At St Barnabas and St Paul’s, we follow the National Curriculum Programmes of Study for Key Stage One and Two. It states: English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. It places importance on all the skills of language, which are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
We aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and develop children’s love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
The National Curriculum focus on two dimensions for reading:
- word reading
- comprehension (both listening and reading).
Teaching at St Barnabas and St Paul’s focuses on developing pupils’ competence in both dimensions. 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 phonics is effective in the teaching of early reading.
Good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge (in particular of vocabulary and grammar) and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. We seek to establish an appreciation and love of reading as we know that reading widely increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.
“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places that you will go.” Dr Seuss