The teaching and learning of English in Nursery and Reception is from the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum document where children will be working towards the Early Learning Goals for the prime area of Communication and Language and the specific area of Literacy, which includes reading and writing. In Key Stage 1 children will be working from the new English National Curriculum document where they are working towards the designated end of year expectations.
An aspect of English is taught in all classes across the school every day. We aim to help our children acquire a mastery of language, both oral and written, so that they are able to communicate confidently, understand easily and read fluently. These skills enable children to learn and succeed in all areas of the curriculum and throughout life. Assessment in English is continuous to inform planning and identify strengths and weaknesses; children’s needs are met through differentiation.
Spoken Language: Children’s ability to speak and to listen is fundamental to their language development, learning in school, and to social development. Direct teaching of the skills involved is important. At Herne Bay Infant School, children have Spoken Language opportunities on a daily basis. This might include role playing, talking partners, circle time activities and Philosophy for Children.
Reading: It is important that children learn to read independently from an early stage to give them access to information, and the opportunity to become enthusiastic readers. Reading is a life skill and our aim is for children to read for enjoyment and pleasure. At Herne Bay Infant School children have a daily ‘Rich Reading’ session where they will experience shared, teacher-led and individual reading activities as well as opportunities to experience different genre using resources such as big books, poetry and non-fiction texts. We place a strong emphasis on the systematic teaching of phonics which is taught through the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics scheme and the instant recognition of common words. Children have the opportunity to take home books from their RWI lesson to read to their adult at home. They can also choose to take home a book every day from a wide range of reading schemes and a real book to share. A reading challenge is given during holidays.
Writing: Pupils need to learn to write independently. It provides children with the tools to express themselves in a way other than speaking. Writing is essential for future learning and life. It is vital that we provide children with the foundations to become proficient writers. At Herne Bay Infant School we encourage children’s early mark making; pupil’s writing skills are developed through fine motor skill activities; the teaching of letter formation, handwriting, spelling, grammar and punctuation and a rich language based environment including exciting first hand experiences and visits and story times to develop story language. We achieve this through activities such as composing captions to match drawings and experiences; writing stories; letter writing; writing recounts and other forms of information writing. Children are taught to recognise the value of checking work and to respond to suggestions that will improve their writing. Within the taught English session, the children observe the writing process being modelled by the teacher. Children take part in writing activities during shared and guided writing sessions and also independently.
Children have the opportunity to take home handwriting patterns and letter formation practise; common words to practise spelling and holiday writing challenges.