At Our Lady of Lourdes school we have a clear vision which supports our children in the development of their understanding of English. Our pupils are offered a varied and engaging curriculum to inspire them and promote new skills. We have, since September, been following the New National Curriculum (dated 2014) which allows us to explore a variety of genres, suited to the children’s needs. The children regularly carry out Guided Reading to promote reading for pleasure and information. We encourage them to both answer and ask questions about the books they are reading, allowing them to access all the techniques used by various authors. Our pupils are given regular phonics sessions to promote the importance of accuracy in writing and how to use varying spelling strategies. This is a high focus for the children in Reception and Year 1 in preparation for the Phonics Screening.
Big writing is a key component in English for the whole school. It involves the children completing an extended piece of writing every week with significant emphasis placed on the importance of ‘talk’ before completing a task. This talking is encouraged at home, at school, whilst wandering around the shops, in fact, anywhere. ‘Time to Talk’ allows the children to experience the gift of speech and explore the skills they are developing. This support means that when the children complete the written work they have a solid foundation on which to build this piece. We help them to ensure they can help themselves.
VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers, Punctuation) continues to be a big part of our daily English work at school. We find and explore these features within books we are reading and the children recognise how the authors of poems and prose have used these features to develop their work further. The new focus on Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar is supported by this work.