The English curriculum comprises key areas of speaking & listening, reading and writing (including handwriting) and spelling. At Seaham Trinity Primary School we aim to develop children’s understanding and learning across all of these areas, enabling them to become confident users of English.
Our aim is for children to learn the skills of Literacy through stimulating, challenging activities and to apply these skills in a range of contexts. Children are given opportunities to become confident speakers, active listeners, develop their powers of imagination and critical thinking and read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding.
Speaking & Listening
Speaking & Listening skills develop oral fluency, expression and pronunciation. Our children are provided with a range of opportunities to develop these skills within their daily Literacy lessons, through drama activities such as hot-seating and conscience alley, reciting and performing in class and during assembly time, through debate and discussion and during circle time for PSHCE. Each Friday during celebration assembly, children may be offered the opportunity to present their own work to their peers.
We believe reading should be a positive experience for every child and at Seaham Trinity we want our children to foster a pleasure for reading which is taken through childhood and into later years. Reading is taught across the curriculum through shared reading in class, guided and reciprocal reading sessions and reading aloud to children.
“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
‘Matilda’ by Roald Dahl
The teaching of reading begins by helping children tune into the sounds around them and develop an awareness that letters represent sounds which go together to make words. Alongside this, children are taught ‘tricky words’ which occur frequently but cannot be sounded out phonetically. Once the children begin reading independently, they are given levelled books from published reading schemes to supplement their free choice books, building their sight vocabulary. When children are competent readers, they have access to a wider range of texts and genres. Children’s book choices are monitored by the class teacher to ensure they continue to be challenged with their reading.
For the teaching of phonic skills, we follow the Read Write Inc Phonics and then Read Write Inc Spelling programmes in school.
Staff are expected to be reading role models who demonstrate and encourage a love for reading, through engaging children in class texts. Children have access to a wide variety of reading materials in class reading areas, the school library, structured reading sets and featured texts used in Literacy teaching. Events such as World Book Day and our visiting Book Fair help to highlight and promote a love for reading.
Progress in reading for every child is tracked carefully using both formative and summative assessments, ensuring that each child is supported and challenged at their appropriate level. Intervention sessions are put in place for those children who require further or additional support with their reading.
We believe all our children should be given the opportunities to write with confidence, fluency and understanding.
By the end of their time in primary school, we hope our children will have an interest in words and their meanings; know and be able to write in a range of genres in fiction, non- fiction and poetry; be able to plan, draft and edit their own writing and have developed their powers of imagination and critical thinking through writing.
Teachers and support staff will work together to plan, deliver and moderate written work in order to ensure that expectations remain high and that children are able to achieve the best of their ability.
Literacy lessons are taught daily and specific Literacy skills are also practised regularly through other areas of the curriculum, for example, geography, history, science etc.
Children will write for a range of purposes under the guidance of their class teacher who will use a varied range of teaching strategies including demonstration, modelling, explanation, questioning, discussion and collaborative learning.
Children’s progress will be monitored regularly through formative and summative assessment. These assessments inform future planning and support to improve the quality of teaching and learning for all children.
Our Literacy Co-ordinator is Mrs Cowgill.