"You should write because you love the shape of stories and sentences and the creation of different words on a page. Writing comes from reading, and reading is the finest teacher of how to write."
- Annie Proulx
At Locks Heath Junior School, we believe that at the basis of all learning is the ability to be able to communicate and this achieved through gaining mastery and fluency in both reading and writing.
We aim for all children to develop a life-long love of reading during their time at Locks Heath Junior School. This is developed through exposure to a broad range of high-quality, engaging texts during dedicated guided reading lessons and through reading as a writer in our writing lessons. Regular use is also made of our extensive library and our experienced librarian, who creates engaging displays and events, encouraging good reading habits in the children. There is also an expectation that parents will continue to share books with children at home as much as possible in order to continue to develop fluency and talk around reading.
In writing, we use a range of exciting, experiential hooks (such as breaking in to a dark, Egyptian Tomb or role-playing life in the Roman Army) and associated high-quality texts to inspire the children to write for a wide range of genuine purposes. We believe that it is important for children to realise the power of the communication of their writing first-hand. Developing a rich and varied vocabulary is currently a focus for the whole school and we will be investigating a diverse range of new words in order to equip the children with an abundant ‘hoard’ of language to apply in their written and spoken language. We also teach grammar, punctuation and vocabulary through our class texts in order for children to be able to apply their new skills in context.
We have a well-established spelling programme which is taught in three, discrete sessions across the week but which we also link into our current writing lessons. Spellings are grouped in general rules or word families and we test children weekly on the current spelling rules. We aim to make spelling fun, with games and activities to enliven the topic and engage the children.
As writing is linked to our topic wherever possible, we are currently constructing our curriculum around the new topics. The curriculum overviews will be updated as new units are planned and added so watch this space.
Finally, if you have ten minutes, this video is definitely worth watching …
Why we should all be reading aloud to children
By Rebecca Bellingham
If you have any questions or require any further information about how English is taught at Locks Heath Junior School, please contact Mrs Shelley Rogers (English Lead).