From an early age, the children at SMSP are immersed in a wide range of activities that foster a love of language and literature and enable them to express themselves articulately and creatively. We aim to develop children who are confident in the use of English in the areas of reading, writing and speaking and listening.
Reading is the vital link for children to become engaged and confident writers. The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions: word reading and comprehension,when both listening and reading. Children are taught to read using a combination of phonic and whole word approaches, using shared and guided strategies. Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. Underpinning both is the understanding that the letters on the page represent the sounds in spoken words. This is why at SMSP phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners when they start school. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme outlined by the Department for Education and supplement this with a range of resources from similar schemes.
At SMSP we foster a love of reading and actively encourage all children to read widely across a range of genres and authors from an early age through shared reading in class, individual reading and guided reading. As they progress through the school, the children are gradually introduced to a range of comprehension skills which allow them to interpret meaning from a text beyond its literal sense. Shared reading is an integral part of learning and enables our pupils to develop deeper comprehension skills, increase their linguistic knowledge and gain a better understanding of grammar. The children are also encouraged to consider why an author would use a range of literary devices to create certain effects. Through participating in these reading activities, our children acquire an appreciation and understanding of how writing techniques can be used by an author to engage the reader. With guidance, they work towards incorporating the ideas and strategies they have learnt through their reading into their own writing. The reading skills practised allow all pupils to read fluently and with confidence in all subjects
Spelling is developed alongside writing and children are encouraged to use a variety of strategies to help them. We use Letters and Sounds in the early stages, to develop phonic skills, and a spelling scheme built on these principles is used across the school.
Children are introduced to a joined script and by the end of KS1 are expected to be using it on a regular basis with practice continuing into KS2. Handwriting is taught as a skill, with an emphasis placed upon the careful presentation of work.
Children are given the opportunity to participate in a range of activities – including role play, drama, performance poetry, presentational tasks and organised debates – which allow them to progressively develop their communication skills. These activities promote the children’s ability to listen attentively; to learn how to take turns in conversation; to respect and consider the views of others; and to put forward their own considered viewpoints. All children at SMSP are supported and encouraged to develop their ability to express themselves with confidence and fluency in a variety of situations and contexts.