At St Anselm’s children are encouraged and helped to speak clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate ideas and feelings able to listen to others and respond appropriately. All children are provided with opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop skills in spoken language, including through drama and role play. Children in the EYFS are taught Communication and Language, and Literacy, through activities planned according to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and Development Matters guidance.
In EYFS and Year 1, phonics are taught daily. This is based upon the Letters and Sounds publication, which is supplemented by the use of Jolly Phonics. The children are taught to read a range of materials fluently and with understanding, for enjoyment and information. Our reading programme ensures that children are taught to use a range of strategies, e.g., phonics, word recognition, use of context - to help them make sense of what they read. We believe it is essential for children to read as wide a range of literature as possible so we use a range of texts including those within reading schemes, fiction and non-fiction texts, poetry and plays. We place a strong emphasis on reading comprehension and the children are taught how to read for meaning. This is reinforced through guided reading sessions. Parents are encouraged to take an active part in helping their child/ children to learn to read.
Children are helped to develop the ability to express their thoughts and ideas and communication skills through speaking and listening activities and through the written word. We aim to ensure that children develop a strong command of English through the correct use of punctuation, spelling, grammar and correct letter formation. Opportunities are provided for children to develop the necessary writing skills required for different purposes and audiences. The link between reading and writing is strongly emphasised. The school believes that there is a close relationship between handwriting and spelling. The children in EYFS are taught to use the pre-cursive handwriting style, in preparation to use joined up handwriting in Year 1 so that the flow of the hand takes them through the word.
The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- 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 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.