At Skol Nansledan, we recognise the importance of the English language in preparing children to be confident in all aspects of their lives. We believe that improved performance in reading, writing and spoken language will enable our pupils to deal more successfully with other curriculum subjects, while enriching their lives beyond school. We encourage all children to become independent learners and be confident in all strands of learning.
Our approach to teaching English incorporates oracy, drama, real contexts and high-quality texts, developing children’s vocabulary, language, reading and writing skills. Pupils then apply key-skills purposefully across our STEAM curriculum, becoming increasingly effective communicators.
We also want all children to leave Skol Nansledan with a life-long reading habit and a love of books because reading will improve their vocabulary, inspire them creatively and improve their ability to write well.
We ensure our English curriculum links fully to the National Curriculum and shows clear progression. The below documents detail this further.
GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling)
Below is a link to the National Curriculum Appendix 1, which relates to spelling. The teaching of spelling patterns is taught progressively throughout each year group and key stage. The teaching of specific spellings also services to support vocabulary development.
In both Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, spellings are taught using Spelling Shed, an engaging and comprehensive programme which supports children in the acquisition of the key skills of spelling and word knowledge. The scheme aligns fully with the English National Curriculum for spelling.
There is also a link to the National Curriculum Appendix 2, which relates to vocabulary, punctuation and grammar. These curriculum areas are taught through English lessons which also link directly to our STEAM curriculum objectives.
Once children have finished the Read Write Inc programme, they will have access to Accelerated Reader. This tool supports independent reading by providing each child with engaging texts to select as their reading book and regular opportunities to demonstrate their understanding of what they have read.
Each half term, children will complete an online reading assessment, called a STAR test. Following this, they will be given their ZPD. This is a numerical range which supports us and the children to identify pre-levelled books which are suitable for their reading ability. Once the child has finished their book, they can use their login details at school to find their book and take a quiz to demonstrate their comprehension skills.
By reading and quizzing regularly, children can move through the Accelerated Reader certification levels and earn certificates as recognition of their achievement. These are given out in assemblies each calendar month. A link to the Accelerated Reader program can be found below.
Handwriting is so important to your child because it is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. It is also a movement skill and one which is best taught directly by demonstration, explanation and practice. The principal aim is that handwriting becomes an automatic process, which frees pupils to focus on the content of the writing.
Our handwriting scheme is called ‘Letter-join’.
All children learn to correctly form their letters through the handwriting scheme ‘Letter-join.’ The correct formation of all letters needs to be consistent and automatic and this may require a lot of practice. In order for this to happen, handwriting is taught in ways that enhance fluency and legibility. Handwriting is a skill which needs to be taught explicitly.
Since handwriting is essentially a movement skill, correct modelling of the agreed style by the class teacher is very important. The letter formation taught is, in the first instance, a cursive style, which ensures an early transition to joined handwriting.