English is a core subject and at Grendon School we aim to provide a high quality education in English. Enabling children to write, speak and read fluently means they are able to fully communicate their ideas to others and participate fully in society. To achieve this we teach Reading, Writing, Spelling (and at times Grammar discretely) but we also recognise the importance of embedding these skills across the wider curriculum.
In Year Two to Six children spend designated time learning spelling patterns and rules. They learn to identify root words and how to add prefixes and suffixes. The children play lots of fun spelling games to help them to remember new spellings.
Some words are considered tricky and these are approached in a different way as they can not be sounded out using phonics. A list of these common exception words can be found below.
Reception/ Year 1 (Red Words)
Year 3 and 4
Year 5 and 6
Once the children can read fluently we focus on developing strong comprehension skills. We use a method called Reciprocal Reading. Reciprocal Reading is based around four skills:
predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising.
It is a method that really helps children broaden their vocabulary, delve deeper into books and what the author intended, as well as developing key summarising skills. This approach is underpinned by high quality speaking and listening as children bounce off each other’s ideas to ultimately gain a much deeper understanding of texts. The children are very enthusiastic about this approach to reading and they draw ideas from reading to use in their writing.
Reading For Pleasure
We are really keen that our children are readers for life so we actively encourage the
children to read for pleasure in a variety of ways. In class, children have wide reading
opportunities. Children have a variety of exciting texts to choose from, we subscribe to the children’s newspaper, First News, so they can read about current issues and they have access to ebooks. During the year we run incentives such as a Book Review scheme, whereby if children read and review twelve books from their reading list they are reward with a Golden Ticket which is exchanged for a prize! The books on the list also form part of our World Book Day Quiz, which is very popular and again winners are rewarded with a treat.
We also have a very well stocked library which is open to children before school. The library also runs various competitions throughout the year to encourage and reward reading for pleasure. For Library Times click here
First News is a children’s newspaper that we subscribe to at Grendon. It communicates important and relevant issue and easy to understand and sensitive way. It also contains lots light-hearted stories and fun news quizzes. First News is an excellent way of broadening children’s general knowledge. The website also advice and how to talk to
your children about things they have seen in the news.
We are eager to foster our budding authors so our writing units make it clear to the children what they need to do to succeed in writing. Children always start by looking at a WAGOLL (What A Good One Looks Like.) From there the children learn all the skills and language features they need to be successful before writing their own version. This may include key grammar and punctuation, new vocabulary or how to use similes or metaphors. Children are encouraged to take ownership of their work by highlighting where the key language features have been included in their work. Finally children proofread and edit to really improve their work further.