At Grange, we aim to equip our pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop their love of reading by providing rich and varied learning experiences. High quality education in English enables pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others accurately and expressively.
Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital to the development of vocabulary, grammar and an understanding of reading and writing.
At Grange we believe that the best way to teach children the correct conventions for spoken language is to immerse them in it. In all experiences and lessons, the children are given opportunities to orally explain their ideas, make formal presentations and participate in drama activities.
Children are taught a range of strategies to enable them to tackle new words so they can read fluently and with confidence. Through a high quality range of books including: fiction; non-fiction and poetry, children develop comprehension skills as well as an appreciation and love of reading.
Guided reading is a daily occurrence throughout school. During these sessions children have the opportunity to develop and learn a range of reading skills, engaging with a variety of texts at instructional levels. Children demonstrate their understanding of a text by responding to questioning and older children contribute to their reading journals. Children are encouraged to study high quality texts and develop their understanding of fiction and non-fiction through a range of activities such as drama and extended writing opportunities.
Our home reading programme, which provides children with books to read at home and the opportunity to make reflections about what they have read, plays an important role in developing our positive reading culture.
Annual book week, World Book Day celebrations, Summer reading schemes and events such as author’s visits and book fairs, creature a culture of reading for pleasure, which we hope will stay with children throughout their lives.
While building works are in progress in 2015-2018, we will have limited library facilities, but are looking forward to our new library which will further enhance our children’s opportunities to enjoy reading.
We understand that being an effective writer requires many skills, such as: a wide vocabulary to express ideas; a sound knowledge of spelling rules and patterns; an understanding of grammatical conventions and sentence structures and fluent, legible handwriting to write their ideas down.
We ensure that all our children are explicitly taught these skills, through a mixture of discrete lessons, thoughtful discussion, analysis of quality writing and studying cross-curricular themes.
Through careful choices of exciting class texts, ranging from Myths and Legends to Newspaper Reports, pupils are given starting points for their writing as well as opportunities to expand their writing and make progress through shared and guided writing. Pupils learn how to plan, revise and evaluate their written work, enabling them to become more independent and successful writers.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling are taught in both discrete lessons (‘SPAG Monday’ from Y2 – Y6) and within other writing objectives. Skills are often linked to class texts to provide children with a context for their learning.
In handwriting lessons pupils are taught to form and join their letters correctly to develop a legible, cursive style. A child’s posture and how they hold their pen or pencil is also important. Handwriting instruction is supported by the computer programme “Letterjoin”.
The systematic teaching of phonics is vital in order for children to become competent readers and writers and is most effective when learnt between the ages of five and seven years.
We plan phonics learning systematically, using the structure in Letters and Sounds, which introduces all the phonemes children need to know, into six stages (Phases One – Six).
We use Phonics Bug resources in Reception and Y1 to support the teaching of Letters and Sounds phoneme acquisition and also use these resources to support children in Y2 who are not working at age related expectations.
Class teaching of phonics in Y2 is based on the sequence of teaching in Letters and Sounds and makes links with spelling, grammar and handwriting.
(Please see our Phonics Policy for further information)