“If you read good books, when you write, good books will come out of you” – Natalie Goldberg.
At St. Margaret’s, we aim to provide all children with advanced English skills to successfully equip them for life; we foster a positive attitude towards all aspects of English in order to engage and stimulate children. We believe immersing children within texts which are linked to their topic focus creates significantly better writing opportunities. Within the teaching of English there are five domains: writing, reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Using CLPE’s Power of Reading, we have noticed our children are more engaged than ever before with reading and their love for it. This has, hand in hand, developed not only their reading skills but their understanding. We also use VIPERS which are key skills taught to our children to help decode and infer the text.
Author Visits and Book Day
Throughout the school year, we hold events to help introduce children to a wide range of authors and writing styles; these days consist of fun activities to help foster a love and enjoyment of reading. We also try and invite authors to come in to our school as much as possible. Recently, we had Jack Trelawny join us for an afternoon. He kindly delivered an enthusiastic workshop to the whole school allowing for opportunities for children to have conversations with him to ask questions and get their books signed.
Our School Library
In the words of our pupils, the school library is an "exciting" and also "relaxing" place to be! We ensure our library is up-to-date with current choices and endeavour to restock literature yearly. This includes class libraries also. The library is open at lunchtimes for children to leisurely peruse the shelves and for them to lose themselves in a book upon the supervision of Year 6 librarians.
We have a close relationship with Rainham Library and they regularly invite our pupils to partake in sessions run by esteemed children’s authors. The education team at Medway also deliver schools assemblies three times a year. Furthermore, each year, a cohort of children are able to visit the library on a regular basis giving them the opportunity to select, sign out and change books of their choice independently.
At St. Margaret's, we encourage pupils to use ambitious vocabulary. We foster independence so in each classroom there are a selection of dictionaries (paired with thesauruses) and children are allowed to use online spell checkers so they feel confident when using new vocabulary.
It is a government expectation that by the end of Key Stage Two, children are able to produce legible joined handwriting whilst also maintaining speed. At St.Margaret’s, we have adopted a fully cursive script. This handwriting style has many advantages. Studies have shown that by using both entry and exit marks, letter reversal issues, (such as b and d) are limited. In addition, as words are written in one set of movement (without the pen/pencil being taken off the paper) this helps the motor memory store spellings; this is therefore especially important for those irregular spellings which so many children find hard to commit to memory. Lesson time is dedicated to this skill in Year 3 and in Year 4.
For further information regarding the English national curriculum, please explore the links below: