The New National Curriculum: English
English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.
The overarching aim for English in the National Curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
English at Petersfield Infant School
English covers all aspects of speaking, listening, reading and writing. It is taught in specific lessons and throughout every subject.
In Year R Communication and Language is one of the Prime Areas and Literacy is a Specific Area of the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. This covers the following aspects: listening and attention; understanding; speaking; reading; and writing.
In Years 1 & 2 English is taught during specific reading and writing lessons. Teaching follows a structured phonics programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. The children practise reading individually with adults, they read in groups and they read as a class with the teacher. They enjoy class storytimes and take a library book home every week; this encourages reading for pleasure. Writing is usually linked to the class book of the week and the children are taught the skills of spelling and handwriting in separate lessons.
All children have regular drama sessions to develop their confidence, imagination and spoken language skills.
We learn digraph rhymes to help us with our reading and spelling! Click on the link on our front page to see Mrs Crew teaching the Digraph Rhymes! You can also click on the links below to see the digraph/trigraph sheets which are used by the children in class.
|Digraph 1||Digraph 2||Digraph 3||Digraph 4|
Reading Schemes used at our school include the Oxford Reading Owl and Big Cat books. We use Phonicsplay, Busy Things and the Oxford Owl websites to enhance the children’s learning with phonics.
We regularly exchange our Library service books directly with the School Library Service (SLS) to maintain the balance between books on loan and replenishing our own stock. Year 1 also take part in the Hampshire Picture Book Award organised by the SLS.
Additional exciting activities enjoyed by the children include Singing Phonics, Write Dance and Dough Gym in Year R. There is also a lunchtime football club, drama club and Funky Fingers Lunchtime Club in Year 2.
There are also many exciting English events throughout the year including a Dads’ Breakfast in September for Year R dads, granddads and uncles and a Dads’ Breakfast in June for Years 1 and 2 – in addition to tea and toast, library books are shared with children before school. Year R also enjoy a Pirate Day with many opportunities for English activities e.g. wanted posters, treasure maps, writing about the missing LEGO pirate from Petersfield! Year 1 enjoy a Banquet Day in the Summer Term and dress up as knights, princes and princesses!
National Storytelling Week is always a very successful event at our school with family members invited to tell stories to groups and classes; a Bedtime Story Reading Challenge which involved children asking their parents to read a bedtime story each evening; A Favourite Story Character Day when children dressed up as their favourite story character. World Book Day is always celebrated at Petersfield Infant School with children enjoying the Book Swap and writing about their favourite books.
Home Learning Challenges have been introduced in all year groups – Year R made pirate ships and treasure chests, year 1 made shelters for Captain Scott and year 2’s topic was minibeasts! The children’s learning was displayed for the school and parents to enjoy – What amazing models!!
Reading and Writing Workshops have also been enjoyed by parents who took part in English lessons to experience the learning taking place.