At St. Bernadette’s, we believe a high-quality of education in English is vital to 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.
Our English curriculum, which is underpinned by the national curriculum, has been carefully mapped out to include a range of current and high quality texts. These texts include picture books, novels, poetry as well as fiction and non-fiction. These texts are linked to year group topics to support cross curriculum links. This helps children develop their culture capital; knowledge and vocabulary that then can be transferred into both reading and writing.
Class teachers plan writing journeys according to a specific form and purpose. This ensures that skills and knowledge of SPAG (spelling, punctuation and grammar) are being taught for a clear reason. All skills that are taught throughout a unit of text are used in the child’s final piece of writing therefore children are clear why they are learning these skills and who they are writing for. We endeavour to encourage children to find their inner author.
Through high quality teaching of the national curriculum we try to ensure that all children:
In the Early Years and Key Stage 1, all children learn to word read using a well-trusted phonics programme called Letters and Sounds. Alongside this, children are exposed to a wide range of ‘real books’.
Throughout the school, children are introduced to a range of books through guided reading sessions. These are small-group teacher-led sessions where children share the same book, appropriate to their reading/phonics level. During this time, children are also taught the deeper skills of reading and comprehension, such as inference. For this we closely follow the Hampshire Assessment Model reading domains. These domains are taught and children are given opportunities to practice and apply skills through differentiated tasks. By using class texts and class reader’s children engage in discussion with their peers, share thoughts and ideas, undoubtedly promoting reading for pleasure and a love of reading.
Developing a love of reading is at the heart of our English curriculum. All classes have their own book corners where children can choose books at their leisure. Moreover, we have a well-resourced library which all classes visit at least once a week where the can borrow a book of their choice. The school have a close link with the SLS (School’s Library Service), who ensure that our library contains new and exciting texts.
Author of the Month
At St Bernadette’s we strive to promote the love of reading within our children.
To be a fluent reader is not only a necessary life skill, but one of life’s greatest pleasures. Books are a gateway for children and adults to explore new worlds, learn about the past, spark imaginations and develop critical thinking skills. Children should learn that reading is also a way to relax therefore an important mental health tool.
To ensure our children read a rich variety of books and an opportunity to learn about different writers and genres, we have launched Author of the Month.
Each month is dedicated to a different author. This is promoted in class as well as our school library, where children are able to borrow books written by the author.
Developing Reading skills and Reading for Pleasure
In addition to the above, we also develop reading skills and reading for pleasure by: