“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”— Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”
At St Margaret’s CE Junior School we intend to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for pleasure. We believe that language is the major connecting element across the curriculum, therefore, our focus is not only on language for its own sake, but also on its application across all subjects. It also facilitates connections with the wider community. Pupils will be exposed to high quality texts and engaging, purposeful writing opportunities to develop their language for school and making connections within their learning. As one of our four curriculum drivers, communication and language are key for the success of all of our pupils.
We will ensure that all pupils can read easily, fluently and with good understanding and develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information. We want all children to acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language in addition to appreciating our rich and varied literary heritage.
Writing & Oracy
Children will be encouraged to view themselves as communicators of both written and oral language. Writing opportunities are carefully planned and sequenced to help pupils draw on texts they are reading, knowledge gathered from the topics taught as well as from their own reading. Student agency and support within each class allows the children to develop a sense of independence and purpose for their writing. Pupils are given numerous opportunities to plan, draft, edit and publish their written pieces throughout their time at St Margaret's CE Junior School.
To support children in moving towards independence in their written language skills, staff will provide a wide range of activities with links to the wider curriculum, as well as modelled, shared and guided writing, peer assessment and conferencing with their peers and adults in the classroom setting. Resources are also used in each class will enable to the children to make progress and may vary for different children based on their individual needs.
Spelling and phonics
Every class has weekly spelling lessons which are inline with the National Curriculum expectations. Lessons are designed to teach pupils the numerous spelling patterns and rules we have in the English language so that pupils can apply this knowledge to a whole range of words rather than just those they learn as part of homework. For pupils needing extra support with phonics, we have interventions in place taught either on a 1:1 or small group basis. Some of these groups are taken by our phonics specialist.
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.