At Middleton, English is an integral part of all areas of the curriculum. We endeavour to show the children the importance of high achievement in reading and writing to equip them for their future education as well as success in life. Literacy skills are explicitly taught every day, usually in the morning, but English skills are used and applied by children in all areas of the curriculum. Throughout English teaching, cross-curricular links are used to make the curriculum more engaging for children and to give them a purpose for their writing.
In Foundation, a systematic phonic based progamme, Letters and Sounds, is used to teach children phonic skills such as grapheme (letter) and phoneme (sound) correspondence, oral blending and segmenting of sounds and then moving to teaching children how to blend sounds to read and segment sounds to spell. Phonics continues to be the main approach for teaching to children to read and write in Years 1 and 2 although other strategies are introduced alongside phonics. As children move further on in their learning, there is more explicit teaching of reading comprehension skills and spelling rules. Spelling, punctuation and grammar skills are taught explicitly through literacy teaching in all year groups and are a focus in all writing across the curriculum.
At Middleton, we encourage children to develop a desire to read for pleasure. As well as introducing them to a range of authors and genres in English and guided reading lessons, we encourage children to extend their reading by choosing from a wide range of authors and genres from our well stocked library. To promote this, we run a lunchtime reading club for all year groups to encourage children to share books and reading experiences with others.
In all areas of the curriculum, speaking and listening skills are developed through talk partners, group discussions and drama activities. Listening to others, turn taking and debate are taught to encourage children to work together and to be able to achieve an outcome together.
We strive to involve parents and carers in their child's English education. As well has helping children to develop essential reading skills by reading to someone at home every day, we also encourage adults to read to their children to help them develop high level comprehension skills as well as giving them ideas for their writing.
At Middleton the children progress through a reading scheme linked to colours, where they move through bands from pink to brown. Once children have reached and completed books in the brown band, they become 'free readers', where they are guided by their teacher to choose books that are appropriately challenging. This is complemented in class by a scheme of guided reading that fits into the colour bands.
On Tuesday 21st February, we were extremely lucky to spend the day with the children’s author, Alan Gibbons. Both the adults and children alike thoroughly enjoyed his company, listening to his stories and being authors ourselves in writing workshops! Alan was very impressed with the behaviour and enthusiasm of Middleton pupils and they got a lot out of the day, extending their vocabulary and improving their story writing skills. The teachers can’t wait to implement some of his strategies for teaching writing into lessons too. A fun and inspirational day was had by all.
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