At Stondon Lower School we ensure that literacy skills are taught with the understanding that children are unique and that they learn and develop in different ways and at different rates.
English in Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and 2)
We use phonics as an important tool to develop children’s reading and spelling skills, with the knowledge that the understanding of what they read and write is of equal importance to their development in English. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme. We ensure that children at Stondon Lower School have many and varied opportunities to listen to and read a wide range of stories, poems and non-fiction, in order to give them models for their own writing.
Children are taught:
- Using a range of reading material and a variety of reading schemes (Oxford University Press, Rising Stars and All Aboard) children learn to enjoy reading and understand what they can read independently. They read and listen to a wide range of poems, stories and non- fiction. They retell and discuss stories they have heard and read in small groups. They begin to make inferences, read expressively and recite some poems by heart.
- To use phonics as their main approach to word reading. They learn the 40 + phonemes, including alternative sounds for graphemes, and blend sounds in unfamiliar words.
- As they progress in reading, children learn to read words quickly and accurately, including common exception words, words containing contractions and words which contain common suffixes.
- To use their phonic knowledge when segmenting and blending sounds in words, spelling many phonically regular words correctly and learning to spell common exception words.
- To form regular sized handwriting and start using some of the joining strokes needed for neat cursive handwriting. They learn to leave spaces between words and form capital letters correctly.
- To write in a variety of genres including narrative, poetry and non- fiction forms. They learn to plan what they are going to write sentence by sentence, but also to begin to proof- read to check that their writing makes sense, correcting errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation.
- Children are taught to use full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks, question marks, commas in lists and apostrophes correctly.
- They begin to use adjectives and conjunctions for subordination and co- ordination in order to enrich their writing.
English in Key Stage 2 (Year 3 and 4)
Children are taught:
- To develop a positive attitude to reading by having access to a wide range of reading materials, including versions of classic stories, fairy tales, myths and legends, poems and genres of non- fiction, newspapers, advertisements and play scripts. They have opportunities to read, memorise and perform to others with expression, intonation and action, in order to develop their understanding.
- Through guided and independent reading, children are taught to predict, draw inferences, explain, conclude and summarise ideas from texts, and they begin to use written comprehension to develop these skills.
- Children learn to use dictionaries to check spellings, and further develop their ability to spell unfamiliar words, including words that are often misspelt, homophones and words which use the possessive pronoun.
- They learn to consistently produce neat, evenly sized cursive handwriting.
- Children in Key Stage 2 are taught to discuss and plan writing that shows the features of specific genres that they have read. They are given opportunities to enrich their vocabulary and sentence structures by learning from good quality models by significant authors. They evaluate their own writing and that of others and suggest improvements, respond positively to constructive marking and are able to talk about what makes a piece of writing effective.
- They are taught to organise paragraphs around a theme, and to create settings, characters and plot in narrative writing. In non-narrative writing, children learn to use organisational devices such as headings, sub- headings.
- Children learn to choose appropriate language for clarity and cohesion, begin to use a variety of tenses to enrich their written work and extend sentences by the use of subordinate clauses and fronted adverbials. They learn to express time and cause by using a rich variety of adverbs, conjunctions and prepositions. They learn to confidently understand and use the vocabulary of grammar when discussing their own writing and that of others.
The spoken word
At Stondon Lower School, we understand how important it is for children to be able to express themselves with confidence and assurance, to ask and answer questions and present and defend their opinions. Opportunities to learn these skills begin in the foundation stage, and continue throughout the school. Children are encouraged to take part in debates, present information, memorise and recite poetry, take part in plays and assemblies, and become ambassadors for the school with our many visitors, parents and friends. As we are a values school, we place particular emphasis on valuing and listening to the contributions of others.
Children are taught:
- To maintain a topic of conversation, listening and taking turns to speak.
- Justify their opinions and respond appropriately to what others say.
- Use strategies to maintain the interest of their audience.
- Understand that there are various forms of spoken English and use the appropriate forms as required.