English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society and at Sinai School.
The New National English Curriculum states;
“A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop
culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and
to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.”
The English Curriculum Programme of Study is divided into four main areas;
- Spoken language
- Spelling, vocabulary, grammar, punctuation and glossary
There are lots of ways that you can help your child at home: do make sure, for example, that you read frequently with your child, and support them with the current learning that’s taking place in school (check out the Weekly Year Newsletters and Homework). Below, you can find a description of National Curriculum levels and some practical ideas to help you support your child.
All children work at different levels in different subjects depending on their strengths. They also work at different rates: boys, for example, tend to increase their rate of progress in Key Stage 2.
When we refer to expectations, it’s important to remember this. At Sinai School, our teaching is based around the individual child: whilst we consider what the broad national ‘average’ would be, we also very closely consider personal targets and rates of progress. For example, a very able child is challenged to carry out work in a different way or at a different level. This way, all our pupils are expected to make good progress and achieve their potential.
At Sinai school we nurture children’s enjoyment of reading, as well as a strong focus on fluency and comprehension.
The children’s reading journey begins lower down the school with phonics, a system of teaching letters and their sounds in an order that enables children to grasp the basic fundamentals of reading. At Sinai we use the Department for Education’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme, alongside ‘Read Write Inc’, which is a whole-school literacy programme designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. The phonics programme progresses naturally to reading books, which the children take home. This begins as soon as each individual child is ready. At Sinai school we use the Collins Big Cat books, which follow the letters and sounds that the children are learning in their phonics lessons. From a young age, children are given a variety of fiction and non-fiction books to read to expose them to different genres.
Children progress through the reading levels at their own pace, taking into account not just mechanical reading but a good understanding and enjoyment of the books. From as early as the Foundation Stage (Nursery and Reception), children are encouraged to talk about what they have read, and their opinions on the stories and characters.
Higher up in the school we continue to emphasise progression in the children’s reading journey, both inside the classroom and out. We continue with home reading books and encourage pupils to read for pleasure. We also introduce guided reading sessions, which is an opportunity for children to read and respond to texts in a group setting. In addition, pupils complete regular written reading comprehensions, to help them become purposeful, active readers who are in control of their own understanding of what they read.
Examples of Pupils Writing