Our English curriculum develops skills in listening, speaking, reading and writing for a wide range of purposes. We use language to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings, it enables children to express themselves creatively and imaginatively. At St Alban's we aim to develop a love for the English language in its written and spoken forms. We are committed to delivering a broad and engaging curriculum in order to enable our pupils to become confident, independent and effective speakers, listeners, readers and writers.
At St Alban's each year group has been allocated a range of core novels related to their curriculum topic. The children learn all about the characters, settings and language used by the variety of authors. We hope this develops a life-long love of reading. Expectations of written work is high and can be seen in the standard of presentation.
English is shared and celebrated inside and outside of the classroom through:
Read, Write Inc Phonics
At St Alban’s Primary School we follow Read Write Inc. (RWI) – a synthetic phonics programme which provides a systematic approach to teaching reading. The alphabetic code is taught first so that children learn to recognise and correctly pronounce the sounds that different letters or groups of letters make. Children then learn how to blend these sounds together in order to read words. The sessions use lively storybooks which are closely matched to the children’s knowledge of phonics contain words that they can confidently decode. This means that even early on, children experience plenty of success when reading.
From Reception through to Year 2 we deliver daily phonics and reading sessions. We stream the classes across KS1 so that the children are grouped according to ability. This means that they are reading at their own level, every day. Each group has a designated learning zone within the school with consistent teaching resources and displays. RWI Reading materials are clearly organised into bands and stored centrally for ease of access. Any child that has not reached the required level by the end of Year 2 will continue phonics into KS2. Any child that requires phonics intervention in years 5 and 6 will take part in the ‘Fresh Start’ programme.
All staff involved in the delivery of phonics and guided reading sessions (teachers and teaching assistants) receive training and support. This shared understanding of the RWI approach ensures that everyone is teaching as effectively and consistently as possible. Each session has a clear purpose, follows a structured plan and is part of a systematic approach towards teaching the 44 common sounds. Revision and consolidation are also vital to further embed the learning. A lively and fast-paced delivery keeps all children engaged and focused praise really does motivate them to learn. Fun, bright and child-friendly resources accompany each lesson which helps to promote enjoyment of reading.
Pupils are assessed every 6-8 weeks using the RWI assessment tracker. All children are grouped in terms of their phonics and reading ability. Feed-back and next steps are made clear via reports to every group leader. Some children may need to revise and consolidate a set of sounds, whereas others are ready to move on. Crucially, every child reads books that are matched to their phonic knowledge which means that their everyday reading is tailored to their learning needs. In Year 1 children take part in the ‘Phonics Screening Check’, a national assessment where children are asked to read a variety of read words and pseudo words. RWI allows us to prepare the children fully for the check so that it is a successful and exciting experience for all.
Read Write Inc Spelling Programme
Read Write Inc. Spelling is for children in Years 2 to 6 who can read accurately, with increasing speed.
Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words, and provides mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.
Support for Writing/Additional Information:
Sue Palmer is a consultant on primary education, particularly literacy. The following PowerPoints share some of the teaching models used by St Alban's teachers to support writing.
Reading for Pleasure
At St Alban's we place great importance in the advantages of reading for pleasure. We understand that it can result in increased empathy, improved relationships with others and significantly boost well-being. Literature provides pleasure to listeners and readers. It is a relaxing escape from daily problems, and it fills lesuire moments with joy. Making time for recreational reading and using high-quality literature helps to create enthusiastic readers and improve their achievement.
Books allow us to see the world through the eyes of others...
As part of St Alban's desire to promote and celebrate the work of black authors and learn about the black individuals who contributed towards the development of modern society, we have given our children the opportunity to access more diverse literature. The literature shared also highlights the struggle for social justice experienced by black people and their efforts to gain equal rights for all.
World Book Day on Thursday 4th March 2021
Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator for success in life, more than family circumstances, educational background, or income (Organisation for Economic Co-operation & Development).
At St Alban’s we are asking our children to wear their favourite pyjamas and dressing gowns to school and at home. We would also like our children to choose a book they would like to read and share on their daily zoom.
As part of our zoom celebration of books and reading, our teachers are going to read books or extracts for the children whilst in disguise, and ask the children to name the book and/or the teacher.
Celebrating World Book Day at home
This year’s World Book Day theme is ‘share a story’. Please encourage your child/children to share a story with the people they love. These could include getting grandparents or other family members to read stories over video chat; setting aside a family reading time when everyone at home all read their own books or magazines; building a cosy reading den with cushions in a corner, or a sheet draped over chairs to make a tent; read a story or chapter and then perhaps act it out together.
Celebrating World Book Day at school
The children who are in school will take part in similar activities. These may involve them sharing their books with their friends or videoing each other reading or acting a story out together. Please see your child’s ‘Bubble Closure – Home Learning’ tab for more information.
All of our parents and children can access additional activities using the links below:
Please remember to email any evidence of your child’s participation in ‘World Book Day 2021’ to their teachers.
Thank you for your continued support
World Book Day 2021
The children at St Alban's have enjoyed celebrating World Book Day at home and in school. Please see their wonderful attempts at sharing their love for reading.