In this section
At the heart of the English curriculum at St. Andrew’s lies the Talk for Writing and Talk for Reading approach and we understand that the two are very closely linked.
Our approach to writing enables the children to write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature of our English curriculum is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’ as well as close reading. We also understand that drama is key. Children then move towards independent writing with the teacher modelling high quality shared writing so children can be successful in their own endeavours to become highly skilled writers. Imaginative units of work have been developed to create a whole-school plan that is refined over the years and engaging for the children. Another central element of our Talk for Writing approach is that we directly teach vocabulary to children. Sentence level and grammar work is incorporated into our Talk for Writing lessons and taught in context.
We have established a core reading spine of quality fiction, poetry and non-fiction that all children experience and draw upon at their time at St. Andrew’s. A range of teaching strategies are drawn upon to teach reading including whole class teaching, guided group work and independent reading. Independent reading books support children at an individual level and are carefully chosen by teachers to aid and challenge our pupils. We use a variety of different materials and stimulus to enable our children to develop a love of reading and develop as fluent readers who comprehend what they read.
Our Phonics teaching happens on a daily basis and is taught in flexible groups, so that it is reactive to the changing needs of learners. Our Phonics programme begins in the Early Years and continues into Key Stage One, when the children have to complete the statutory assessment at the end of Year One.
At St. Andrew’s, we use the Sounds Write programme to ensure the progressive development of skills, so that pupils can decode effectively.
Weekly Spelling and Handwriting
At St. Andrew’s, we learn and rehearse spellings through our Fast Spelling sessions. Targeted, frequent practice enables the children to learn and focus on the spelling strategies that are required for each year group. A look, cover, write, check approach is used to secure pupil’s understanding of spelling strategies. We understand that it is important for children to take pride in their work and therefore we use the Kinetic letters approach to handwriting.