Why do we teach English?
Reading and writing are essential skills and they are key to our children having the skills to access all areas of the curriculum.
At St Bartholomew’s we believe that all children should develop a passion for writing and that they should be able to express their thoughts and ideas, clearly and creatively, through spoken and written word. Children will learn to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style and for a range of different contexts, purposes and audiences. We want our pupils to experience and build an enriched vocabulary, develop a confident and deep understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules that they learn throughout their time at St Bartholomew’s. Their writing will reflect their best standard of presentation and we aim to ensure all children have the opportunity to develop a fluent, joined handwriting style by the time they leave our school. We believe that all good writers persevere with editing and redrafting their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence and resilience in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing. Children at St Bartholomew’s will leave our school with a love for writing.
At St Bartholomew’s we value reading as a key life skill which is fundamental to learning and are dedicated to helping our pupils gain life-long enjoyment of reading. We aim to provide our children with the skills needed to read with fluency and understanding, decode unfamiliar words with accuracy and speed and develop their vocabulary.
At St Bartholomew’s, we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We begin teaching phonics very early in reception and children continue to build on this throughout Year 1 and 2. Children have phonics lessons daily and reading practice sessions three times a week which focus on the key skills of decoding, prosody, and comprehension. We believe it is incredibly important to ensure that every child learns to read, therefore daily individual and group keep up intervention is given to those children identified as needing extra support.
As well as simply learning to read, we at St Bartholomew’s hope to nurture a love of reading. In the infant classrooms, book corners are filled with stories and comfortable spots to enjoy a book. Story times are an incredibly important part of our day and children are invited to bring in their favourite stories for everyone to enjoy. The junior bookshelves are filled with books suitable for their reading age and children are regularly welcomed into our library to take books home for pleasure.
We follow the spell to excel spelling programme. The children practise their spellings daily in school when they come in each morning.