At St Swithun’s, we follow the statutory objectives of the National English Curriculum. We believe that the development of skills in reading, writing and spoken language is integral to the teaching of every curriculum subject. Our aim is to ensure our children are able to communicate fluently and competently so that they may share their thoughts and ideas with others.
Throughout our English curriculum we teach: reading, spelling and phonics, handwriting, punctuation, grammar, vocabulary development, construction of sentences and organisation of whole tests.
Children are provided with opportunities throughout the week to read with an adult as well as time to enjoy texts individually in order to develop their love of reading. There is a well-resourced, welcoming and well used library with break time, lunchtime and afterschool access in addition to class library slots. All Library books are coded to match the reading levels that are used in school. Weekly reading lessons take place, driven by the standards set out in the National Curriculum. At St Swithun’s we follow the DfE Letters and Sounds Phonic Scheme to introduce our children to phonics. We complement this with varied inside and outside activities that enthuse and engage our children.
Our main goal is to foster a lifelong love of reading. We use a variety of reading schemes which supplement each other. These are Bug Club, Rigby, Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat. All are colour encoded to ensure smooth progression and a variety of choices for the pupils.
Writing is taught through a cross-curricular approach centred on the current topic of that term. In literacy lessons, children will focus on the writing skills and techniques that are a focus of the primary curriculum. They will also work on editing, improving and redrafting work. Opportunities are provided for children to apply their written skills in a range of relevant and purposeful scenarios within literacy and across the curriculum and children are proud to share their work. Throughout all subjects, a strong emphasis is placed on the correct use of spelling, punctuation and grammar.
Handwriting is taught daily and has been embedded into the teaching of phonics and spelling across the school. Children are awarded ‘pen-licences’ when they demonstrate consistent and prolonged use of the correct and neat handwriting script. We teach cursive handwriting right across the school; these links show how to form the letters and how the letters join.
We strive to equip our pupils with the necessary literacy skills so that they may be successful throughout their lives.
The expectations of what the children should achieve by the end of each year group can be found on the curriculum overview page.