At St. John’s Meads, our vision is for all children to become skilled, fluent and enthusiastic readers. We teach a broad, spiral reading curriculum that allows them to comprehend increasing challenging texts. Reading for pleasure is also valued highly and the cornerstone of daily classroom practice.
At St. John’s Meads, our vision is for all children to write fluently and well. Our engaging and ambitious curriculum gives pupils opportunities to develop their proficiency in transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing). We also explicitly teach monthly vocabulary in the form of 10 ‘tier 2’ words (high frequency words for advanced lanaguage speaking) regularly celebrating the children’s acquisition and usage.
Fluency in speaking, reading and writing is an essential foundation for success and enjoyment in all subjects.
Phonics: We have previously followed the sequence set out in Letters & Sounds:
Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics and are now adopting the programme from ‘Jolly Phonics’ which incorporates characters, stories, songs and actions and games to further support learning.
Reading: We aim for all children to become fluent and confident readers, who appreciate that reading materials of all kinds can be a source of pleasure, information and new insights. Children will read and respond to a wide variety of stories, novels, poems, plays, non-fiction and media texts across the curriculum. Each child takes home a book from our reading scheme to support their reading development by reading to an adult at home. We have a fantastic library with an excellent selection of fiction and non-fiction books which children can borrow to share and enjoy at home. We recognise that sometimes children need extra time and support to develop their reading skills, we do this through focussed teaching groups, additional 1:1 reading and use programmes such as rapid reading and Lexia.
Handwriting: We use the ‘Penpals’ scheme to support the teaching of handwriting, which includes exercises to develop both fine and gross motor movements. Our aim is to give every child the necessary handwriting skills for their future. Pupils have regular opportunities to learn, develop and practise their handwriting and by the end of Key Stage 2 we aim for the majority of children to be able to write using their own style of legible joined handwriting.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling is embedded within English lessons. From Year 2, children have weekly spellings to learn from our Spellzoo scheme, which matches the national curriculum expectations for spelling, and are explicitly taught spelling rules and patterns weekly to match these.
Speaking, Listening and Language Development: We use Speech Link and Language Link to identify children who may need additional support with speech, language or communication and work closely with a Speech and Language Therapist who can advise on and create tailored intervention programmes. Through class assemblies, Open the Book and other performances, children have opportunities to develop the confidence to speak and act in front of an audience. This could be from a written script, or sharing their own writing. Children can also access our after school Drama club—Zylo.