At Reeth and Gunnerside Schools we use English to communicate in both written and spoken form using language to build our view and opinion of the world and our community. We believe that developing a love of our language in our children is vital in achieving success at school and later in life. English is taught daily across the whole school with work appropriately differentiated to match all abilities. It is embedded in other subject areas allowing children to develop their skills in both relevant and creative contexts e.g. Children consolidating their letter writing skills during a history lesson by writing a letter to Ernest Shackleton requesting a place on his forthcoming expedition.
Speaking and Listening
Talking is fundamental to learning. Pupils are encouraged to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to state their ideas and opinions. Just as important is the need to listen carefully to others and respond in appropriate ways. At Reeth and Gunnerside Schools pupils are given opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop their speaking and listening skills, in paired, group or whole class situations. Therefore, role play, small world and drama activities are intrinsic elements of speaking and listening across the school.
During the early stages of their reading children access a variety of carefully graded by reading levels known as book bands. This allows children to read a wide range of genres which are matched to their age, ability and interest.
Children who read for pleasure gain a richer vocabulary, more knowledge, critical thinking skills and become independent learners. Guided Reading is an important part of our curriculum. Children work in focused groups to develop their reading skills and their understanding of texts. We provide children with rich reading experiences within the English lessons and encourage them to appreciate the author’s use of language and writing techniques in order to develop their own writing skills. Our children take their reading books home daily to share with their families/carers.
As they go through the school, they are given more responsibility for making their own reading choices from the excellent resources we have in school. Our children have the opportunity to visit the school library each week to change their library book.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
We place great value on the importance of accurate spelling and the correct use of punctuation and grammar. We follow the National Curriculum 2014 to ensure that teaching is both structured and rigorous throughout the school. We teach pupils to use punctuation and grammar accurately, to be able to proof read their own work and make amendments and improvements. We use Letters and Sounds to ensure a consistent approach to the teaching of phonics throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. We support the development of spelling strategies and knowledge through weekly homework tasks.
At Reeth and Gunnerside Schools we aim for children to be independent writers. We encourage them to write clearly and with confidence in any given genre. We give children a wide range of opportunities in which to develop their writing skills and display work of which they are proud. Through our English curriculum, we aim to nurture in the children a love of literature and language, and the confidence to continue reading and writing throughout their lives.
Group and individual targets for improvement are set termly or more frequent if appropriate and recording in English books. Summative information is gathered at the end of each term through use of PIRA(reading) and Rising Stars Assessment Tests (grammar, punctuation and spelling).
From Year 1 we teach progressive writing skills to encourage all children to produce a neat joined up style of handwriting. Our handwriting leaflet gives more information and examples of how each letter is formed.
Enjoy reading with your child
Download, or print, this PDF document for some suggestions to help you support your child with their reading. The guidelines cover fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
For further information about English, please contact our subject leader, Mrs Rosemary Walker.