At Cheddington, it is our intention that all pupils understand the value of English to them both now and in their future. We strive to teach all children the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening which they will apply in their life. We believe by providing a well-rounded learning experience, this will develop our pupils into passionate and enthusiastic learners. We want all our children to be confident in the basic language skills in order to communicate, so that by the time they leave Cheddington for their future journey through education and beyond, they have the confidence to communicate creatively, imaginatively, and collaboratively; express their feelings and opinions through both verbal and written forms of communication; and be equipped with the fundamental tools to achieve as lifelong learners and linguists. We aim to provide all children with rich, memorable and varied learning opportunities, from which they can confidently transfer their skills to other areas of the curriculum.
Reading and Phonics:
At Cheddington, we use stories as an opportunity for children to explore the wider world in a safe way. Our staff regularly read a class book aloud to the children to both model and to promote a love for reading. The book may be child-led through book tasting or teacher-led to expose them to a richer vocabulary or to an author who may ignite their passion for reading. The importance of reading is further enhanced through World Book Day, Shakespeare Week, celebrating Winnie the Pooh Day, Elmer Day, National and World Poetry Day among others to further enrich our English curriculum, but most importantly enhance the children’s love of reading.
All pupils are encouraged to read for pleasure. In weekly library lessons under guidance of experienced staff, the children are able to select a book of their choice from a rich range of authors. We believe that by providing children this opportunity they are able not only to take ownership of their decisions, but also develop their personal love of reading. We ensure we have a wide range of texts displayed around our library which reflect and correlate with our wider curriculum and serve as inspiration.
Weekly comprehension lessons expose the children to a further variety of texts with which to advance their comprehension skills and so to develop an understanding of the deeper meaning of texts.
Phonics are taught daily throughout Reception and Year 1 using a systematic synthetic phonics programme. Our children master early reading skills, applying their phonetic awareness to segment and blend sounds. This allows all early readers to decode fluently through our systematic teaching of synthetic phonics. We have a wide range of books in our school-wide reading scheme in order to ensure our children receive a balanced variety of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
Throughout their time at Cheddington, our children are on a journey to establish themselves as writers. As a school we recognise that reading is fundamental to success in writing, as children write more successfully when they have a sound understanding of the features of a specific genre coupled with a strong vocabulary. They are given activities to build their knowledge of the purpose for the writing; and opportunities for all children’s writing to be read aloud and listened to by an audience. Throughout the school, visual stimuli and books are used to inspire the children’s imagination to write. We believe that our children benefit from a memorable experience to help inspire their writing, and use the principles of the IPEELL program to promote writing development. All children are encouraged to develop their stamina for writing across the curriculum through self-regulation, discussion and praise, and to explore the process of writing by planning, drafting and editing. At Cheddington, we create a nurturing culture where children take pride in their writing to communicate their thoughts, ideas and emotions effectively.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar:
Weekly spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons enable the children to develop a clear understanding, and to clarify the meaning, of the diverse grammatical curriculum. Our children are provided further opportunities to apply their new knowledge within the wider curriculum.
Weekly spellings are progressive within the year and throughout the school. They allow discussions to take place about the spelling rules. We encourage all children to learn and use accurate spellings so they are able to clearly communicate their ideas and opinions with their audience.
All children are encouraged to take pride in presenting their work. We consider good presentation to be an important element of writing. All children are taught cursive letter formation, and, as they progress through the school, are expected to develop a fluent joined script.
Speaking and Listening:
At Cheddington, we inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening. We teach our pupils to speak clearly, to convey their ideas fluently and confidently. They are encouraged to ask questions and to participate in discussions to further their learning and most importantly communicate effectively with others.