At St. Matthias, we believe that reading and writing, supported by speaking and listening skills are the key to successful learning. All children have a daily English lesson where key skills are taught, developed and improved. These skills are then used in other curriculum areas.
We aim for all our children to develop a sound knowledge and understanding of letter sounds in order to give them the right tools for fluent reading skills. We use the Letters and Sounds phonic programme in the Early Years and KS1 and all the children have a daily phonics/spelling session based on this. Letters and Sounds teaches the children how to recognise sounds (phonemes) and build them to make words.
In the Early Years, children are taught to remember each of the letter sounds through story, action songs and a hand movements. We use a range of resources for this, to include, Jolly Phonics and Phonics Play.
If you would like to encourage your child to practice their sounds at home, check out the free games on the Phonics Play link below;
The following booklet gives an overview of how you can help your child develop the important skills needed to become a fluent reader.
Speaking and Listening
At St Matthias Primary School, teachers enrich the learning process by teaching the children how to engage in exciting, dynamic and practical Speaking and Listening activities. This is a key part of our studies across the curriculum.
Experiences may include:
Discussions with Learning Partners, debate, drama, role play, conscience alley, playing, circle time and many more.
Our aim is to enable every child to read. Throughout their time at St Matthias, the children will experience many different events and opportunities to read, such as World Book Day and Reading Challenges. We have a great library packed full of rich and engaging non-fiction books.
Children have unlimited access to a wide range of books and other reading materials including the children’s newspaper, First News. They are encouraged to read as much as they can. Children who have read 5 times or more in a week are entered into the weekly raffle to win a book of their choice.
We have recently invested in Lexia Core5 to allow children to practise their reading at school and at home. This is a carefully designed programme that allows the children to consolidate their learning. Teachers are able to monitor their progress and offer tailored interventions where necessary. This has been a popular addition to the reading curriculum.
Children will be supported to develop the stamina and skills to write at length across the curriculum - with accurate spelling and punctuation. They will be taught the correct use of grammar. Children will be encouraged to build on what they have been taught to expand the range of their writing and the variety of the grammar they use. Writing will include narratives, explanations, descriptions, comparisons, summaries and evaluations.
Children’s command of vocabulary is key to their learning and progress across the whole curriculum. Teachers will therefore develop vocabulary actively, building systematically on children’s current knowledge to increase our pupils’ store of words in general - whilst simultaneously encouraging children to make links between known and new vocabulary and discuss the shades of meaning in similar words. In this way, children will expand the vocabulary choices that are available to them when they write. It is particularly important to introduce children into the language which defines each subject in its own right, such as accurate mathematical and scientific language.
This year, the teachers across all year groups are setting the children the challenge of improving their spellings. This challenge has come about for two reasons;
Learning to spell is a highly complex skill but, in order for children to become successful writers, they need to be able to spell accurately. At St. Matthias, your child will be taught the rules and conventions of the spelling system as well as strategies needed to become confident spellers.
In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 the children have daily phonic lessons where they learn phonemes and graphemes, spelling patterns and high frequency words.
In Years 3, 4, 5 and 6, the children learn new spelling patterns as well as revising those already taught. Spelling is taught regularly each week where children look at phonics, spelling rules, root words, the meanings of words and other strategies to help spellings—such as mnemonics.
Teachers provide opportunities throughout the week for the children to practice and apply these rules. The children are tested on the spellings they have been learning and on words from their year group statutory lists. In addition to this, teachers model good spelling practice though their daily practice, across all subjects.