All children in school build their literacy skills using the objectives as set out in the National curriculum. These objectives are progressive across the key stages and develop all aspects of the English language.
Writing, spelling and grammatical conventions are integrated into a learning programme which sits alongside the skills of reading. Narrative and non-narrative writing are taught within our 'rich and relevant' curriculum, writing opportunities are linked to high-quality children's literature and real-life experiences.
Developing writing skills is a key focus of English lessons at St Michael’s CEP School. Children are required to write for a purpose across a wide variety of genres, which encompass the full range of writing skills from narrative to non-narrative and formal to informal.
Writing is developed over a sequence of lessons and is linked to a quality text, class topic or a shared experience. Grammar and punctuation objectives are taught through the writing process, where possible, although some elements are taught separately. Teachers plan to incorporate the composition, grammar and punctuation objectives as set out in the National Curriculum.
Once children are able to write independently, they will be given guidance on how to edit and improve their work. Evidence of children using and applying their writing skills are assessed over several pieces of writing. These objectives are taken from the National Curriculum for writing and broken down for each year group. In assessing the writing, the teacher uses the draft and edited work to find evidence of objectives being used independently. Over several pieces of writing, this enables the class teacher to identify gaps and objectives that need to be further addressed.
Spelling in Ks1 is taught daily through the Read Write Inc phonics programme and is delivered at age-appropriate expectations. Children in Year 2 and Year 1 (from summer term onwards) are sent home weekly spellings to learn. In Ks2 all classes follow a spelling scheme based on learning spelling patterns and rules. Children are tested on these spellings weekly. The spelling lists are available under the ‘online learning, spell anywhere’ section of this website. Every spring we hold a school ‘Spelling Bee’. Children are tested on words taken from the National Curriculum for their year group. You can find the words listed on the spell anywhere section of this website, with interactive activities for your child to try.
In Reception and Key Stage 1 classes, children are taught early reading skills by learning letter sounds - phonics. At St Michael's CE Primary School we follow the Read Write Inc scheme to support learning to read by decoding phonetically. Follow the link below to find out more information about this teaching style and structure.
Children in Ks1 work in small groups with a reading teacher to work on reading phonetically decode-able books. Children learning in this way will bring home phonetically decode-able reading books that match the sounds they have learnt in their reading lessons.
Reading is also taught by means of shared reading a book in class with a teacher and in guided reading groups, working with a teacher on specific reading skills. Reading skills are also practised by means of using topics books and texts that inform pupil learning and allow an opportunity for building reading skills. Once children have secured the ability to decode text at a basic level, they work in class on reading comprehension skills.
Teachers as St Michael's CEP School also make use of 'Let's Think in English'. This is a teaching programme created to help students develop the reasoning skills needed for success in English. They systematically develop students' skills of inference, deduction and analysis, increasing their confidence, resilience, understanding and ability to express their ideas the extensive research that demonstrates how powerful discussing texts in detail
St Michael's CEP School is a Pioneer School for the 'EmpathyLab'. This means that we have championed reading as a means of understanding lives that may be different from our own and building the skill of empathy. Our school has helped to develop a number of resources and strategies for teaching reading, for national release.
Each class has a designated book area and all enjoy a daily 'storytime' style read from their teacher, this allows a vital opportunity to develop a love of reading for all children. In addition to a well-stocked school library, each class has its own library. Children in Ks1 are taken to the school library weekly to choose a book to share at home.
At St Michael's we have created lots of opportunities to develop a love of reading. Events have included author visits, whole school book immersion projects, book fairs, reading buddies, reading leaders, special book day events, a lending library outside of school, links with Alkrington library and a good range of books across the school. Across the year we will be hosting reading cafes and information meetings with each year group to share ideas with parents on how to support their children.