The spoken word is a child’s first opportunity to share their capability with others. As such, we aim to model and develop ambitious and interesting vocabulary on which children can base their communication. We have high standards for listening, which we take time to develop in ensuring children get as much as they can from any situation. Speaking and Listening is core to our curriculum and embeds all learning through discussion; talk partners play an integral role in learning within our school.
The children in our school show a great enthusiasm for reading and we want children to develop positive lifelong reading habits. Reading is taught through a structured approach using the “Oxford Reading Tree” Scheme. This scheme is supplemented with a wide assortment of attractive books of different formats and levels of difficulty. We can use both classroom based reading material and our well stocked children’s library to introduce our children to the widest possible selection of books. We believe that children become confident and fluent readers when both school and home support them. We encourage parents to hear their children read a little every evening and record comments in a reading record. As the children progress through the school, they are introduced to literature of increasing complexity. They also learn to analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts.
We acknowledge that having a sound understanding of phonics plays an integral role to being able to read and write, therefore we support pupils who require it through the use of a scheme called Read, Write Inc. This is a structured approach to decoding, comprehension and spelling. For those pupils who are a part of this scheme, this is a daily lesson.
Writing skills are a key priority within the school. It plays a major role in all areas of our curriculum; children use writing to model their development and understanding. Our English curriculum is text-based, giving children a purpose for writing. We encourage children to explore texts and we foster and encourage them to use their imagination to create pieces of writing. Within all units of writing we stress the importance of spelling, punctuation, grammar and presentation. The correct formation of letters and the development of a cursive style of writing begins at a very early stage in Herne CE Infant School, and is taught progressively throughout the school, with the aim to have the children writing in a joined cursive style by the time they commence in the Juniors (Year 3).