At Darenth Community Primary school we are passionate about developing children’s love for reading. We aim for all children to read independently, to develop understanding of what they have read and become engaged and motivated readers.
Reading is taught in English lessons as well as group/ whole class guided reading sessions which take place daily. These sessions provide children with access to a range of high quality texts. We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme for children’s levelled reading books and every classroom has an inviting reading area. Teachers read aloud to the class regularly, using highly recommended texts, many of which are from the 'Power of Reading 'Scheme, as well as during ‘story time’ sessions.
Children are exposed to a range of different texts, videos and experiences to help them write purposeful, relevant pieces of work. Children learn how to communicate effectively in a wide range of writing styles. We ensure the children have exciting and stimulating things to write about in different aspects of our curriculum. They learn how to organise their own work so it suits the purpose, and they are taught to edit and improve their writing, and do so regularly.
Speaking and Listening
Throughout the curriculum there is a strong emphasis on enabling children to use language to work together effectively. Research has shown the importance of the link between spoken language, learning and cognitive development. Through using language and hearing how others use it, children become able to describe the world, make sense of life's experiences and get things done. They learn to use language as a tool for thinking, collectively and alone.
Phonics is at the heart of teaching children to become independent readers. Teachers follow the Letters and Sounds systematic phonics programme. Children are explicitly taught the sounds related to each letter or combination of letters and learn how to apply this knowledge when reading. Both the reading and spelling of tricky or exception words are also taught so that children are encouraged to recognise these words on sight.
Grammar and Punctuation
Children are taught about the way language works through their reading and writing and discuss the differences in spoken language and the written word. Specific grammar and punctuation content is assigned to particular year groups and matches the national curriculum expectations from 2014.
Cursive handwriting is begun in Reception. The main benefit of teaching cursive handwriting from the start is that children tend to reach fluency faster, whereas if they learn to print first and then learn to join up, it’s like learning two different languages. When children are able to join accurately and their writing is consistent in size they will be awarded with their pen licence which allows them to write in pen.
Please see below a link to the national curriculum for English