“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 termly topic, creates significantly better writing opportunities due to the cross-curricular layering of learning. Within the teaching of English there are five domains: writing, reading, grammar, punctuation and spelling.
Since ensuring our termly text links to our topic and by planning more creatively, 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 (vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieve, summarise and sequence) which are key skills taught to our children to help find the deeper meaning of a passage. We are passionate about shared reading and as adults, we read to the children daily. We also give the children time to read within daily 'DEAR' time (drop everything and read) which has proved very successful to enhance a love for reading.
We have recently taken on Accelerated Reader and have found our children are thriving with this change of reading scheme. All genres of texts are covered, therefore allowing all pupils to participate enthusiastically. They are eager to finish a book cover to cover and to quiz using the class devices working towards meeting their 85% accuracy target.
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. Previously, we had Jack Trelawny join us for an afternoon and participated in a virtual workshop run by Luke Temple. They both kindly delivered enthusiastic workshops available to the whole school allowing for opportunities for children 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 endevour to restock literature yearly. This includes class libraries also. The library is open at lunchtimes for book clubs and for children to browse texts which they are unable to find within their class library.
We have a close relationship with Rainham Library and have previously organised weekly year group visits. This gave a cohort of children the ability to visit the library on a regular basis and allowing them the opportunity to select, sign out and change books of their choice independently. The education team at Medway also deliver schools assemblies three times a year.
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. Spelling homework is set weekly using 'Emile Education' where tasks are based upon each each year groups age related expectations.
Please use the follow links to support your childs spelling journey:
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: