At West End we know that literacy skills are the key to unlocking the wider curriculum for all children. We are committed to delivering high quality daily English lessons, tailored to meet the needs of our learners, following the guidance of the National Curriculum for English. Throughout the week, different aspects of English are focused on, including: reading, grammar, punctuation, spelling, writing, composition and drama.
Throughout our school much attention is given to the development and enrichment of children's language, both spoken and written.
In school, we promote the enjoyment of books, aiming to foster a love of reading in all children. Early reading skills are developed from Nursery to Key Stage 1, developing higher order skills in Key Stage 2. We have a colour-coded book band scheme, containing a wide range of graded scheme books such as Bug Club, Pearson's and Rising Stars, alongside an extensive selection of ‘real books.’ Children progress through the stages of the banded books according to ability, with guidance and support at all levels. Children are also encouraged to select books from the main school library. We encourage children to read at home as often as possible and widen their horizons through the reading of a range of materials.
Children are encouraged to write with confidence, independence and accuracy, taking into consideration their purpose and audience. Emergent writing and spelling is praised and encouraged from the outset to create a ‘have a go’ attitude at all levels. Skill in writing is modelled through shared sessions and focused group work provides children with the ‘tools’ they need to develop composition ideas and improve sentence structure and grammar. Practice of letter formation and development of a clear handwriting style is taught using a published scheme, and children are encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their work, especially in final draft form.
A programme of phonics is taught systematically every day throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 in discrete sessions, as well as through ongoing English lessons. These sessions are fun and practical and are tailored to meet the needs of the children. Intervention programmes and 1:1 sessions are set up to support those children who find phonic skills difficult. 'Letters and Sounds' is followed through foundation and KS1 and a variety of resources such as 'Read Write inc', 'Phonics Play', 'Jolly Phonics' and 'LCP' resources are used to supplement this work.
The school follows the guidance of the ‘Support for Spelling’ strategy as well as the English curriculum framework. Our spelling programme builds on children's previous phonological knowledge and enables them to apply this knowledge in reading and writing. At the same time, they are encouraged to increase the accuracy of their spelling through regular practice and the learning of spelling rules and conventions. The No Nonsense spelling scheme supports our spelling work and in Key Stage 2, children receive spelling homework each week, requiring them to learn spelling patterns and statutory spelling words.
Speaking and listening skills have a high priority in our school and feature throughout all areas of the curriculum. Children experience a range of activities designed to develop their confidence. They are encouraged to speak clearly and courteously and to listen attentively to the views of others. Each term every class, from Reception to Y6, produces and performs an assembly for parents and the wider school to promote speaking and listening from an early age.