English Statement of Intent
We aim for all of our pupils to be capable readers, writers, spellers and speakers, who can transfer all of their English skills to other subjects, see the importance and purpose of English in the real world, and who are prepared for the next steps in their learning. By giving this context to their learning, the children understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures.
At Netherseal St.Peter's, we consider the teaching of English to be integral and fundamental to the whole of the primary curriculum and pivotal for all learning in every curriculum area. The study of English develops children's abilities to listen, speak, read and write for a variety of purposes and to communicate ideas, views and feelings. Our curriculum encourages regular reading and writing practise, enabling pupils to build on their learning and further develop their skills and enjoyment in using it effectively. Through our English curriculum, pupils learn about language, and how to use it well in all areas of their studies.
Learning about language in texts, including digital texts, is important to social development needed to meet the demands of primary school, secondary education, employment and life. The ability to appreciate literature from different cultures is important in developing the whole person and command of language is essential for their contributions to social and cultural life as thoughtful and active citizens. We believe that children who communicate effectively are more likely to be confident and have good self-esteem.
English is taught to the requirements of the National Curriculum for children in Key Stages one and Two and according to the Curriculum for the Early Years Foundation Stage for those children in Reception. It is taught each day: discrete lessons enable skills to be taught progressively and these skills are applied and practised constantly through reading, writing, speaking and listening activities in the wider curriculum. Teachers plan lessons which are interesting and interactive, using a wide range of texts and resources to support their work.
We value and understand the importance and power of words and encourage our children to broaden their vocabulary by selecting texts for purpose and pleasure. All of our classrooms are language rich and we use a range of resources including Oxford Reading Tree, Letters and Sounds, Pobble 365 and Literacy Shed.
Children are taught to write with growing confidence and precision in a widening variety of forms for different purposes. They learn to punctuate accurately, spell correctly and write in a legible hand.
Learning how to spell words briefly for a test generally relies on short-term memory and is not meaningful. Therefore, children often fail to store words into long term memory or apply it to their writing.
In school we explicitly teach children a wide range of spelling strategies:
- Phonology (phonics/sounds)
- Orthography (rules, letter patterns)
- Morphology (the structure of words such as stems, root words, prefixes, and suffixes)
- Etymology (word families/origins)
After pupils have an understanding of phonology, orthography, morphology and etymology, they are more able to apply their learning to spell a word they haven’t encountered before.
There are a number of ways to support your child’s spelling at home but there is no substitute for reading a lot. Just as we learn spoken language by hearing lots of people speaking, we learn written language, including spelling, by reading what a lot of people write. Spelling memory is dependent on a child's growing knowledge of spoken and written word structure which means you have to look at a lot of words on the page to learn how they are spelled!
Speaking and Listening:
Pupils are taught to adapt their speech to a widening range of circumstances and demands; listen, understand and respond appropriately to others; and express their ideas clearly.
Reading Therapy Dog
We are excited to welcome a new member of the Netherseal team!
Willow is a four-year-old black Labrador and comes into school every Friday with her owner.
Labradors have an ideal temperament and are used widely in the field of therapy and support (e.g. guide dogs). She has completed training and passed an assessment to ensure she has a suitable temperament to be a school dog and she has been fully vaccinated, wormed and protected against fleas.
There has also been a risk assessment, which details the hygiene practices that will be in place – such as cleaning of hands and the environment before and after meeting Willow.
What are the benefits of having a reading therapy dog?
Numerous research studies have shown the benefits of therapy dogs in schools.
Evidence indicates that reading to dogs has been proven to help children develop literacy skills and build confidence, through both the calming effect the dog’s presence has on children as well as the fact that a dog will listen to children read without being judgemental or critical. This comforting environment helps to nurture children’s enthusiasm for reading and provides them with the confidence to read aloud
Parents' permission is sought before children have close contact 'Paws and Read' sessions with Willow.
In school, children are taught to read accurately, fluently and with understanding and enjoyment.
They are taught how to respond sensitively and critically to a wide range of texts and use reference materials with confidence.
All teachers provide a 'print rich' environment and stimulate children's interest in books and reading.
Children are expected to read at home daily from early on. Parents are encouraged to read with children throughout the primary years and are supported by staff to enable them to do this.
Our teaching focuses on developing pupils’ competence in decoding and speedy sight recognition. This is why we emphasise phonics in the early teaching of reading. At Netherseal St. Peter’s Primary School we teach phonics using Monster Phonics and Letters and Sounds, and differentiate accordingly for each child to learn and grow to their full potential. Monster Phonics is a systematic, multi-sensory approach.
How can you help at home?
Parents play a huge role in supporting reading at home. Research shows that learning to read - and enjoying reading - is directly linked to children's success at school and is there best chance to unlock opportunities.
This may be sharing a book, reading aloud or listening to a story.
We encourage parents to read to their children, and with their children, for a few minutes every day (bite-sized texts can be more appealing than struggling with a longer text if your child is reluctant).
Listening to stories is a great way to nurture a love of books and helps a child access content above their reading level. Books and poems with rhymes and repeated words and phrases help fluency and confidence. Ask questions to keep them interested and read favourites again and again!
Share the books you love: You could write a book review; summarise the story for your friends; give it a star rating; or just tell everyone why you love it so much!
Reading takes me to many fascinating places, real and imaginary: I can go back in time or into the future. I can meet kings and queens, talking animals and wizards… there are endless possibilities!
There are many children’s authors I look for on the shelves: J.K. Rowling, C.S Lewis, Gillian Cross, Anne Fine, Philip Pullman, Malorie Blackman and Michael Morpurgo…to name a few, but one book I keep going back to is ‘Street Child’ by Berlie Doherty. Based on the true story of orphan Jim Jarvis, who lived in the workhouse and on the streets, it is set in the grimy slums of Victorian London. This book is a really emotional read and I found myself completely engrossed in Jim’s world and his desperate fight to survive.
I would highly recommend this book to upper Key Stage 2 children and give it 5 stars!
Where does your reading take you?
Miss Read says...
I have so many favourite books that it's hard to choose just one. When I was a little girl, my favourite book of all was the Ladybird version of 'The Elves and the Shoemaker' which I would read again and again. I especially loved the page where the cobbler and his wife waited up to discover who their mystery helpers were and they peered through the curtains in wonder as they saw the elves at work! Favourite books that I have enjoyed reading with my own children over the years are, 'Not Now Bernard' by David McKee as well as 'The Twits' by Roald Dahl and 'Rude Rabbit' by Colin and Jacqui Hawkins. These are books that make me smile and we refer to them and quote them often!
The best young person's book I have read recently has to be 'Wonder' by R J Palacio. This was one of those texts that I just couldn't put down and truly shows what the power of friendship, kindness and respect can achieve.
Miss Halsey's Recommendations:
My recommended read for younger children is ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury.
Follow and join in the family's excitement as they wade through the grass, splash through the river and squelch through the mud in search of a bear. What a surprise awaits them in the cave on the other side of the dark forest!
It is a classic chant-aloud book. Fun for the whole family. You could even go on your own bear hunt after you have read it!
My recommended read for older children is ‘Wonder’ by R.J Palacio.
This book is remarkable! It encourages you to see the beauty that is all around us. It is told from the point of view of Auggie Pullman, who is an inspirational character. This book has the power to open your eyes (and hearts) to what it can be like to be singled out for differences, when really all you want to be is another face in the crowd.
You can't blend in when you're BORN TO STAND OUT!
Mrs Slater's Recommendations:
I have lots of favourite books all very different and for different ages too! One of my favourite things is buying new books.
An old favourite of mine is 'Charlotte's Webb' by E.B. White, as I have many fond memories of it being read to me as a child by my parents. For younger children, I would recommend 'The Very Hungry Caterpillar' by Eric Carle. I have loved reading this book to my classes over the years, as it always gets children involved and adds not only a sense of unity but fun too! Plus, we often enjoy trying to see who can remember all the yummy food at the end! A book I would recommend for all ages is a Roald Dahl classic, Matilda. Although I have seen the film many times, the book really adds to the awe and wonder of the story as it allows you to run away with your own imagination. Imagine having powers like Matilda? I wonder what fun and mischief you would get up to!
Daniel H gives this read 3 out of 5
Raj recommends this book
I like this book because it is about dragons and it has gold in it. Do you think you could outwit a dragon?