At St. Margaret’s Anfield CE Primary School, we value the importance of English as a core subject within our curriculum and are fully aware of the significant impact that good literacy skills can have on our children and their lives.
It is our aim to promote and develop a love of English – via speaking, listening, reading and writing – in order to develop pupils who are capable of communicating independently with others. We therefore endeavour to make English a high priority within all aspects of school-life in order to enable our pupils to become primary literate.
We follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for English in conjunction with the Local Authority Medium Term Plans in order to facilitate and plan age appropriate tasks for the children in our school and to enable high quality teaching and learning to take place.
English lessons can take many different forms: oral-based lessons, reading activities, English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling tasks as well as written work. Pupils will have the opportunity to work independently, in pairs, in small groups, with the teacher and with the whole class depending on their age and the task in hand. Children are taught in mixed ability classes and will have differentiated work where appropriate.
Speaking and Listening
The importance of the spoken language in the development of all pupils is recognised here at SMA. Pupils are given the opportunity to discuss their work. Questioning is fundamental to aiding the development of not only speaking and listening skills, but also written work.
We aim to develop a reading culture in school and have recently started to replenish our reading stock in consultation with Madeleine Lindley. We have home reading books and guided reading books for all ages and a recently refurbished school library.
Children will be exposed to a variety of quality texts during their time at SMA and reading will feature not only as part of their English lessons, but also as part of their separate Guided Reading sessions with the class teacher.
We ask all parents / carers to support our drive for developing reading skills by reading with your children at home.
Children are encouraged to read for pleasure and where possible teachers share a story with the children for sheer enjoyment.
In school we focus on the development of both transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition. We aim to give children authentic contexts for writing and utilise opportunities to write across other curriculum subjects. Good quality texts and a range of media are employed by teachers to inspire and motivate children’s writing. All attempts at writing are valued.
Grammar, Punctuation, Spelling and Vocabulary
The importance of grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary cannot be underestimated. We recognise the importance of using a variety of approaches to the development of spelling including multi-sensory tasks, phonics, investigations, mnemonics and so on.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling can be taught both as discrete sessions and as part of a wider context in an English lesson. Teachers are encouraged to enhance pupils’ vocabulary through writing and reading opportunities. Staff model – and pupils are taught – Standard English.
To ensure that children’s work is able to be appreciated, legible handwriting is of great importance. Initially children are taught to print, they are then taught and encouraged to use joined handwriting. Pupils begin using pencil and are given a handwriting pen in KS2 at an appropriate time.
Fluency in the English language is an essential foundation for pupils across all curriculum areas and for their future lives. We aim to deliver quality teaching of basic and higher order skills to develop a strong command of both the written and spoken word, but fundamentally we want children to enjoy English and develop a love of reading and a confidence in communication.
Please enjoy taking a look at some photographs which show the enjoyment and development of English within our school…