Great importance is placed on the teaching of English at St. Andrew’s School.
The development of English skills is seen as a key part of the curriculum at St. Andrew’s, as these skills, permeate every subject. The skills focused on can be largely grouped into distinct but interrelated areas: phonics (within the EYFS and Key Stage 1); reading for meaning and pleasure; writing for different purposes and audiences; handwriting and spelling; speaking and listening. Pupils progress in each of these skills as they move through the school.
We aim to foster a life-long passion for reading and an appreciation of literature in every child who walks through the doors of our school.
In the EYFS and Key Stage 1, we begin with the basics, teaching a well-structured synthetic phonics programme. This foundation provides the children with the essential skills they will need in order to become accomplished readers and writers.
Reading is taught both through shared reading of texts in class and reading in small groups; the school emphasises the importance of all children being literate and children are heard to read regularly in the Infant School. In the Junior School, pupils will study a wide range of ‘class reading’ texts, providing a holistic approach to their reading and writing
Targeted writing sessions consolidate emerging awareness of spelling, grammar and punctuation. These are spent working both independently and in small guided groups and are based around inspiring texts by well-respected children’s authors. Writing is closely linked to reading, using a wide range of text types to learn authorial intent and techniques.
Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk4Writing’ methods are introduced in the Reception year and continue through to Year 6, providing children with a core framework for absorbing stories and structuring many aspects of their writing.
We teach a cursive handwriting style from the very beginning, with our eventual aim being a fluid cursive script for every child.
Speaking and Listening opportunities are vast and varied across the school, with children taking part in a range of activities to enhance their conversational skills. Daily opportunities are given to interact with peers and adults; children are also encouraged to participate in assemblies, plays and our annual poetry recital competition.