The study of English develops children's abilities to listen, speak, read, and write for a wide range of purposes, using language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. It enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, non-fiction, media and multi-modal texts. Children gain an understanding of how language works by looking at its patterns, structures and origins. They use their knowledge, skills and understanding in speaking and writing across a range of different situations.
Our aims for the teaching and learning of English are based on our belief that children should enjoy equal access to the provision of a high quality English curriculum that fosters and stimulates enjoyment, curiosity, interest and will enable children to:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening and can communicate effectively
- generalise beyond English to all areas of the curriculum in order to apply and develop further their language skills
In Years 1-4, Guided Reading is timetabled outside English lessons with each ability reading group having a weekly session with their class teacher. In Year 5 the children complete Guided Reading sessions in the first term and then move towards developing more independent reading of class texts with a strong focus on the development of comprehension skills, something which continues as the focus in Year 6. Booster English Support is provided weekly to identified children in Years 2 to 6 outside English lessons.
In addition to the Guided Reading sessions, children will move through a structured colour-coded reading scheme until they are considered to be a fluent reader, both in terms of ability to decode the written word and comprehension skills. Children in Reception to Year 4 have a timetabled weekly slot to use the school library. Years 5 and 6 have opportunities to use the school library during the library club.
All year groups are taught the features of a range of text types, including narrative, explanations, reports and many more. Children complete formally assessed unaided pieces of writing on a regular basis. This writing is assessed against standards checklists which emphasize the basic skills of spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting, alongside a focus on developing a writing style including the use of a wide range of vocabulary, complex sentence structures and figurative language.
Handwriting is taught regularly in all year groups. The principal aim is that handwriting becomes an automatic process, which frees pupils to focus on the content of the writing. In order for this to occur, handwriting is taught in ways that enhance fluency, legibility, purposefulness and the opportunity for creative expression. The formation taught at Lingfield Prep is a cursive style and includes the use of a lead in and lead out stroke. This ensures an early transition to joined writing. It is school policy that children are taught to present work to appropriate high standards. The correct pencil hold is taught and the correct grip is always encouraged.
Spelling is an integral part of the writing process. Pupils who spell with ease are able to concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. While it is important to remember that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling can have an effect on the writer’s self-image. As part of the children’s homework programme, spellings are sent home to be learnt for weekly tests.
Key Stage 1
Phonics will continue to be taught regularly. For spelling purposes, the emphasis is on the pupils’ ability to segment words into phonemes and then match the most likely letter or letters to each sound by accessing the alphabetic code. In addition, the pupils learn how to spell a number of sight words, high frequency words and common irregular words to enable them to write fluently. They investigate and learn to use common spelling patterns, and frequently used prefixes and inflectional endings in their own writing. Pupils become increasingly independent and are encouraged to identify reasons for misspellings in their own work and are taught how to use a simple dictionary, high frequency word lists and to use their phonic knowledge.
Key Stage 2
At Key Stage 2 there is an emphasis on the recognition of letter strings, visual patterns and analogies, the application of spelling conventions, the use of a range of word resources and the morphology of words. Nevertheless, it is recognised that some pupils will need to consolidate the phonic knowledge and skills from Key Stage 1. Pupils are encouraged to identify their own spelling errors, making reasoned choices about likely alternatives and use a range of resources (including spellcheckers and a variety of dictionaries and word banks) for making corrections.
In addition to the learning of spellings, SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) is taught formally, with children in Reception and Year 1 being introduced to SPaG concepts throughout the curriculum where appropriate, and specific SPaG lessons taking place on a weekly basis for children in Years 2-6.
English curriculum enrichment activities are celebrated during the academic year and these may include Shakespeare Day, World Book Day, National Poetry Day, House Poetry Competitions and visits from authors, poets, theatre groups and local librarians.
|Here are our recommended book lists for each year:|