We want children to be able to listen actively, think for themselves in order to express their ideas, feelings and thoughts effectively in a variety of situations including class group and paired discussions, role-play, when presenting, debating and informal situations. We also want children to become confident at writing in a wide variety of contexts, in varied situations and for a broad range of purposes.
When learning to read, children will quickly be introduced to a whole variety of fiction books and at all times the emphasis is placed upon reading for pleasure. Children cannot be forced to read and individuals are ready to read at different times, when they are developmentally ready for this. If children have not developed the skills necessary for reading, they need to be engaged in activities that will do this, before being expected to read. At all stages it is the role of the teacher to encourage, support and offer help at the appropriate time, for the child and parents / carers, so the development can be supported in the home also.
Children will read a variety of scheme books and carefully colour coded, graded storybooks. Picture books also play a very important role in encouraging children to read for pleasure and even the best readers benefit if they are able to “read” the detailed implications of illustrations. Discussion of the text and the pictures is as important as the decoding of the letters into words, as this develops comprehension and language skills which are essential for more complex reading skills. Reading to your child(ren) and reading which is shared with the adult and child is vital to the development of expression and fluency, as the child is able to ‘hear’ a good model of reading and learn from it. All classes benefit from organised ‘fiction libraries’ which you child /ren can select books from to bring home and read.
Handwriting is practised and taught regularly as we consider the development of clear, fluent speed writing to be an essential skill, in addition to fostering a pride in their work within children. Children are encouraged to use a variety of different writing tools, although in their drafts and final copies they are asked to use black ink, unless the layout and design of the piece would demand otherwise. Above all, we want children to feel confident in their work and to be proud of what they produce.
Spelling is taught in class using multi-sensory and individual approaches which suit each child.