The study of English at St Mary’s Hare Park starts with our youngest pupils in Nursery and Reception who begin their learning journey with daily Phonics lessons to teach them how to read, write and spell.
English lessons are cross-curricular in order to enthuse and develop inter-connected lessons that capture pupils’ imaginations. Planned opportunities during lessons allow for class discussions and exploration of higher order questions or thoughts which arise from our pupils themselves.
At St Mary’s Hare Park we use the Jolly Phonics programme. Pupils from Nursery to Year 2 are taught to recognise letters, understand the sound they make and then blend them together to create words. Some words, which cannot be phonetically sounded out, are taught at each phase. These are ‘tricky words’ and are taught through sight recognition.
From Year 1, pupils are encouraged to become confident readers and weekly spelling tests focus on ‘high frequency’ words and spelling patterns. The importance of neat handwriting and presentation skills is instilled from an early age and Students learn to write using a pre-cursive script.
Pupils at St Mary’s Hare Park are involved in several English lessons each week. They enjoy Comprehension lessons, Grammar and Punctuation lessons, Creative Writing lessons and a weekly spelling test. Pupils learn to write in a variety of genres and develop their use of inference and deduction in Comprehension.
English is divided into three main topics; Narrative: plays and scripts, Non-fiction and Poetry. Within each main topic several themes and topics are covered: stories with historical settings, stories set in imaginary worlds, information texts, newspapers and reports are just a few of the exciting topics we explore.
As well as Reading and writing, our English curriculum involves the development of children’s speaking and listening skills. This is developed through a range of activities such as, making a clear and convincing argument, asking for / providing clarification / explanation, group discussions, expressing ideas, as well as presenting information to a range of audiences.
Pupils take part in weekly Drama lessons with our Drama specialist and LAMDA teacher, Mrs Martin and these lessons also support the development of spoken language, articulation and confidence building.
Pupils at St Mary’s Hare Park take part in a range of Reading activities daily. These can vary from oral storytelling, learning and reciting poetry, library sessions, whole class shared reading, guided reading and story time.
We promote an enjoyment for Reading through regular opportunities to read and choosing books from the School Library. Our library is an exciting learning hub where pupils can use iPads to access an online reading platform with a range of genres to support cross-curricular learning and develop linguistic knowledge through a range of e-books including bilingual titles.