English

We aim to bring literature and language alive for our children so that they develop a love of reading and writing to take with them into later life.

Speaking and Listening forms an integral part of our English curriculum. The children enjoy role-play and drama activities, presenting their learning in Class Assemblies, Christmas productions and other wider curriculum opportunities. Our School Eco Council helps the children develop their confidence and communication skills, as council members represent younger classes and talk with the children across the school about their views, ideas and concerns.

At St Mary Magdalen’s we use Letters and sounds in reception and Year 1 to teach phonics daily. Children are grouped by ability to ensure that the phonic focus closely matches the children's learning needs. We use a systematic approach to teaching phonics using aspects from the Jolly Phonics and Letters and Sounds approach.

We consider reading skills to be of fundamental importance and an early priority is to ensure that children can read, understand and enjoy a wide range of reading material. Books are taken home so that parents can help by listening to, and reading with, their children. We have a wide choice of guided reading books from a variety of different reading schemes that we use within school to support reading development. 

 Children are rewarded for their reading and are very motivated to read and feel confident about their reading at St Mary Magdalen’s C of E Primary School. In order to promote a love of reading we also have a school library filled with a variety of engaging books. Children are encouraged to visit on a weekly basis during lunchtimes.  

Learning the skills which enable the children to express themselves is very important. Writing is a priority in all year groups. Children learn how to write a range of texts from labels and lists to newspaper reports and stories. 

We help children to develop their skills by teaching children to develop their understanding of language. We are  currently following the New Curriculum to include more Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation. We encourage children to take great pride in their work and we teach handwriting using the 'Letterjoin' programme. 

 Children learn to plan their writing carefully and have the opportunity to complete several extended writing pieces throughout the term. This gives the children chance to engage in sustained, stimulated writing opportunities which the children tell us they love! We are also beginning to use some of Pie Corbett’s very successful 'Talk for Writing' techniques.

 Communication, language and literacy are of high importance and we expect children to be able to demonstrate and apply the skills they have learnt in these areas across the curriculum.

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