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English Information

We are fortunate to be located close to the landscape that inspired the writer AA Milne, famous for his books 'Winnie the Pooh'. The Ashdown Forest provided a rich landscape for writing the books 'Winnie the Pooh' and inspires our pupils even today.  

At St Michael's Primary School, we believe that a high quality English curriculum should develop children’s skills in reading, writing, speaking, listening and discussion. To this end, we deliver an English curriculum that provides rich and purposeful learning opportunities. We want our children to have a positive attitude towards communication and to be able to independently and confidently express their emotions and ideas.

Our curriculum closely follows the National Curriculum for English 2014 and enables all of our children to:

● read easily, fluently and with good understanding

● develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information

● acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and a knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language

● appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage

● write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences

● use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas

● are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate

Phonics

Letters and Sounds

The journey to independent reading and writing begins with Phonics. The Department for Education has recently requested that schools only use a range of providers to teach phonics. This means that we are now a Little Wandle Letters and Sound school and use this to teach phonics.  This change will impact the way in which our very youngest children learn phonics and we are very excited to now be giving out the books that accompany the scheme too. We are committed to raising the standard of teaching each year and think that a change will benefit our children and enable them to be confident readers.

Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools. It is based on the original Letters and Sounds, but extensively revised to provide a complete teaching programme meeting all the expectations of the National Curriculum. We are very pleased to be using the scheme to teach phonics and are confident that our pupils will all excel in their journeys onto becoming independent readers and writers.

Reading

One of our aims here at St Michael’s is to promote a love of reading. We would like all children to read for pleasure, excite their imagination and extend their boundaries. We are fortunate to have a beautiful library, created by our PTA and opened in 2018. We are all incredibly thrilled to have such a wonderful place to inspire a new generation of readers. Our library is well stocked, inviting and has a range of books to suit even the most discerning reader. We are also visited by two different reading dogs each week to further foster a love of reading. We encourage all of our pupils to read a wide range of genres and text types and have a wide selection of magazines, fiction, non-fiction and poetry books in our school library and class reading corners. 

If you need further assistance with reading, please find some useful links below:

www.readingzone.com

www.lovereading4kids.co.uk

www.booktrust.org.uk

Writing

At St Michael's, our children cover a range of writing styles. During English lessons, they have the opportunity to write in different genres and use their own  creativity and imaginations. Writing is cross-curricular: in English so that  children may use their imagination to write a fictional story; in Geography they may be persuading the government to stop cutting down trees and protect planet Earth and in Science they will use their skills to write instructions for an experiment.

Pupils learn from an early age that much of their writing will be read by an audience and therefore needs to be accurate, legible and appropriately presented. Our eldest children are given lots of opportunities to write to their Reception aged buddies and vice versa.  Throughout Key Stage Two there is a progressive emphasis on the skills of planning, drafting, revising, proof-reading and the presentation of writing. All of our teaching staff use a scheme called CLPE Power of Reading to support their planning and teaching of writing.

Handwriting is taught and practised regularly, with the children learning to write in a cursive style from Year One onwards.

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