Literacy involves the important skills of reading and writing, speaking and listening. It contributes to the emotional, aesthetic and intellectual development of the child. Literacy is the medium through which all learning takes place. Our cross-curricular approach allows us to plan a range of opportunities to make connections between English and other subjects. A planned yearly overview ensures coverage, continuity, progression and coherence of language activities. The programmes of study and objectives of the National Curriculum are set out for each year group. The English Curriculum is closely linked to topics being taught in foundation subjects. A wide variety of quality texts are chosen specifically to extend the children’s literacy skills whilst furthering understanding of topics being covered in history, geography etc.
Reading is the key to independent learning and so the teaching of reading is given a high priority. We want children to develop an enjoyment of literature and an understanding that it allows them to find out about the world, gain new knowledge and acquire vocabulary they can use in their conversation and later their work. Starting in Nursery, we allow children to take home books to share and develop their love of reading. Phonics is taught through the Read, Write, Inc. scheme and reading development is closely monitored and tracked throughout the school. A vocabulary-enriched environment is provided in all classrooms.
At St. Gilbert’s we aim to give children plenty of opportunities to express their ideas, thoughts and feelings and to gain an increasing mastery of spoken English and become good communicators. We want to develop their listening skills and their ability to respond to information and instructions. Children will be encouraged to talk about their learning and share ideas regularly, developing oral skills, which will then help them to develop written skills. We encourage collaborative work where children discuss, debate and work co-operatively with each other.
We want children to know, understand and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction, non-fiction and poetry, developing skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. Handwriting skills are important to us and we always expect a high standard of presentation. We understand that children have individual rates of progress and we will provide opportunities to monitor and assess the development of each child. Children will receive constructive guidance about how to assess and improve their work and will know when they have achieved their targets.
Children’s progress is monitored daily and through more formal, termly assessments. This also helps to identify children needing extra support. Class teachers work with the S.E.N.D. co-ordinator, teaching assistants and parents to implement specific interventions where appropriate.
Through the teaching of English, we aim to provide all pupils with relevant and appropriately challenging work at each key stage. We recognise that our pupils are all unique members of God’s family, with diverse learning needs and we strive to set programmes to meet these needs. Our goal is to provide a high-quality education in English so that we can produce confident, independent, hard-working children who are able to speak, read and write fluently.