ENGLISH EXCITES AND ENABLES
We help children to develop the skills and knowledte that will let them communicate creatively with the world, through spoken and written language. Enjoyment and appreciation of literature is at the heart of our curriculum.
Speaking and Listening
This is a vital part of our teaching. We want our children to be able to express their views clearly, whilst listening to the opinions of others. Children are given opportunities to improve their speaking in formal and informal settings. Speech and drama activities are used to stimulate ideas for writing, as well as helping in the exploration of books.
We stage a major production (drama, music & dance) each year. In addition, children can act in the Eisteddfod and the annual “Christmas Cracker”. We have an after school drama club. Children visit the theatre (RSC) and experience the work of visiting theatre companies (Birmingham REP).
Children have many opportunities to read in school. We teach reading in Guided Reading groups. Independent reading is also encouraged, children having access to a well-stocked library and receive prizes for accumulating reading points. There is a regular reading time, within the curriculum, each day. Children are able to give readings of poetry and prose at school events. Reading for pleasure is encouraged.
Children are given the chance to write in shared, guided and independent writing. They are taught a range of text and narrative styles which can be applied in other subject areas. Children’s writing is valued and is developed from a range of stimuli. Grammar and spelling are taught as essential elements of formal written English. APMS Governors encourage our writers, running a regular writing competition. We also have visiting writers, including Spoz, who runs a Rap poetry workshop, leading the Midland Poetry Slam.
ICT skills are applied in English. Children are taught to use Visual Literacy throughout the year. They also produce films, multi-media presentations and podcasts, as well as publishing writing. There is a weekly Film Club.
Pupils enter the school from a range of settings, having been taught phonics in the Foundation Stage, KS1 and early in KS2. We consolidate this within our English teaching of spelling. Where pupils continue to encounter difficulty, specific phonics teaching is carried out in intervention groups. We also teach children multi-sensory strategies for reading and spelling.
Those pupils who encounter difficulties in reading are matched with books, following benchmarking assessment. We have a colour banded reading scheme which incorporates ‘scheme’ books from a range of publishers. This is also cross referenced to ‘Reading Recovery’ Levels.
We also make use of the Rapid Reading and Rapid Writing Schemes which have proved to be successful in closing the gap with target groups.
We recommend parents have a look at the Words for Life website ( www.wordsforlife.org.uk ) which contains some good information and resources relating to reading.