Language within education is the main tool of learning and the way in which children’s understanding is assessed across the curriculum. At the same time it is a subject within its own right.
The English curriculum in school is based on the four interrelated areas of language – speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Talk (i.e. speaking and listening) is encouraged and developed. It is the means by which children form relationships, interact and collaborate, generate ideas, question, express opinions and develop their powers of thinking. The ability to communicate through talk is important for learning in the classroom and social development.
Reading is a skill that enables children to expand their knowledge of the world. Through reading and responding to imaginative fiction, poetry, drama and a wide range of non-fiction, children both gain pleasure and develop a competence in written language. In class, books are read regularly to children. They are taught to read aloud with feeling and expression. We aim to create an independent reader, who reads with understanding, fluency, enjoyment and acquires research skills.
Children take home books to practice and consolidate reading strategies and phonic skills learnt at school.
Children are also encouraged to take home other fiction or non-fiction books from the library to read or share with parents at home. Children are given access to Accelerated Reader (AR). Pupils read a book, take an online quiz which focuses on their understanding of the text and provides them with immediate feedback. Parents can opt in to receive emails which keep them informed of their children’s book choices and quiz results. AR gives teachers the information they need to monitor children’s reading practice. It enables them to make informed choices to guide their pupils’ future reading development.
In school, children write for many reasons across the whole curriculum. Children are encouraged to write from the time they enter school in different styles for different purposes. Sometimes they are given opportunities to draft work. The draft is then edited; that means spellings, grammar and punctuation are checked and possibly text reshaped before a final copy is produced by the child. Grammar, vocabulary, punctuation and spelling are explicitly and progressively taught in line with the National Curriculum for English.
At Dulverton Junior School we use a thematic approach to learning, using our 'topic' as a vehicle for learning. We try and provide real life purposes for writing for our children so that they consider the audience when they write. Throughout the year the children write in a range of genres dependent on their purpose for writing.