At St. Stephen’s Junior School, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through our English curriculum, we support children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language, equipping them with the skills they need to become lifelong learners.
Power of Reading is designed to enhance children’s enjoyment of literature and their engagement in the English curriculum. The project aims to capture children’s enthusiasm and raise achievement by developing teachers’ knowledge of literature and its use in the primary classroom. Central to the project is the use of high quality books and creative teaching approaches, such as role-play, hot-seating, freeze-framing, conscience alley, reader's theatre, story mapping, writing in role, reading journals and art activities.
Each year, children are immersed in a wide range of carefully selected texts around which their learning, both in English and across the curriculum, is focussed.
Children have access to a wide range of reading opportunities, including: selecting their own choice of book; daily independent reading; guided reading; reading to an adult in school; listening to the teacher read aloud and home reading. Reading comprehension skills are taught daily, using a variety of texts, through a combination of immersive activities, collaborative working and discrete skills practice.
Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are supported to write in the same style with a clear purpose and a specific audience in mind.
Children have access to a wide range of writing opportunities, including: shared writing; guided writing; independent writing; writing across the curriculum; writing related to own experiences; writing inspired by a variety of stimuli; planning, drafting, editing and publishing; using ICT and daily handwriting practice.
In Years 3 to 5, children are taught and provided with opportunities to master the six main non-fiction text types: instructions, recount, explanation, information, persuasion and discussion. In addition, each year, children learn two narrative styles and they read and write a range of poetry.
Children are supported to achieve age-related standards in writing with focussed teaching of specific writing skills which become the children’s “tickable” targets.
Grammmar, punctuation and spelling
Grammar and punctuation are taught in context through a weekly focus and daily reviews. Children receive targeted teaching of spelling twice a week and have spelling lists to practise at home.