English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them.
English National Curriculum, 2014
At Race Leys Infant School, Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing are integral to all of our learning.
Speaking and Listening
Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We give the children opportunity to speak and listen in a variety of ways, including role play, drama, discussion, performances and debates. The use of learning partners is an important part of our teaching.
Early screening of speaking and listening skills takes place in Reception and we follow this with programmes of learning and intervention to support language acquisition throughout the school, including Speech and Language support.
Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. We understand the importance of speaking and listening, language and reading to develop writing skills. At Race Leys, we start with quality texts to stimulate our children’s imagination.
Our Read Write Inc lessons support the children’s developing writing. Children are given strategies to learn to spell words (Fred fingers) and also to develop their writing (Build and Hold a sentence). These lessons also help the children’s growing vocabulary.
In Reception, we carefully plan so children are immersed in a print-rich environment. Writing progresses from early mark-making and giving meaning to these marks, to forming letters correctly and understanding how words and then sentences are built.
In Key Stage 1, a daily English lesson takes place with emphasis on the teaching elements of ‘transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them.) We develop the children’s knowledge and understanding of grammar and they learn how to use language effectively to write for a purpose and to engage the reader, as defined in the National Curriculum for English. In Year 2, children learn how to draft, check and edit their own work, focusing on correcting spelling and improving vocabulary.
Handwriting is an important aspect of writing. Initially in Reception, children will be taught to form letters as part of their Read Write Inc lessons. Provision will also focus on gross and fine motor activities. Letters will be taught in the Read Write Inc order and then in formation families. In Year 1, the children will recognise all letters so will move onto learning lead in strokes to allow them to join in Year 2. Those children who display fluent, joined handwriting in Year 2 will be awarded a ‘Special Pencil Award’ and allowed to use a mechanical pencil.