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Literacy and  English Language

Listening

This is a vital skill in a child's ability to learn and perhaps, surprisingly, does not come naturally to all children but must be developed by practice in listening to stories, listening to other people without interrupting, answering questions about what has been listened to, etc.

Talking

This goes hand in hand with the above – one is transmitting and one receiving. To achieve communication children must be accomplished in both.
Again, perhaps surprisingly, being able to communicate through talk does not come naturally to all children but is a skill which can be taught. This is done through regular discussion, teaching children how to organise their ideas, developing confidence, extending vocabulary, etc.

Reading

Reading is regarded as the “key” subject. Core materials are from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme with platform and extension readers being taken from a variety of sources. Reading is, however, not restricted to core reading books only but occurs daily from a wide range of sources within the classroom, i.e. their own and/or other children's stories, captions, labels, work cards, instructions, word and reading games, etc.
In the teaching of reading, use is made of a variety of approaches e.g. Look and Say; Phonics; Use of context cues.
After a short time in school children will begin bringing home a reading book. Parents can assist children by listening to them read, helping, encouraging and discussing.
As children get older and seem to have grasped the basics, reading becomes no less important as they have to go on to master the higher order reading skills of comprehension, reading for meaning, developing an understanding of plot and character, etc. The scheme used in the upper school is Literacy Links.
There must also be ample opportunity for the children to enjoy the reading experience. Reading for enjoyment is best appreciated when the pressure of progression is removed. To this end time is allocated for children to read less difficult material in order to enjoy a “good” story. To encourage and motivate pupils a computer based incentive scheme called Accelerated Reader is used.
To encourage children's reading there is an Infant and a Senior Library as well as the reading schemes available, and there are book corners within each classroom.

Writing

This is dependent upon well developed Listening and Talking skills and overlaps greatly with Reading.
It is perhaps the component of English that children find most difficult.
We begin teaching writing through “The Foundations of Writing” scheme which is based upon the child?s own experiences and this is carried on throughout the school with children?s writing being relevant, based upon the child?s experience, written for a purpose with an audience in mind. In this context spelling, handwriting, punctuation and grammar are also taught although these are also taught as separate specific lessons where necessary and appropriate. This is further developed as children move through the school by giving pupils experience of different types of writing, setting specific targets and success criteria.