Literacy lies at the heart of the curriculum and its importance is reflected in the amount of time we set aside for the teaching of skills in this vitally important area. The school is following the newly introduced National Curriculum and teaches many of its objectives through an exciting cross-curricular approach.
Nurturing a lifelong love of reading is our aim for every child. But without a secure grasp of the basic skills, so much of the curriculum and the wider world becomes difficult to access. As children enter St Mary’s they are shown a range of strategies to help them access the decoding and understanding of the written word. One of the strategies that we use is phonics and the children are taught sounds as soon as they enter Foundation Stage. We use Read Write Inc as our main phonics programme and this same programme of phonics is then used throughout the school. As the children’s ability and enjoyment grow there are a range of books for them to choose from; not only the ones in the classroom but also those in the library.
Writing is a crucial skill that is integral in all areas of the curriculum. Children are taught the life skills they need to become independent and accurate writers for a variety of audiences. Presentational skills are valued by all members of the school with children being awarded a pen licence if their writing is joined and of a good standard in all areas of the curriculum. The teaching of spelling, grammar, and punctuation are emphasised, and children are asked to write for different audiences and are given a range of opportunities to write in all areas of the curriculum.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening is an important part of life at school and in the wider community. Children need to be able to clearly express their views and listen to the views of others, and will be presented with a range of experiences in which to do this. In lessons children are encouraged to talk to ‘talk partners’ before attempting writing, and discussion is encouraged on a range of topics in lessons such as PSHE and RE.
Class assemblies, end of term productions, and church services are also fantastic opportunities for children to practise their speaking and listening skills on different audiences.