At Stanley Park Junior School, we recognise that the core skills of English are essential in life and vital for successful access to the whole curriculum. We aim to promote a love of reading, opportunities to write for a purpose and are committed to providing a diverse literary experience for our children. Pupils are taught to develop an understanding of the spoken and written word so that they can communicate their ideas to others. They are encouraged to express themselves confidently and clearly in a variety of writing, speaking and listening activities and are given opportunities to write extended pieces across a range of genres and on a variety of topics. Pupils are made aware of the need for correct spelling, clear legible handwriting and attractive presentation. Throughout writing units, teachers plan for immersive activities that provide an emotional hook to purposeful writing. Whether that be a letter to Father Christmas to practise persuasion or coming across an alien invasion before reporting on it in a Newspaper.
Each year group explicitly teaches key spelling rules weekly and allow children time within the school day to practise their spelling using a wide variety of fun and engaging activities. To meet the rigorous requirements of the National Curriculum, all children are exposed to key grammar and punctuation terminology which is then referred to and included in extended pieces of writing. A variety of discreet teaching, learning in context and language rich displays allows our children to be adept at using the GPS framework to analyse and improve their own work and the work of others.
Writing units follow a process of sharing high quality models, feature spotting, learning grammatical structures and text appropriate vocabulary, drafting, editing and publishing. We want our children to be active in the editing and improving process of their writing to encourage independence and ownership. Children then benefit from the input of peers and teachers before they complete their final pieces of work. These are celebrated in their Golden Writing book and on displays around the school.
We understand the importance of speaking and listening activities in developing communication and writing skills. We value the practice of oral rehearsal before commitment to print so our children often complete role play, hot seating, and other drama activities before composing their own stories. Children need to embody characters and scenarios to spark their curiosity and engagement with writing tasks.
Reading is promoted through a range of whole class texts, guided reading texts and recommended individual books. Pupils are challenged to read fluently and with understanding. All children are taught to skim, scan and find clues in the text to assist their understanding. The development of these key reading skills encourages and allows children to read both for pleasure and for the acquisition of information. Every day, time is set aside for individual or group reading and teaching staff, classroom assistants and parent helpers hear children read as often as is practicable.
Pupils are also expected to read at home each day to an adult and on their own to broaden their vocabulary and develop a lifelong love of reading. Questions are provided in our Home-school book to help prompt discussion about the texts which you read at home. Our class and whole school libraries are well equipped with a range of books that children are invited to borrow. It is updated regularly to reflect the latest and most popular titles and to encourage a varied book diet. The school library is open at lunchtimes for the children to use and our online library system encourages peer recommendations so children can encourage one another with their reading.
For those children who struggle with reading and writing, we continue to support them with the synthetic phonics scheme called Phonics Shed. Personalised ICT programmes are available to enable individual support for children who may need individual practice in spelling and reading comprehension.
We teach your children the fundamentals of reading, writing and oracy whilst striving to inspire an imaginative, cultured and accomplished generation.
Subject Leader: Heidi Shabankareh-Smith
If you would like more information about how this subject is taught, please contact Mrs Shabankareh-Smith by emailing the school office at firstname.lastname@example.org