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English at Dallam Primary School

Literacy is a key life skill and among the most important a child can learn in school. By providing curriculum rich in reading, writing and oracy, developing children’s literacy is at the foundation of every learning opportunity.  

Reading supports children’s learning but also enriches their lives.  At Dallam Primary School, we enable children to read fluently and for meaning as soon as possible, but a love of books is also of high priority.  Nurturing a reading culture excites curiosity and sparks imagination.  

When writing, children are increasingly encouraged to understand the impact of their writing on the reader; knowing how and why their writing is effective.   Children feel safe to make mistakes, confident to edit their work independently and help their peers if needed. Our children are taught, and will explore in depth, a wide variety of text types and toolkits for writing.  They will use grammar and punctuation accurately and understand spelling conventions. Children will choose from an ever widening range of vocabulary and sentence structures, thus enabling them to communicate their ideas with growing confidence.

Speaking and listening is valued as fundamental in pupils’ language and social development.  It is an essential tool for all areas of the curriculum for both thinking and learning.  Talking and communicating with others is an integral part of our curriculum and is not only encouraged but is also explicitly planned for.   

Links with our local library

 

 

Our curriculum builds on prior learning and ensures progression as children move through school. We have a carefully planned book spine that ensures children explore a wide range of genres, authors and text types from the beginning of Nursery to the end of Year 6.  From our youngest to oldest children, we follow the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach for teaching English.  High quality texts are chosen to inspire and motivate our children, exciting and inspiring ‘hooks’ into the text are created by our teachers and clear and purposeful outcomes are planned for each unit.  The skills children learn in English  lessons are then applied throughout the curriculum.

Spellings and Handwriting 

Spelling is important tool for communicating but it is also important that children are able to spell automatically so that they can focus on composition. We also encourage children to wonder about words.  In an explicitly planned spelling cycle of lessons the children learn about where words have come form, make links between words and engage in exploring spelling structures.   Every morning accross school, handwriting and spellings are prioritised as the first activity children begin. 

In  EYFS and Key Stage 1, our focus is on pupils gaining phonic knowledge from the beginning. We use the phonic programme Read Write Inc consistently from Nursery to Year 2.  Alongside this, our children recognise that some words cannot be decoded using phonics alone.  Therefore, we teach high frequency and non-decodable words alongside our phonics programme.  We follow the National Curriculum, teaching the spelling rules and common exception words for Key Stage 1 in an explicitly taught cycle of lessons.

In Key Stage 2, teachers follow the National Curriculum expectations for spelling in each year group and the statutory word lists.  Children are given the opportunity to explore and make connections between the strucutre and meaning of words within the teaching of spellings. 

A focus on correct letter formation begins from the moment children begin Nursery.  Our youngest children enjoy a variety of gross motor and fine motor skills activities in preparation for later writing.  As children begin to form letters they are encouraged to begin and end in the correct place.  We have developed our own letter formation policy which is used consistently throughout school.  We encourage fluency and stamina so that children are free to focus on composition.

Scholastic Book Fair

West End in Schools Theatre Company on World Book Day

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