At Medlock Primary, we recognise that language is a key building block in children’s development and we aim to equip each and every pupil with the literacy skills they need. This enables them to enjoy reading for knowledge, as well as pleasure and enjoyment, and to write with a sense of purpose and audience. We also encourage our children to express themselves effectively and to listen and learn from each other.
As well as a school library, each class has an inviting book corner, which reflects current topics and reading interests. The school has reading schemes for beginning readers as well as ‘Accelerated Reader’ for children in Years 4-6. These are the books that the children will read independently both at school and at home. Guided reading takes place daily; for the children; these sessions include a mixture of teacher-led and teaching assistant-led group work, as well as preparatory and follow-up activities linked to the current book that the group is reading. The other sessions will focus on consolidating phonics learning or comprehension skills depending on your child’s reading level.
Throughout the year, parents and carers will be invited to take part in workshops to support further learning at home, for example looking at how phonics is taught and how it can be used to support children with their reading. Parents will also be introduced to activities for supporting spelling and writing and questioning strategies when sharing a book. Reading with your child every day or encouraging independent reading (for a minimum of twenty minutes) hugely improves their reading success and this is something we actively encourage at Medlock.
Through daily lessons, children learn the essentials of the English language such as phonics, spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence construction, together with the skills to help them shape and organise texts. Through access to quality texts the children learn to imitate, innovate and then independently create their own stories and non-fiction texts. However, English is not just taught as discrete lessons but rather the skills taught are central to every subject across the curriculum and are reinforced for the children throughout the curriculum. We try to make learning fun and relevant by linking activities and experiences to other areas of the curriculum such as history, geography or science. Each year group has a different topic for each term and, wherever possible, teachers are encouraged to find fiction and non-fiction work linked to their topic area. We also use paintings and music as a stimulus for storytelling, writing and performance
At Medlock we further promote a love of English in many ways throughout school, for example during themed projects, such as our World War One Festival and World Book Day. We also promote a love of English through sharing oral stories and presenting to other classes and in assemblies and in our year group performances. In the library alongside the published books we have work created by the children so that they can write for a particular purpose and audience and celebrate their successes and those of others.
In the Foundation Stage development of English is central to every aspect of teaching and throughout their environment.We give all children the opportunity to talk and communicate in a widening range of situations, to respond to adults and to each other, to listen carefully, and to practise and extend their range of vocabulary and communication skills. This is modelledfurther during ‘milk and fruit time’ and during SEAL sessions. Children have the opportunity to explore, enjoy, learn about, and use words and text in a range of situations. Each day, there is a literacy-focused carpet session, which is then supported and enhanced by reading and writing activities-within the areas. Each morning phonics sessions teach children how to segment and blend in order to support their reading. Reading opportunities are rich within the environment and books are shared in a variety of ways within the unit; guided reading sessions happen twice weekly for our children in Reception.
At Medlock Primary, children are taught to listen well, speak clearly, read enthusiastically and write effectively for a wide range of purposes and audience. Children are supported and encouraged as they learn to express themselves creatively and imaginatively on their way to becoming enthusiastic and independent learners.