Children are encouraged to develop a broad range of skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing. Children participate in a daily English lesson in Classes I to VI and in a wide range of language activities in Class R.
Reading is a fundamental skill and we encourage parents to join in the excitement of their children learning to read. We don’t use a single reading scheme but rather match children to books that will best develop their skills and interest. Every class has it’s own book corner with a variety of books suited to a particular age group.
Writing skills are a key priority within the school. We emphasise presentation and handwriting skills. Children are taught cursive script from the outset, first using a pencil and progressing to fountain or handwriting pens. All classes undertake extended writing sessions with activities ranging from poetry, creative writing, persuasive letter writing and factual work.
Pure sounds for Phonics Teaching (You Tube):
Phonic Presentation for Parents:
Speaking and Listening
The spoken word is a child's first opportunity to share their capability with others. As such we aim to model and develop ambitious and interesting vocabulary on which children can base their communication. We have high standards for listening which we take time to develop insuring children get as much as they can from any situation. Speaking and listening is core to our curriculum and embeds all learning through discussion; talk partners play an integral role in learning within our school.
Speaking and listening skills are developed across the whole curriculum. It regularly precedes written work, giving children a chance to try out ideas before committing them to paper.
We encourage various opportunities for the children to speak in public, from whole school assemblies to celebrations in the church and productions.
At Selling School we use a range of phonics schemes to enable us to tailor the teaching of phonics to the children. Phonics can be taught in small groups or as whole class and as the children go up the school they may move classes for their daily input. This ensures they receive the right level and style of phonics teaching for them.
Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills in 2007. It aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. There are six overlapping phases which are described here. We also use Big Cat Phonics alongside Letters and Sounds.
The Year 1 phonics screening check
This is a short assessment to confirm whether individual pupils have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard.
It will identify the children who need extra help so they are given support by their school to improve their reading skills. They will then be able to retake the check so that schools can track pupils until they are able to decode
After the children have completed the Letters and Sounds scheme, they then move on to learning spelling rules. At Selling School we focus on the rules as the English language tends to follow set rules with a few irregularities. We will teach the children a rule a week. It may be a prefix or a suffix, it may be what happens when you change a word e.g. stop becomes stopped. Children will be sent home with an activity and a few words. The spelling test however will focus on a range of words as we are testing the children's knowledge of the rule and phonics rather than their ability to learn a list of words.
There are many spelling websites on the web that help children to learn their spellings with fun activities that you can do. Most of these allow you to type in your own words.
- Parent information for letters and sounds
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling