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English

Speaking and listening

Speaking and listening is an essential building block in English.  Children are given lots of opportunities to talk, ask and answer questions and present to an audience.  The school follow Hertfordshire guidelines for the teaching of speaking and listening.  Children are thoroughly assessed in speaking and listening on entry and given extra support where necessary.  We value what children have to say and through a variety of methods teach children to have a voice.

Phonics

Daily phonics lessons take place in Foundation Stage and KS1.  We follow the guidance in Letters and Sounds and the LCP scheme of work. We provide children with a range of practical experiences to develop their phonic knowledge.
In English lessons and ‘Child Initiated Learning’, pupils are encouraged to develop these skills further through reading and writing activities.  Children are screened for phonic knowledge at the end of Year 1 and again in Year 2 if required.  Parents are informed of these results in the end of year report.

Reading

Reading is an essential part of life in school.  We use the Oxford Reading Tree as the core school reading scheme.  We supplement this with a range of other schemes and books in order to give children a varied reading experience.  Pupils in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 are also able to access the web-based Reading Eggs Package.

As children move through the scheme, they are able to choose their own books from a selection of modern and up to date titles in the school library.  We update the school library regularly and involve children in the choices that we make.

All classes from Reception have weekly guided reading sessions. Children develop reading strategies with their teacher in a small group. They also have the opportunity to practise these skills independently.  Specific guided reading books from Oxford Reading Tree are used in these sessions along with other relevant and age appropriate materials.

Parents are encouraged to hear their child read each night and they are welcome to help their child change their reading book at any time.  In addition, the library is available after school for pupils and parents to borrow extra books.

Writing

Writing is given a high priority in school. Children are given a variety of opportunities to write for different purposes including: writing their name, creating a list, retelling a story, creating a newspaper report or a persuasive letter.   As much as possible, teachers use real life experiences or rich texts to inspire pupils.  Pupils who read a wide variety of high quality texts are much better placed to write in an engaging and exciting way.

Each year group follows Hertfordshire guidelines to ensure pupils are meeting the appropriate standards for their age.  Grammar teaching is a significant part of the curriculum and pupils are expected to understand and use a different technique to develop the accuracy of their writing.  The guide below is to support parents and pupils with this.

Transcription is another important part of the writing curriculum.  Handwriting and spelling are significant building blocks to becoming a confident writer.  Good grip and correct letter formation are key elements children need to learn early on in their school career.  Teachers use the national curriculum to teach spelling and ensure the correct words are being taught in each year group.
Children are given plenty of opportunities to write for pleasure and to share their work in sharing assembly or with the Head teacher.  We endeavour to prepare   pupils well for the requirements of secondary school.

English Expectations