Hall MeadowPrimary School

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We place the development of English at the heart of our curriculum. We teach listening, speaking, reading and writing as an integral aspect of our work. Skills are taught in an integrated way as well as discretely as separate subjects when required. An English lesson is timetabled on a daily basis for all year groups and we promote the skills across all other areas.

The children's learning journey begins with communication. The children learn to interact with others through usual classroom routines and are facilitated in developing competent speech patterns, including grammatical knowledge, by the adults who support them. The skills of listening and speaking are also taught through drama, philosophy for children and opportunities to present.

We employ four approaches to developing the children's reading skills, semantic, phonic, syntax and visual cues. In this respect, the children learn to look at meaning, relate sounds to letters, consider how words and phrases are formed and identify high-frequency words. Children are encouraged to discuss texts and express an opinion about what they read. They are also actively engaged in the assessment of their progress. Reading is placed at the centre of many curriculum areas and we use a lead text approach as a stimulus for other areas of the curriculum. Reading from a text and screen are actively encouraged.

The skills associated with the writing process such as handwriting, spelling and grammar are taught in context as much as possbile. Where needed, this is supportive by discrete lessons such as a daily practice session for handwriting or a stuctured spelling lesson across the week. The children are given plenty of opportunities to make choices about the kind of things that they write about across a range of genres. They are also set challenges and encouraged to reflect on their improvement in relation to these. Drafting is a key component of the writing process and the children are expected to redraft and edit their work. They also become very proficient in reflecting on their learning and responding to adult and peer marking. The children comment on their own work in red pen and the adults mark in green pen. Creative writing opportunities and publishing work are promoted across all curriculuim areas.

Ways to Help at Home

Developing the children's speaking and listening skills is a crucial contribution that parents make to thier children's language development. In the busy routines of the day it is so easy to only communicate with our children using instructional language such as 'Get your coat please'. Children's language development is greatly enhanced when parents take the time to talk in depth and to encourage their child to elaborate on their thinking. We have a talk policy in school that is based on the principles of promoting book talk, life talk, enquiry talk and writers' talk.

If you would like more information about how you can support at home please use the download link in the sidebar for our Whole School Talk Policy (Word Document).

If your child is to make good progress in reading then it is imperative that they read on a daily basis. Books will be sent home regualrly from school but it is also important that the children read a range of material such as magazines, newspapers, poetry, fiction and non-fiction. Joining local book lending serves such as a library helps to promote children's interest. The following tips will help to support your child:

  • Read to your child regularly.
  • Let them see you reading.
  • Develop a routine for reading with your child that is calm, relaxed and encouraging. Older children also need to read with an adult.
  • Dads, don't forget that you can be a great role model for your children so try to find the time to read with them. This is particularly important for boys.
  • Encourage your child to look at pictures for clues (never cover them).
  • Reinforce phonics (the sounds that the letters make).
  • Ask your child to think about whether or not the word makes sense in language.
  • Point out the use of different punctuation and how text is positioned.
  • Practise being expressive with reading.
  • Ask your child to predict what might happen next.
  • Talk about the text, the characters and how the child feels about the text.
  • Remember that reading is not a race. It is extremely important for children to revisit familiar texts so that they develop confidence as fluent competent readers.
If you would like more information about how to support your child with reading please use the download link in the sidebar for our Reading Support Powerpoint.

Children need a lot of practice to develop competent writing skills. This begins with developing the hand strength to form letters correctly. Using clay, playdough, drawing, colouring, ball skills, cutting and construction all help to strengthen children's hands. A small period of time (up to five minutes) regularly practising letters or joins is really beneficial. Please do not allow children to practice writing in ballpoint pen. They should use a pencil, a handwriting pen or a fountain pen.

The best approach to supporting children with spelling is little and often. Ten minutes a day is much more beneficial than learning in a block of time. Encouraging the children to find different ways to memorise spelling patterns is really helpful. They can use colours, put actions to it, use rhymes - whatever helps them. Try to keep it fun and always encourage your child to speak or write the word in the context of a sentence. Try not to emphasise the number of spellings that your child gets right but focus on their capacity to use the word in their writing.

When the children are writing, it is helpful if someone briefly talks through a plan with them. It might also be useful to direct them towards vocabulary choices that they may not have thought of. Children tend to like a lot of control over the writing process so it helps if adults guide but interfere as little as possible. Let your child work independently, irrespective of their age, and encourage them to read through it for editing purposes once it is completed. The important thing is to avoid writing something out and getting your child to copy it.

English in the Wider World

The following web links will direct you towards a range of fun activities for your child to reinforce basic skills.

BBC Parent Support

www.literacytrust.org.uk

www.bbc.co.uk/schools/parents/

About Us

At Hall Meadow we promote achievement in all areas and from all members of our community. We respect and value each person as unique. We work together to create an active, caring and high quality environment that encourages self-sustaining lifelong learning.

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Teaching & Learning

We are a fully inclusive school, children are always at the centre of everything we do. The curriculum is innovative and provides maximum opportunities for intellectual, social and emotional development. The children study the National Curriculum through themes such as 'Keen to be Green'.

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Contact the School Office

Hall Meadow Primary School

Packer Road
Lake Avenue
Kettering
Northamptonshire
NN15 7RP
Phone : 01536 417627

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