We believe that literacy and communication are key life skills and through our English curriculum we enable children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language. We intend to provide our children with a language rich environment, where speaking and listening, reading, and writing are integral to all we do.
As communicators our children will:
- Use discussion to learn and be able to elaborate and clearly explain their understanding and ideas
- Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for spoken language
- Develop competence in the art of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others, and participating in debate.
As readers our children will:
- Develop strong phonic knowledge and skills
- Develop fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum
- Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading
- Have an excellent comprehension and understanding of texts read
- Be enthusiastic readers, motivated to read for both pleasure and information
- Experience a rich and varied range of texts
- Develop a love of reading
As writers our children will:
- Develop strong transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat.
- Produce well organised and structured pieces of writing which includes a variety of sentence structures
- Be aware of an audience and purpose when writing in a range of styles and genres
- Write fluently with interesting detail on a range of topics throughout the curriculum
- Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for writing
- Use a wide range of high-quality texts to ignite their interest and imagination
Phonics and Spelling at Micklefield
Every Reception and KS1 child takes part in a daily phonics session, following the Letters and Sounds programme.
Initially, children's listening skills are developed through the use of music, environmental sounds and rhyme. In Foundation Stage, children are introduced to phonemes (sounds) linked to the letters of the alphabet, as well as one way of spelling each of the other 16 phonemes used in the English language, such as 'igh' and 'ch'. Children are taught to blend or sound out phonics to read a variety of words and segment or break down the sounds in simple words for spelling.
In Year 1, children learn more about the variety of ways in which each phoneme can be spelled and they also learn about the different pronunciations made by different letters or groups of letters, such as 'a' in 'ant' and 'was'. At the end of Year 1, children will be tested on their phonics knowledge, using a national test featuring 20 real words and 20 pseudo-words (nonsense).
From Year 2 onwards, children consolidate their phonics knowledge, learning when to apply different spelling rules as well as how to spell plurals and different verb tenses.
In KS2, children are taught the spelling rules applicable to their year group, as well as the statutory words listed in the National Curriculum.
Reading at Micklefield
Every child takes part in a guided reading session daily.
In Reception and KS1, children read phonically decodable books. Children are assessed and grouped by phonics ability so that the book is the right level for them. Fluency is a big focus – reading at a good speed and with expression.
We use a combination of reading schemes. These include Oxford Reading Tree, Floppy’s Phonics, Big Cat and Rigby Star. These give a variety of fiction and non–fiction books to develop children’s reading range. Once they finish the reading scheme, we encourage them to become ‘free readers’ and choose their own books. Thanks to Friends of Micklefield, our school library now has a significant variety of books to encourage children to access a range of texts suited to their own personal interests.
When KS2 children are reading fluently, their guided reading becomes a whole class approach. A high quality text is shared each half-term, through individual, paired, group and modelled reading, and specific comprehension skills are taught.
Children are prepared for the Year 2 and Year 6 SATS by completing past papers, and similar papers. This involves reading and answering comprehension questions based on the text.
Pupils are given opportunities to read in a variety of curriculum areas during topic lessons where they can apply the skills that they have developed during guided reading.
Children in all year groups also enjoy a daily story time.
Reading together at home is one of the easiest but most important ways in which you can help your child.
Writing at Micklefield
In addition to daily guided reading and daily phonics sessions, children also have an English lesson daily.
We use a Talk for Writing approach, which has three stages:
- Imitation – the children learn a text and the language they need.
- Innovation – the children adapt the model text with ideas of their own.
- Invention – the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.
The punctuation and grammar applicable to each year group may be taught through this approach, or as a more discrete session.
Finally, handwriting is taught daily. We use a semi cursive approach, so letters are joined but there are no leading lines or loops.