The Development of children’s language occupies a very important place in our school curriculum; it is at the heart of all that we do in school. It unites the important skills of reading and writing and incorporates the essential skills of speaking and listening. The importance of parents in helping children develop literacy skills, particularly reading cannot be overstated.
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In the Key Stage One Unit children will have lots of stories, poems and rhymes read to them. They will also have individual time with their Teachers and Senior Teaching Assistants to read books together which will encourage a love of books. Children will also have daily phonic – (sound) – activities and games which are fun and further develop reading skills. When they are able to read with some confidence children will take part in guided group reading which will develop their comprehension and more advanced reading skills.
Writing things down requires many skills. Children are actively encouraged to ‘talk’ through their thoughts with the teacher, deciding on what to say and how to say it and then initially to write with the teachers assistance and given time to practice and then when ready, encouraged to write independently with the ultimate aim of writing freely with imagination and enjoyment.
Spelling skills are taught alongside reading and writing. Drama is often used prior to writing down as it helps in the development of imagination and fluency of speech.
Children are encouraged to contribute to group discussions and to talk about their experiences, feelings and observations. Stimulating activities and situations are provided in order to develop and extend this skill.
It is equally important for children to learn to listen carefully with concentration and understanding. Incidental and planned discussions take place. Through the use of “talk partners” children are encouraged to listen to each other and they become familiar with the interaction of conversation.