In Literacy, the overriding aim is to assist each child to develop their full ability to use and understand their own language whether in speech, listening, reading or writing. In line with School Improvement Plan targets, appropriate Staff participate in training as required.
The implementation of the Literacy Strategy, took place during 1998/99. Speaking and listening, reading, writing spelling and presentation play a major part in cross-curricular projects and therefore time is spent in using and developing skills related to the development of English usage. Listening and speaking, using the correct pronunciation, are taught from the moment they enter school in order to lay the foundation for correct English usage. Local accents are respected.
In school, language development continues through open-ended, thought-provoking differentiated questions and comments being offered by class teachers and other adults, verbally and in marking books.
A large number of books of a variety of reading levels are available, written by recognised children’s authors to excite the children’s imagination and give them the opportunity to predict, to talk, to ask, to provide the rhyming word, all carefully planned to encourage facility and enjoyment in reading. This supply is added to, as funds allow. The School’s Library Service also supports our need for books and the children enjoy choosing them from the van on its termly visits. Big books and sets of books for Guided Reading have been purchased – some of these are non-fiction.
Alongside this approach, children learn the sounds which letters make through the fun of Letterland, very quickly learning not only the names of the characters who live there but also, importantly, the sounds they make. This is achieved through games, pictures, movement, drama and song and is most successful. Handwriting is taught and practised and the School follows the Nelson scheme, with one or two adaptations.
If a child develops a particular difficulty in the acquisition of reading and language, every effort is made to identify his/her need and provide support, sometimes drawing on the County’s Special Education Support Team, if the difficulty is a specific one which needs specialised assistance. The Code of Practice for Special Educational Needs ensures that difficulties are targeted for help early and parents drawn into an individual planned programme to try to help with the difficulty. We strive to ensure that every child works to capacity and gains an appropriate knowledge of the mechanics of grammar:- punctuation, spelling, nouns, adjectives, adverbs, etc. which are taught methodically and practised regularly.
The relevant teachers will be pleased to help you with suggestions for pre-school activities which will help you and your child.
Opportunities for discussion in groups or class are frequent. These are controlled and prepared e.g. debating in the older classes while the younger children have more, spontaneous opportunities. Listening to each others comments and points of view is an important part of language development. Tape recorders, computers, video recorders, T.V.