By immersing pupils in rich literature, pupils develop a love of reading, and are equipped to have a strong command of the spoken and written word.
In English lessons, texts are chosen because of their literary value – exposing children to high level vocabulary, modelling well-structured grammar and enthusing children to engage with the text empathetically, creatively and emotionally. When reading, after learning to decode, children analyse a text using these skills: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanations, Retrieval and Sequencing/Summarising.
The texts are used as an inspiration for oracy and writing. Immersion in a text could include freeze-frames, role-play, hot-seating, drawing, dancing, discussions, debating and other enriching activities which equip children with a strong command of the written and spoken word. Story mapping, boxing up plans and model texts are aspects of ‘Talk for Writing’ implemented across all cohorts ensuring a familiar approach to teaching the skills of creative writing throughout the school. This means that children are equipped with these tools and can develop their skills when they change classes. Writing focuses on narrative, non-narrative and poetry. Discrete spelling, phonics, reading, grammar and handwriting lessons may go alongside English lessons depending on the age and stage of the pupils.
At Gamlingay Village Primary, we follow the spelling scheme ‘Spelling Shed’. The children are set weekly spelling activities which they are given opportunities to apply in their writing. Spelling Shed provides online activities which children can access at home and in the classroom.
We follow the Letter-Join approach to teaching handwriting from EYFS to Year 6. Around the school there are displays of writing to encourage pride in work, give purpose and audience and to show work is valued.
Our approach to phonics is systematic, consistent and rigorous in order that all children become readers as quickly as possible. Our phonics teaching is supplemented with access to phonics books matching GPCs that have been taught. We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonics programme.