At John Ray Infants English is a paramount area where children will learn skills for reading, writing, speech, language and spelling through stories, topics and even drama. This is a daily skill that the children use often without even realising and we spend a lot of time breaking down each area of English for the children to achieve their potential during their time with us. English is of course a cross curricular subject which we link with all of our lessons when doing reading and writing.
In reading (primarily in year 1 and 2) we are trialling out different strategies to develop the children’s love for reading as well as helping them read to fluency with expression. The other main aim is that our children read for pleasure. We use echo reading (children repeat sentences/phrases) to help them hear the expression needed when reading (particularly where speech is evident) as well as recognising familiar and common exception words which are repeated. We also spend time looking at the comprehension and understanding of text as well as spending time reading alone for a short period of time, developing their focus and understanding during a reading session. All staff also choose books to read with the children in class as well as parents when they attend our weekly reading café.
Writing in key stage one is always linked to the topic for that half term. There are a huge range of genres that the children need to learn including instructional writing, diaries, letters, poetry, fact files and many more. Each topic across the year will lend itself to a different genre that the children will learn to write in the style of. These are often repeated but are also used in another topic other than the English lessons themselves; teaching the children how they can use their writing and spellings knowledge as a cross curricular skill. We use different resources to support the children such as word mats, key spelling lists, talk for writing/story maps and so on. This gives the children the confidence to write even if they are unsure of some spellings and the reading they do in class and at home introduces them to language that they can use in their.
Having the strength and confidence to be a successful writer begins when the children start in Foundation Stage. The children access daily FingerGym activities such as Dough Disco which helps to prepare them for more formal handwriting activities as they become ready.
Across Key Stage One, the children develop their handwriting skills through the Penpals scheme.
Overall the school follows the National Curriculum guidelines but we are able to teach the different areas in a way that makes the learning exciting for the children with relevant links to our current topics.