What is English?
As well as reading and writing, English also involves the development of speaking and listening skills.
How do we teach it?
At Bishop’s Waltham Junior School, we use a variety of approaches to teaching English. Children may work individually, in pairs or in small groups; where possible, the work is linked to other areas of the curriculum, such as Topic, Science, RE or DT.
Our English Curriculum
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening are vital for all aspects of learning. We want to give children the confidence to express themselves clearly and encourage dialogue and discussion across the curriculum. Drama work enables children to practise their speaking and listening and helps them clarify and express their ideas more fluently. We use drama in many areas of the curriculum, as well as producing a more formal school production each Christmas.
We aim to produce fluent, independent readers with a love of reading. Emergent readers are taught to decode words using a range of appropriate strategies. As the children become more fluent and independent, they are encouraged to think about plot structure and characterisation, using inference and deduction.
Our well-stocked library provides pupils with a wide range of reading material including some magazines and newspapers as well as fiction and non-fiction books.
Children at Bishop’s Waltham Junior School are taught to write in a range of styles, both fiction and non-fiction. We use the work of established writers and contemporary non-fiction to analyse the features of each writing style. Children are taught spelling rules which they are then encouraged to apply to their writing across the curriculum. Children are also taught English grammar and we practise this regularly as part of our English lessons and during some stand-alone curriculum time.
While much of this is taught within a specific English lesson every day, we also recognise that pupils can develop literacy skills while they learn about other subjects in the curriculum.
How can you help?
Reading with your child and helping him/her with writing and spelling can help boost their achievement. Reading is fundamental to your child’s progress and is the most important way that parents can help their child. This is true right up to the end of Year 6 and beyond. We ask that you make sure your child has regular reading practise and check that s/he understands what s/he reads. Click here to find out how to do Paired Reading effectively.
- Visit the library – it’s free to join. As well as story books, libraries lend a range of up-to-date non-fiction books and books on tape.
- Don’t just read books. Encourage your child to read newspapers, TV guides, comics and magazines. Ask your child to find out information from the Yellow Pages, cookery books etc.
Writing and Spelling
It’s easier to get into good handwriting habits early on than to correct poor writing later. The same goes for spelling. Help your child to see writing and spelling skills not only as fun, but as something important and to be proud of:
- Help younger children by writing words and sentences for them to copy.
- Emphasise the links between drawing and writing and make sure your child always signs finished artwork.
- Encourage your child to be look at examples of beautiful handwriting in museums, galleries and books.
- Older children can develop their writing and social skills together by finding penfriends through the school World Class club or keeping in touch with friends and relatives who live far away.
Every year group regularly sets spelling sentences as part of their homework. These sentences will contain focus high-frequency words in addition to words that fit a particular pattern or rule that is being taught in school. The benefit of learning sentences (rather than simply a list of words) is that pupils can develop familiarity and confidence with a range of sentence structures and punctuation. These skills can then be transferred to their own writing.
The National Curriculum for English
|National Curriculum - English||Year 3 & 4 Programmes of Study||Year 5 & 6 Programmes of Study|
|Spelling (Y3-6) - Including wordlists||Vocabulary, grammar & punctuation|