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At St Thomas' CE Primary School we believe that, through a creative curriulum, every child should have an equal oppotunity to explore all areas of English. We aim to develop independent learners who are motivated, confident and who have the ability to achieve personal success.

We aim to develop all pupils' abilities through the following main areas:

- Spoken Language;

- Reading;

- Writing;

- Grammar;

- Spelling;

- Handwriting.

 

 

SPOKEN LANGUAGE

Spoken language is an important and integral part of our English work and it underpins the development of reading and writing. We aim to provide a range of challenging opportunities for all in our community - children and adults alike - to participate knowing that their contributions are always valued.

 

The objectives for Spoken Language will be taught and practiced throughout the whole curriculum in every Key Stage. Our aim is to develop the following in our students: 

 

  • A capacity to explain their understanding of books and other reading, and to prepare their ideas before they write;
  • Making their thinking clear to themselves and others which provides teachers with an opportunity to probe and remedy any misconceptions;
  • Conventions for discussion and debate;
  • Practice of drama – responding to a range of roles
  • Opportunities to improvise, devise, and script drama for a range of audiences;
  • Rehearse, refine, share and respond thoughtfully to drama and theatre performances.

 

We develop these skills through our lessons across the curriculum, class assemblies, participation in the School Council and Church School Council, carol concerts, productions, competitions and debates. During lessons, there are opportunities for paired and group talk as well as presentations and debates.

 

READING

We believe that reading is a journey born out of curiosity for the world around us; leading to an understanding and enjoyment of texts, poetry and plays following a carefully structured path. In the National Curriculum, reading is split into the two dimensions of word reading and comprehension.

Throughout our curriculum we provide opportunities for shared reading, guided reading and independent reading.

In Reception and Key Stage 1, reading is taught using the above and also through daily phonics sessions. Research shows that phonics is the most effective way of teaching young children to read. In phonics sessions they are taught how to:

  • recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  • identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make - such as ‘sh’ or ‘oo’; and
  • blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read. At St Thomas' we use Read Write Inc to promote a systematic approach to learning phonics.

Click on this link for more information on phonics, the Y1 Phonics screener check, and to hear all 44 phonic sounds pronounced correctly.

WRITING

We believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to master different genres and work towards becoming independent writers, who are able to express themselves creatively. We plan many opportunities for children to write both within English lessons and across the curriculum, where children have the opportunities to apply their writing skills in a variety of contexts and for different purposes. As a school, we value the use of the outdoors, picture books and film clips to generate ideas and amazing vocabulary. Within our English lessons, time is also dedicated to phonics and spelling, handwriting and grammar.