Our English learning and teaching aims to value and develop each child’s language skills whilst planning learning experiences that are tailored to suit our children’s needs. Through the use of the Primary National Strategy for English, the children are exposed to a range of text-types within their English lessons. The lessons are planned with our children’s needs and interests in mind.
Reading is an important focus at Rosetta. We want all of our children to be able to effectively engage with all area of the curriculum and reading is an essential skill to do this well.
Children at Rosetta are taught phonics using the Department for Education’s Letters and Sounds Guidance and high quality resources. Phonic skills are essential for the decoding of and spelling of words. The children are taught to discriminate and produce sounds of speech, to develop their knowledge of spelling patterns and how to apply grammar rules during regular, systematic and enjoyable sessions. It is our aim that by the end of Key Stage 1 the children will have developed fluent word reading skills and have a good foundation in spelling.
Other aspects of reading are developed during daily Guided Reading sessions. Key Stage 1 and year 3 have additional adults (Reading Team) in class during the guided reading sessions to ensure that each child is heard to read daily. The children at Rosetta are encouraged to read at home daily and have a Reading Record book to record the reading that they do at home. We have recently purchased a wide range of new reading books to match the needs and interests of the children at Rosetta. We want our children to become proficient readers to enable them to access all areas of the curriculum and so that the children can develop a lifelong passion for reading.
In March, we will be holding a ‘Reading Month’ where we will be hosting a book fair; introducing a new reading reward scheme; taking part in an ‘Everybody Writes Day’, whose theme will linked to reading; and where classes will participate in reading activities regularly throughout the month.
At Rosetta, it is our aim for the children to understand and develop the skills needed to create coherent and increasingly complex sentences and pieces of writing, according to their ability. We aim to teach these skills through providing experiences, writing opportunities and lessons which engage and excite our children to write whilst also opening them up to experience and value different cultures, history and the world around them.
All classes within the school have a bright and attractive VCOP board that is used to help the children develop their use of Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation through explicit teaching in English lessons. This knowledge is then used and applied during lessons throughout the curriculum. All of our VCOP boards feature the VCOP monsters that were designed and developed through a competition that was held for the children. A VCOP information document has been produced to support parents/carers in using VCOP at home with their children; this was given out and explained at the last parent/carer consultation meetings for parents in Years 5 & 6, and we will be looking for opportunities to deliver the same opportunity to parents across the school.
At Rosetta we are pleased to say that we have termly “Everybody Writes Days”. These are days when the whole school gets involved in a ‘hook’ which can include dressing up and taking part in fun and exciting activities that we use as a focus for writing. Everybody involved, enjoys these days and the children produce excellent writing work as a result of the planned activities. Some work from these days can be seen displayed in the South Hall and in all 3 corridors in the school. Everybody Writes Days are well supported by the parents/carers who make a fantastic effort to dress their children up for the themed days or enthusiastically encourage their children to look forward to the day. Watch out for news of the next exciting Everybody Writes Day or check out our past Everybody Writes Days at the bottom of this page!
Our children are taught handwriting through the use of the Nelson Handwriting programme. The children are encouraged to write neatly and present their work to a high standard in all curriculum areas. Early attempts at writing are always encouraged and praised. Children that have learnt the Nelson handwriting style and have developed their own consistently neat style of writing are awarded a pen license. These children are then given a special pen to use for their writing. Neatly presented work is an expectation in all areas of the curriculum.
Speaking and Listening
Having good communication skills are an important life skill and enable the children better access to all areas of the curriculum. For this reason, we at Rosetta, have a weekly speaking and listening focus. The weekly focus is displayed in the classrooms and is used to encourage the children to speak standard English and to listen well. The children have responded well to the weekly focuses and try hard to think about how they are speaking and listening. Some children have even told us that they are correcting siblings and other family members at home. Speaking and listening skills are also taught and integrated into our English lessons where speaking frames are used when necessary to help children formulate appropriate and well-structured verbal responses as well as ‘good’ listening skills being referred to and encouraged within lessons.
In order to make the most of our time at school, keep the children engaged, and prepare them so they are ready to learn, during morning and afternoon registration, all classes across the school take part in some form of ‘Snappy Starter’ which is usually English or basic skills based. These activities will run alongside the registration process, which in itself teaches the children how to take part in an independent task whilst actively listening. For children across the school, it is a great opportunity to consolidate aspects of their grammar and punctuation learning, outside of their English lessons.
ICT within English learning
This academic year we are lucky to have gained a new learning space within the school called, ‘The Techzone’. This space is designed to not just be used for individual ICT lessons; however, it has been designed specifically so that cross curricular learning can take place and ICT can be taught throughout the curriculum and is not isolated to an ICT lesson. Within English we use ICT regularly in our lessons and in many different ways, whether it be simply to type up our work; use the internet to research and find out information; produce comic strips of our stories; film drama and role-play activities; create animated stories; or build a ‘WeDo Lego’ construction and write instructions for its creation. Already this year, classes across the school have had fun using ICT in all of these ways, and more, in our English lessons.
Oxford Owl - This is an excellent website to find guidance and support from experts for phonics and reading.
Learn English Kids - This is a good website with lots of useful links for children who are learning English.
If you find a great and useful website that we don’t know about, let us know so we can share it with other parents, carers, children and families. If parents or carers have any questions relating to English at Rosetta please see Miss Smee or Mrs Sayers.