English at Denbigh Primary School
Reading and Spelling
At Denbigh Primary School we have a systematic approach to the teaching of reading and spelling, using the Read Write Inc scheme. From reception onwards, children are taught to recognise and write letters and make links between letters (graphemes) and sounds (phonemes) in order to read words. Common words that cannot be sounded out are taught alongside the programme, in order to ensure children know these words by sight. These are referred to as red words. Children are assessed every half-term and placed in small groups at the appropriate level, to ensure that they make the maximum amount of progress. For more information on the Read Write Inc (RWInc) programme, please visit www.ruthmiskin.com and click on the parents tab.
Comprehension skills are a key part of the Read Write Inc scheme and further up the school these skills are also developed through weekly comprehension lessons, daily guided reading sessions, one-to-one reading sessions and the sharing of a class novel. We have two very well-resourced libraries and children take quizzes on the books they read to check their understanding. Pupils are encouraged to take reading and library books home every evening and we ask families to listen to the child read at least three times a week.
The development of writing skills is a key priority for the school. In the lower school, writing is incorporated within Read Write Inc lessons and children are taught to write in a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres during weekly additional English lessons. In the upper school, children follow the Literacy and Language programme which is the follow on Literacy and Language scheme from RWInc. Literacy and Language covers a variety of reading and writing skills using exciting and engaging texts as a starting point. Within these lessons pupils are taught to recognise the features of different texts and practise the relevant skills. We assess writing at the end of each term and children are given the opportunity to evaluate their own progress and identify areas for development. Children are given individual writing targets based on these assessments and feedback from teachers. For more information on the Literacy and Language programme please visit www.ruthmiskin.com and click on the resources tab.
Writing skills are further developed through homework and learning log tasks, there are also regular opportunities for cross-curricular writing in IPC (International Primary Curriculum) lessons.
We take pride in the presentation of our work at Denbigh and children are taught to develop their handwriting skills through a variety of exercises, activities and homework tasks.
Speaking and Listening
As a school in which many of the pupils speak English as an additional language, the development of speaking and listening skills is essential to learning across the curriculum. Consequently, opportunities for paired and group discussions, focused speaking activities and drama-based tasks are built into most lessons. As well as this, each class has the opportunity to perform a poem to the school and parents during a assembly.
Grammar is now assessed at the end of each Key Stage with a formal SATs paper and is an important part of English at Denbigh. It is taught daily and children have the opportunity to practise their skills through both written and oral activities.