St Columba’s School mission is to foster ‘Christ’s teaching of love, peace and justice at the heart of all we do.’ We strive to help our children use God’s gifts to develop themselves and to serve others as they grow and learn.
It is the intention in the teaching of English to provide a curriculum that is accessible to all and that will promote enquiring minds. Here at St Columba’s we invest in a cultural capital so that our children are prepared for the next stage in their lives as they develop.
It is our intent to deliver an innovative English curriculum which enables and empowers children’s oral and written communication and creativity.
English Curriculum components:
Handwriting: we teach children to form letters correctly - leading to legible, fluent joined handwriting which is performed at good speed.
Spelling and Grammar: Children are taught to write grammatically correctly and spell accurately through the use of their knowledge of letters and sounds, using their growing knowledge of the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure).
Vocabulary: Children learn to understand the relationship between word and meaning and use high level, ambitious vocabulary when writing and speaking. Children are taught key vocabulary and technical words along with ‘tier two’ vocabulary widening words. Research show that people with greater vocabulary do better through their ability to express themselves more clearly. We encourage our children to develop their language skills with deepening levels of independence and resilience.
Composition of Writing: This encourages the children to form and articulate their ideas whilst communicating with their reader. They will learn how to organise their writing in a coherent way. Writing supports creativity in thinking and plays an important role in underpinning how language works. English motivates children to make a personal response to what they have read and compels them to convey their personal response in what they write.
Reading: Our reading is unique to St. Columba’s school and it combines the use of different published schemes that are phonetically decodable and follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ documentation. They are namely from the following schemes: Big Cat, Floppy Phonics, Dandelion Readers, Songbirds. The texts increase in challenge and by the time the children are towards the end of their time in Key Stage One they are ready to move on to ‘real’ books and are supported with their reading through the use of ‘Accelerated Reader’. The use of ‘Accelerated Reader’ continues into Key Stage Two and over time children are exposed to a widening range of authors, themes and genres, all of which help to broaden and enrich each child’s vocabulary, understanding and knowledge. Children participate in reading every day and each class focuses on core texts along with ample opportunities for them to read for sheer pleasure. Children’s reading for pleasure is promoted through enabling them access to age appropriate reading material online through the use of ‘Reading Eggs’ and ‘MyON’.
High quality education in English teaches pupils to speak and write fluently so they can communicate their ideas clearly and therefore participate fully as a member of society.
There is no ceiling on what our children can learn and where their learning can take them. Lessons are planned to deliver learning at a level of desirable difficulty so children are sufficiently challenged and engaged in learning that they find purposeful and which they enjoy.
We hope that the resources below will be of use to you in supporting your child with their Phonics.
Teach Your Monster to Read: https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/
Phonics Play: https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/freeIndex.htm
Family Learning: http://www.familylearning.org.uk/phonics_games.html
Letters and Sounds: http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/