We acknowledge the essential roles that spoken language and good listening skills play in children’s cognitive, social and linguistic development. We understand that language structures thought and that spoken language therefore underpins core learning skills, including those fundamentally of reading and writing, which give a child access to the whole curriculum. We therefore consider all spoken language which takes place during school to be of fundamental value in promoting learning, leading to understanding in all subject areas. For this reason, we strive to develop each child’s confidence and competence in spoken English and attendant listening skills.
We integrate the development of spoken language and listening skills throughout the curriculum, appropriately and cumulatively as each child moves through the school. Teachers and other adults model effective use of language in all interactions and within these vital learning relationships, children learn to listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers, learn to question to extend their understanding and knowledge and articulate answers, arguments and opinions. Through carefully structured teacher-led discussion, children learn to give descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings. Through the sustained interaction with the modelling adult, children learn how to maintain attention and participate actively in collaborative conversations, staying on topic and initiating and responding to comments. As they progress through the school, children are given opportunities through subject content to use spoken language to develop understanding through speculating, hypothesising, imagining and exploring ideas. Through regular pair work, group work, role play, debate and class discussion, children learn to speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English. These opportunities allow them to gain, maintain and monitor the interest of the listener, take turns speaking, consider and evaluate different viewpoints, attend to and build on the contributions of others and select and use appropriate registers for effective communication. In addition, children are given opportunities to take on various roles, such as positions of responsibility within the school, (e.g. house captains), preparing and presenting collective worship, speeches and performances, all of which develop their confidence and competence in spoken English.
Our children will enjoy using language for a variety of purposes and different audiences. They will understand that language conveys meaning and helps us to make sense of our experience. Our children will be able to use language as a tool, to help them to think and learn, to express thoughts and feelings, to communicate understanding and ask for help, to build social relationships and a concept of self that is confident and competent. They will feel equipped and enabled to access the more demanding curriculum of secondary school, developing further the skills they need to become independent, lifelong learners and productive members of society.
At CSPA we quite simply aim for our children to enjoy writing. By encouraging the pupils to regard themselves as individual authors who have the freedom to express themselves and their ideas, they can take their reader on an intended journey. Building upon previous knowledge and developing further necessary skills helps them to achieve this, preparing them for a successful transition to the next chapter of their learning. Writing is an essential life skill and we intend for our children to be able to confidently express their ideas, understanding and knowledge. Our CSPA pupils are proud of their writing, learning the importance of planning, drafting and editing to produce their best efforts. We want them to use a range of vocabulary, different writing techniques, sentence structure, punctuation and genre. The joy and wonder of creating your own writing by picking up a pen and sharing it, is a pleasure we want everyone to experience.
We think that it is vital to use a variety of high quality stimuli to engage the children and capture their imagination creating an exciting writing environment. A range of texts such as picture books to more complex chapter books, films, artefacts, poems, life experiences etc are vital to both model and encourage competent writing. The children are exposed to a variety of different types of writing both non-fiction and fiction eg recounts, news reports, poems, persuasive arguments and creative writing. We encourage the awareness of the important link between reading and writing wanting the children to be aware of the purpose of their writing efforts. We also develop the children’s knowledge and application of spellings, the importance of handwriting and the celebration of creative outcomes. Cross curricular links are made to further add depth and meaning to the children’s writing.
We want our children to not only perform to the best of their ability in assessments showcasing their talents but also to want to write with enthusiasm and confidence. A CSPA writer will be excited to develop and create their piece of writing independently and as a group member. They will be able to explain their thinking about their choices and purpose for writing, using a wide range of vocabulary and punctuation. There will be an understanding of how important it is to be a writer but above all what a privilege it is to be a writer.
Reading is essential in our modern society and shapes us as learners and critical thinkers. Learning to read and reading to learn is the key to unlocking all areas of the curriculum and is the foundation for the future educational success that we want for all of our children at CSPA.
Ability to read well and widely is a most powerful tool. Reading feeds their imagination and opens them up to many new worlds – history, geography, characters, situations and emotions that they may not encounter in real life. We strive for all of our children to discover the magic in reading, develop an appreciation for and love of reading and instill the habit of reading for pleasure.
We provide a rich reading culture for all children in our school. Through effective teaching and intervention, children are equipped with the essential skills to ensure that they become competent readers. In lessons teachers focus on the development of vocabulary, comprehension skills and the immersion in a wide range of high-quality texts. These lessons also enable children to experience the thrill and enjoyment of books as well as experiencing times, places and situations outside of their experience. Each year group works on a variety of texts such as mystery stories, poetry, adventure stories and non fiction. Spelling, grammar and punctuation are also taught from the texts making the content more meaningful and accessible. This enjoyment in reading is further demonstrated by weekly reading aloud of shared guided reading texts and Bug Club group readers or other on screen texts.
Children have access to a wide range of books in year group libraries and are supported in early KS2 by our new Oxford Reading Tree Scheme books. Bug Club independent enables additional reading material to be accessed online by children with a range of incentives such as ‘rewards’ and questions so that teachers can access their engagement.
(Pre/Post Covid restrictions) - Book Fairs are run twice annually to allow parents and children to browse and purchase books with an excellent rate of commission for the school in new books. We also have Amazon wish lists for each year group in place and receive generous contributions from parents in this respect.
Famous children’s authors are invited into school, such as Valerie Bloom and Josh Lacey to inspire them and encourage interaction with a current writer as well as enabling children to purchase their signed books.
Ultimately, reading is a crucial component to children’s future educational success in all subjects and achievements in life. By providing the foundations we are opening them up to opportunities and possibilities.
Children at CSPA perform well in statutory tests in reading and importantly emerge as competent readers equipped to cope with their future education and lifestyles.
We also hope to instill a love of reading for life so that children will enjoy the power of books throughout their future, to enrich their experiences, empower their imagination and broaden their skills and knowledge.