At St Thomas More our intent is to deliver an English curriculum that develops key skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening which are central to improving a child’s life chances.
Teachers have high expectations for all children to achieve and enjoy English.
Reading and the teaching of phonics
Reading and phonics are taught using the Read, Write, Inc. (RWI) programme which includes teaching synthetic phonics, sight vocabulary, decoding and encoding words as well as spelling and accurate letter formation. This is taught from reception through to year 2 when the children are ready to come off the programme and access reading through guided reading in class. Children are encouraged to read for pleasure and have access to a rich variety of library books, the Bug Club online reading scheme and e-books available on Oxford Owl.
Our approach to writing begins with RWI where children are given the opportunity to complete daily writing activities with a focus on extended writing towards the end of the week. When children finish the RWI programme, they then access writing through Talk for writing (T4W) which is a methodology that encourages children to explore through talk and role play, and develop the thinking and creative processes involved in being a writer. The T4W approach also develops key speaking and listening skills and provides opportunities for children to use and apply their English skills across the curriculum.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar
Spelling is a skill which like reading affects written communication across the curriculum. We believe that children should be able to spell with ease, speed and legibility therefore this is a key component of both RWI and T4W. Similarly, the teaching of correct punctuation and grammar are embedded within these two schemes allowing children to transfer these skills to their wider learning across the curriculum.
Additional support is given to pupils who have specific literacy or English needs in the form of small intervention group work. These groups may target phonics, comprehension skills, language skills and acquisition, handwriting, grammar and other narrative skills.