English

The school follows the National Curriculum and the children have an English lesson every day to cover grammar, comprehension, writing, reading, punctuation and spelling.

More Information for English:

Valuing all children’s language skills and building upon their existing linguistic knowledge is essential to high achievement; alongside the need for carefully planned learning opportunities designed to cover the full range of speaking and listening skills.

As communication takes many forms (body language, gesture and verbal communication), it is important that children are given the chance to explore situations and contexts in exciting and creative ways; such as the use of role-play in the preparation for writing.

Oracy

Speaking & listening is not taught explicitly but it permeates every element of school life. Children’s higher–order cognitive skills are developed through the use of critical thinking sessions. This helps our children to communicate and justify a point of view that they have taken.

A key strength of our curriculum is in the time dedicated across the school to performance in front of large audiences; particularly with our regular class assemblies which parents and carers attend.

Reading

We recognise the need to develop fluency when reading and the need to develop strategic comprehension skills. These skills are taught directly through a weekly comprehension and daily guided lessons, using the reciprocal reading approach. Currently, our Reading Targets are aimed at developing pupils’ awareness of phonics and knowledge of less common spelling patterns. As a junior school, we use Read Write Inc. (RWI) Phonics as our intervention programme. To accompany our targets home, we hold sessions for parents, exploring how phonics are used to help children learn to read and write. In addition, we have produced wordlists and a comprehensive glossary that helps to explain all the complex terminology.

Teachers listen to their children read through the daily Guided Reading sessions. Parents are actively encouraged to listen to their children read on a daily basis.

Children use their personal Reading Journals to record their reading sessions at home. By reading aloud at home and discussing their reading with family members, children are developing their understanding of stories and texts.

Writing

At St. James’ there is a heavy focus on composition and basic skills through the use of quality texts. In addition, we teach grammar, spelling, punctuation and handwriting as a weekly discrete lesson. We expect to see these skills being applied to written work.

Here at St James’, we pride ourselves on our high levels of presentation as all pupils are encouraged to write neatly and legibly. More developed writers, who have adopted and personalised the school’s Penpal Handwriting style, are awarded our prestigious ‘Pen Licence’. Excellent presentation is encouraged within all curriculum areas as a means of ensuring that all work is to the highest standard possible.