handwriting through the teaching of writing. This is through quality modelling practice, and sharing and dissecting good examples and setting writing targets to aid self-improvement. We give each child opportunities to discuss, improve and assess their own writing and the work of others.
Handwriting is a skill which an only be improved by consistent and regular practice. we have regular handwriting practice sessions and we support the development of this skill across writing opportunities provided by the curriculum.