Our aim in the teaching of English at St. Mary’s is to develop children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, including the communication of their ideas, views and feelings. Our children are enabled to express themselves creatively and imaginatively as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as of non-fiction and media texts of the highest quality. We embed the teaching of grammar through such texts, often using books and teaching sequences from a variety of sources, including the Power of Reading and The Literacy Tree. This enables our children to gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins in a context which they can understand and enjoy. Children are encouraged to use speaking, listening, reading and writing skills across a range of different situations and genres, using cross-curricular links wherever possible.
We teach phonics using the Read, Write,Inc scheme from Reception to Year Two in order that our pupils are equipped with the technical skills to decode and spell as confidently as possible. (More information about the Read, Write Inc structure for teaching phonics can be found on: https://ruthmiskin.com
Reading packs are given to support the application of these reading skills. The teaching of reading and spelling and grammar continues in Key Stage Two, following the National Curriculum requirements but, wherever possible, are taught in a meaningful way. In addition, all children throughout the school enjoy a group session focusing on the teaching of strategies for comprehension and vocabulary building with their class teacher on a weekly basis. (Further information on St. Mary’s approach to reading can be found in the power-point presentation). Once children are fluent and confident readers, they can select books from class libraries to ensure daily reading is taking place at home.
We are fortunate to have a well-stocked school library from which pupils can borrow books and we also actively encourage our families to use public libraries to broaden the reading experiences of our pupils outside of the school setting.
We teach cursive writing to all pupils from Year One, more details of which can be accessed through the following links.
Please see details below of how you and your child can access the Letterjoin cursive handwriting website that we use at school for handwriting lessons.
If you are using a PC, the log-in details are:
Home user name: lj0024
Home password: home
For tablets and iPads, please use:
iPad/Tablet user name: lj0024
Your swipe code is set as a capital `L` shape, starting at the top left:
O O O