Here at The Howard we develop and engender a Love of Reading, Writing and Communicating.
We recognise the essential nature of English both as a subject in its own right and as the key to learning in all areas of the curriculum.
Language development is one of the most important aspects of the curriculum as it is the basis of communication and learning.
Speaking and listening, reading, writing, grammar, punctuation and spelling are all areas we aim to develop to very high standards by providing a rich and stimulating environment with varied resources and use of a range of media: books, pictures, games, discussions, websites, stories, poetry and drama.
Great emphasis is laid upon the teaching of reading and a variety of teaching methods and approaches are used to encourage and motivate children’s learning, developing skills and fostering a love of books from their earliest days at school. In our literate classrooms, children become confident in their growing ability to handle books, texts and literature of all kinds.
The children’s reading ability is assessed in a variety of ways from on-going formative teacher assessment to standardised tests for children in Year 2 to Year 6. This helps us to plan the next stage in their reading journey and to ensure that the children leave us as fluent readers by the end of Year 6. Children are given a Home/School reading diary and an individual reading book to read at home with parents as part of our Homework policy. We encourage our children to read at least five times per week at home. School library books are also available for the children from our extensive, well-stocked school libraries. We also encourage a love of reading by organising book related theme days and other activities and initiatives that reward children for reading.
Children are encouraged to speak clearly, thoughtfully and confidently. Discussion of work, different issues and current events with the teacher and with other children enables each child to assemble their thoughts, to express themselves with clarity and to develop logical debating skills. They are also encouraged to speak publicly in a variety of different situations such as school productions and Church services.
The children are given many opportunities to develop language skills through a multiplicity of writing experiences. Common words and spelling in word families are taught, revised and tested regularly. Weekly “spellings” will form part of your child’s homework from Year 1 upwards.
Handwriting and spelling are closely linked and it is important that handwriting is properly taught with letters formed correctly. Our handwriting policy is to encourage all children from entry to develop neat, legible handwriting.
As a MAT, we understand the importance of exposing our children to a wide range of quality literature. Together, we have created a TSSMAT Reading Spine which is progressive, challenging and immersive. We believe that basing learning around a quality text, linked to a theme or topic, provides the best learning experiences. Using the 'Reading as a Writer' and 'Writing as a Reader' mantra improves outcomes and enjoyment for all pupils.
All of the texts in our spine have been carefully selected using recommendations from Doug Lemov's 'Reading Reconsidered', Pie Corbett's Books Spine and Books for Topics Recommended Reads, along with some of our own favourites, to ensure that pupils leave our schools with a wide reading repetoire, and maximum readiness for the next stage of their learning journey.