At Our Lady of Lourdes we have a clear vision which supports our children in the development of their understanding of English. Our pupils are offered a varied and engaging curriculum to inspire them and promote new skills. The love of reading is fostered, the art of speaking and listening is promoted and the enjoyment of writing is developed. All of these help us to support our children in using literature and the world around them to further themselves. The skills we harness from our language activities facilitate our children to become valued members of the community.
Reading and writing are taught closely to ensure the children recognise the links between the two and are able to transfer their skills accordingly. We provide the children with exposure to quality texts, often with cross curricular links, and opportunities to explore the language and writing techniques of a range of authors.
Reading is an essential part of everyday life at Our Lady of Lourdes. The children study and explore texts as a class, in groups and as individuals. The choice of texts allow the children to meet characters from a range of stories, settings from around the world and themes that allow for empathy and understanding. At class level the children will look at the strategies chosen by an author, as well as exploring why these techniques reach the intended audience. In guided reading sessions they both ask and answer questions on a text, as well as discuss the ways the story makes us feel. Through their individual reading the children can broaden their vocabulary.
Writing skills are taught throughout the school to support the children to become independent writers. From Reception, where key vocabulary and words are used to create simple sentences, the children understand the principles of writing and how to use their reading to harness their own skills. As the children move through the school, we use guided and modelled writing to explore how they can best express their ideas, exchange opinions and apply high level vocabulary to their work. The children are immersed in a variety of genres and tasked with producing work linked to their study in class and applying the range of skills they have. We provide opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors.
Speaking and Listening
Through role play, discussion and debate the children at Our Lady of Lourdes recognise the importance of using their voice to express themselves. This is a vital component in establishing themselves as individual people. They are asked to speak about the characters and themes within a text they are studying, as well as using their gift of speech to share and communicate with their peers. These skills will be prominent in their lives beyond our school.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
Children are taught the correct terms needed to talk about language used in a given text. They are asked to identify components of sentences, as well as apply these to their own work. We place great value on the importance of accurate spelling and teach strategies to assist them. We teach the children how correct punctuation and grammar can combine their English skills.