At Edgware Primary, we promote high standards of language by giving children a good command of spoken and written language. We promote a love of language and reading, no matter your starting point. We encourage wide spread reading for enjoyment. We understand the importance of each child being able to access the different types of English: reading, writing and spoken language; this is reflected across the whole of the curriculum.
We understand that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. We want children to be able to develop cognitively, socially and linguistically. As we have a high proportion of children who have English as an additional language, we work in a very targeted way, from children's starting points, to ensure that they achieve in each area.
We ensure that children's thinking is clear in order to help them share their ideas verbally and in writing. Children need to gain strong foundations by being given plenty of opportunities to discuss, clarify their thinking, ask questions, try language if they are to make good progress.
In each area of English, we work with children to rehearse, refine, share and respond.
We believe in using phonics, high quality models of spoken language and writing, rich texts, VIPER skills, vocabulary development and structured writing to enable progress. The curriculum provides a rigorous framework to be taught at text, sentence and word level.
Speaking and Listening
At Edgware, we believe that speaking and listening is one of the most important and fundamental skills children can learn. Almost everything we do relies on us being able to communicate effectively. All children need to be able to express themselves clearly in order to articulate their needs, make friends and learn. Speaking and listening is embedded across the curriculum.
We encourage children to develop their speaking and listening through a range of activities:
- taking part in debates and discussions
- sharing what they have learnt with others
- working in pairs and groups
- presenting information
- asking questions
- taking part in circle time activities
- performing in front of an audience
- expressing their opinion, wants and need
- give explanations, evaluate ideas, negotiate, organise their thinking
Children will be taught standard English. Children who are new to English are encouraged to learn language through the use of forced alternatives, language modelled for them, repetition of key vocabulary, using new language often to apply to new situations, Makaton.
Vocabulary has a high priority in our school as many children have low level acquisition on entry. A rich vocabulary improves all areas of communication-listening, speaking, reading and writing. The more vocabulary a child knows, the more information they can have access to. Having a large vocabulary helps children think, learn and understand more about the world.
We ensure that the children develop their vocabulary year on year. We ensure that children are taught meaningful, intentional, specific language which supports the different areas and topics within our curriculum. We believe vocabulary needs to be taught within a framework for it to be applied and remembered. For children who have English as an additional language, we structure, support and develop their language. We want children to investigate and understand language and apply it confidently in different contexts.
We use the Sounds~Write phonics scheme. It is a quality first phonics programme and is acknowledged by the DfE as meeting all its criteria for an effective phonics teaching programme. It is a mediated learning programme. Children learn set of letters, each week, in a clear teaching sequence, through active learning.Teachers model the learning process and children participate with the teacher until they become independent.
We develop key skills in phonics to support the fluency of reading and writing words. These include opportunities to decode, blend and segment words as well as develop their knowledge of high frequency words.
Progress of Phonics is assessed regularly, using targeted assessment so that gaps can be identified and closed.
Scheme books show cumulative progression in phonic knowledge that is matched closely to Sounds Write. Children Practise reading books that match the grapheme- phoneme correspondences they know, both in school and at home.
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Whole Class Reading
We believe that children learn to read if they are given exciting texts. We use a variety of reading schemes which allow children to develop a range of strategies when they are reading. Our schemes are linked to the phonics that children are learning. We focus on teaching our children key skills in reading. These include: Vocabulary development, Inference, Prediction, Explaining, Retrieval and summarising. Our children will use a range of strategies to support reading. We work hard to find the right set of books for each child. Books are sent home weekly and are changed regularly. Parents are encouraged to spend time hearing their child reading at home.
Love of Reading
We really encourage a love of reading. Classrooms have inviting book corners and staff and children share books that they enjoy reading. Children are encouraged to read widely and often. We have an annual Book Fair and Book Week where we enthuse children further to develop their love of and interest in reading a wide variety of texts.
Through the Power of Reading, we use high quality texts and creative teaching approaches to engage and motivate children in their literacy learning, to support children to deepen and understand texts and provide them with a meaningful context for writing. We put quality literature at the heart of literacy learning.
Whilst every effort is made for children to ensure children develop their literacy skills, sometimes they may need some additional support. We provide one to one reading for children who may be new to English or find it more challenging. We also use online support for children to develop their knowledge of comprehension.
We have recently updated our school library to provide children with a lovely space to enjoy books.
If you have any further questions about how to support your child with reading or writing, please come and speak to your child's class teacher.
Each week we focus on introducing new authors in assembly. We talk about their books, themes and stories to ensure children have a breadth of knowledge about different books they may want to read.
We support children to become confident writers by providing a range of different opportunities alongside, solid, high quality models and texts. Teachers model the process of writing. Our aim is for children to develop the stamina and skills to write at length, with accurate spelling and punctuation and a fluent and legible, cursive handwriting style. Children are given the opportunities to write in a variety of genres, covering the full range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry and are taught to edit and redraft their writing to ensure a quality piece which is suitable for a range of audiences. We use a 'talk for writing' to support children's understanding of the text and to enable them to transfer their understanding into their writing. Children are encouraged to take full ownership of their writing and are given opportunities to make choices of what they want to write and how they want to present it. Repeated practice of writing genres ensures that pupils leave Edgware capable of writing for different audiences and for different purposes.
Spelling and grammar are taught discretely and used within writing. Children are encouraged to edit their spellings and recognise their errors.
Cross Curricular English
We believe that fluency in the English language is essential for access to all subjects. Therefore, children are given plenty of opportunities to use their English skills cross curricularly.
We use the letterjoin handwriting scheme. We encourage children to form letters accurately before children start to join. We support children to develop a fluent handwriting style. Children develop their handwriting through the development of fine and gross motor skills and then learn the different letter forms: pre-cursive, cursive, printed and capital letters. Children are expected to present their work to a high standard.