The schools language policy covers the three main programmes of study - speaking and listening, reading and writing. We follow the Governments Literacy Hour strategy and work to provide a balanced and challenging programme of study.
Speaking and Listening
Children need to understand the varied uses of our language as it is essential for all learning activities. They need to learn to speak clearly and to listen to the teacher and to each other. They need to respond to instructions which will increase in complexity. Oral communication permeates all the work done in school. Poetry and drama are included as part of the cross curricular approach and children are encouraged to describe events, discuss and retell stories as well as to give and receive instructions. In the junior department they will be given opportunities to express personal opinions and should have developed into confident and careful listeners.
The school aims to teach all children to read fluently with enjoyment and understanding. We endeavour to create a literary environment where reading skills can be developed and extended to all children. The children are taught a range of strategies to help them become independent learners including word recognition, and the use of phonics, context and picture cues. They are able to bring home supplementary reading books and once a week can choose a book from our library. As they become more competent readers accuracy and expression is emphasised. The use of reading records and personal reading is encouraged in addition to the guided reading sessions.
At Fern Hill we have created the '100 Book Challenge'. This is a list of 100 age related recommended reads from our teachers for the children. There is a separate list for children in Years 1 & 2, 3 & 4 and 5 & 6 and they are available to download from here.
For more detailed information about how we teach reading at Fern Hill, please click here.
Good practice involves children writing for a variety of purposes. Cursive writing is taught because it helps children to join up their writing at an early stage. This aids accurate spacing of words and letters. This style also encourages accurate spelling. To begin with children do writing patterns, gradually learning the correct way to form letters.
The skills of punctuation and spelling are introduced into all written work and computer word processing packages and are useful aids. Children are encouraged to spell accurately and from Year 2, spelling lists will be sent home. Children are taught to draft and re-draft written pieces of fiction and non-fiction, and given the experience of writing prose, poetry, letters and descriptions.