At St Oswald’s C.E. Primary School English is taught as a stand alone subject as well as being woven through all of our subjects as an essential component of all curriculum areas. We aspire to provide a wealth of experiences to develop the ability to communicate effectively in speech and writing and to listen with understanding. Our aim is for all of our children to become confident, enthusiastic and responsive readers, writers and speakers.
- We will still be having a visit from esteemed author Andy Cope for our Key Stage 2 children, as soon as we’re back at school we will be able to rearrange his visit.
- We will also get a new date for our workshops with the West End in Schools company for Key Stage 1. ”The Gingerbread Man’ and ‘Tiddler’ were our chosen stories for our workshops.
The skills and mechanics of writing are taught explicitly throughout the week in all of our classrooms. The grammar and skills knowledge in Key Stage 2 are taught daily in a half hourly SPaG Time (spelling, punctuation and grammar) whilst in EYFS and Key Stage 1 these skills are focused on in our daily writing lessons. Children are then able to use these skills in both sentence level and larger pieces of writing.
Our writing is themed in many ways; sometimes a inspiring text is used, other times it may be linked to our topic work, for example; writing a diary entry as a Roman citizen or creating a newspaper report of the Great Fire of London.
At St Oswald’s we believe oracy and the spoken language is key. We often use the Talk 4 Writing approach to support our children to become writers, exposing them to a wide range of genres and written forms. We believe that writing should be an enjoyable experience and that the children should feel that they are writing for a purpose. To engage the children in writing we often use ‘hooks’, this gives the children a purpose for which to write. They may have a postcard from the Snail who has been on a journey with the Whale to ‘far off lands’ or they could watch some CCTV of a dragon landing on our school playground over the weekend. The purpose of a hook is to excite and engage children and show them a purpose for putting their ideas down on paper.
Handwriting begins in Reception with basic letter formation and continues to evolve in Key Stage 1, where children learn to add slide ups to their letters in order to start to join their letters. Handwriting is practiced weekly and by Key stage 2 it is our aim that the children have adopted a fluent cursive style of handwriting.
Reading is something that we are very passionate about at St. Oswald’s – we see it as a window of opportunity into so many different worlds. We encourage all children to read aloud to an adult and to share books at home regularly.
In Reception and Key Stage 1 children have books closely linked to their growing phonics phase knowledge and move onto linking those texts with a coloured book band to add some depth and vocabulary growth to their reading. As well as this the children also have the opportunity to take home a free choice book.
For more information on how we start children on their reading journey in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 please read the attached document:
In Key Stage 2 some children will stay on coloured banded books for longer than others before moving onto free choice books. This is so that they are able to progress at their own speed, using and honing their reading skills. In Key Stage 2 our weekly reading lessons continue and we start to focus more on reading for inference in a text by looking at the following skills-
- Using their background knowledge to make links to the text.
- Predicting, asking questions, ‘I wonder…’ and reading on to find out.
- Visualising-making pictures in our minds.
- Noticing when they have a meaning breakdown and spot when they don’t understand words or phrases.
- Having repair strategies for when they don’t understand.
- Watching out for very important words, phrases and ideas.
- Thinking like detectives and use inference.
- Putting together ideas to form a gist (a good understanding of the text.)
These skills are honed in our reading lessons and then followed up on in ERIC time where children can discuss, debate and enjoy texts together.
Below are some brilliant ideas for new books you and your child might like to read, as recommended by the team at World Book Day. They are sorted by themes and suggested ages. So if you’re looking for something new to try, take a look!
Also, if you have a particular author that you enjoy reading but feel you want to ‘branch out’ and try something else then follow the link below where you will find lots of recommendations for books similar to those of your favourite author!
Click on the link below to find out how we are constantly improving our reading scheme and resources:
The following websites are recommended in supporting children in all areas of English;
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zgkw2hv Resources for all areas of spelling, punctuation and grammar for KS1
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zv48q6f Resources for all areas of spelling, punctuation and grammar for KS2
http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Search.aspx?Subject=9&AgeGroup=2 KS1 English games and activities
http://www.topmarks.co.uk/Search.aspx?Subject=9&AgeGroup=3 KS2 English games and activities
http://www.poetryfoundation.org/learn/children Poetry collections specifically for children
https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/ Great for free online reading
http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/ A lovely resource with videos from authors and illustrators