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  • Meridian
  • Primary School
  • Comberton, Cambridge
  • Learning for life, striving for excellence

English

Meridian Primary School English

 

At Meridian Primary School we strive for every child to become fluent, skilled and attentive readers. We aim to develop children’s literacy skills through a composite programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing, which is not just taught specifically but throughout our entire curriculum approach. Content is primarily based on the objectives specified in the Early Years Foundation Stage profile and the English National Curriculum Programme of Study. 

 

Phonics

From September 2021 we will be using the Read Write Inc programme to teach phonics and reading in EYFS and KS1. This is a systematic synthetic phonics programme, validated by the Department for Education.  

 

Reading 

We plan for and ensure all children have opportunities to listen to and respond to a wide range of  traditional and contemporary stories.  All year groups actively engage in different types of reading activities that support and develop reading for pleasure. During the day you may see children participating in one or more of these sessions:

  • Shared reading - a whole class story with the teacher which are designed to capture their attention and engagement with stories. 
  • Guided reading - a set time where more focused teaching takes place. Children are taught aspects of comprehension that include vocabulary, prediction, explanation and inference. 
  • One to One or Small group reading - to children who may need additional catch up sessions to support their individual needs. 

 

We use a variety of reading schemes including Big Cat, Rigby Star, PM books and Oxford Reading Tree, to give the children experience of different styles of books and genres (e.g. fiction, non-fiction, poetry, traditional stories). The books are carefully levelled to support children in their progress and go from level 1 up to level 30, when children become free readers.

 

Guided Reading sessions take place outside of English lessons 4 times a week for Key Stage 2 and every day in Key Stage 1. This is a time where children read with their teacher within a guided group session. On subsequent days that the children are not working either within the teachers guided group or responding to this session, they will be working on other reading based activities. Reading for pleasure is promoted throughout both Key Stages using a number of techniques. All classes have a reading area designed to encourage children to engage with a range of texts.

 

Writing

Writing is a very important part of English and the whole curriculum. We hold weekly assemblies for all year groups to celebrate children’s individual achievements and our Star writer award.

 

Children have daily opportunities to engage in language games and activities to get them going and thinking before writing. They will regularly see the teacher modelling writing and children will contribute to shared writing. We use talk for writing strategies where children are supported in their writing through a variety of speaking and listening activities prior to putting pen to paper. Children discuss their thoughts and talk through features of texts and take part in oral story telling so they are very familiar with a story before they start to write it.

Children are taught a variety of text types (fiction and non-fiction) and are provided with regular opportunities to write their own versions. Some examples are stories, information texts, diary entries, and instructions. Grammar is taught in context, embedded in our writing and reading lessons.

 

In both Key Stages writing is based on the Phases of writing where an extended English session is delivered covering grammar skills through developing their key skills linked to VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation) and SpaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar).

The No Nonsense Spelling and Spelling EdShed programmes support our teaching of spelling in Years 2 to Year 6. Children have the experience of the full writing processes, including editing and improving their work. The skills that children are taught underpin all other subjects. They enable children to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work.

Teachers will always make cross-curricular links wherever appropriate and will plan for pupils to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding that they have acquired during English to other areas of the curriculum.

 

Handwriting

Handwriting is another important element of writing. We use the Letter Join handwriting programme and children are taught and encouraged to join up their letters from year 2 onwards. http://www.letterjoin.co.uk/

 

Speaking and Listening

Speaking and listening skills are taught throughout the curriculum and children are taught to become excellent communicators and to actively listen and speak with confidence. Here are some of the strategies that we use:

  • We frequently use 'talk partners' in our lessons. This means asking the children to share their ideas with their partner and gives them a chance to use new vocabulary immediately and in a non-threatening way.
  • We give children opportunities to orally rehearse what they are going to write using 'talk frames' which helps them to structure their ideas, and provides them with sentence openers and vocabulary related to the topic.
  • We incorporate drama activities into our lessons. For example, we might hot-seat a character from a story, asking open-ended questions to get information for our writing.

 

Helping your child at home

Right from the start children take books home regularly and it is important for them to read with parents throughout their time in school. We also encourage our older children to read at least 10 pages per day to develop better fluency and understanding.

We look forward to learning all about our Y5's residential trip to Hilltop!

MeridianPrimary School

  • Harbour Avenue
  • Comberton
  • Cambridge
  • CB23 7DD
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