Literacy is an umbrella term for the skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening. These skills are fundamental to the educational, social and personal progress of our pupils and their ability to participate fully in 21st Century society.

Literacy remains a key focus within all subjects. Pupils are provided with opportunities to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through Literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum. Lessons are taught in literacy-rich environments and are enhanced through the use of digital technology, as we prepare to meet the changing pathways of communication and evolving definition of literacy.

We follow a systematic, synthetic phonics approach to teach the development of reading and also spelling skills.  The Letters and Sounds Programme is used and children work in a multi-sensory way. Phonics consists of knowledge of the skills of segmenting and blending phonemes, knowledge of the alphabetic code and an understanding of principles which underpin the code.  Our approach is fast-paced allowing excellent progress in the development of reading fluency and writing skills.  This approach continues throughout the Lower School and into Year 3.  The focus, once a child has mastered phonics, moves to establishing a firm knowledge of spelling patterns as well as grammar and punctuation to encourage fluent, accurate and willing writers.  

From Reception to 5, pupils are taught Literacy through an enquiry-based approach which ensures learning is child-centred, thought-provoking and purposeful. 

Spelling, grammar and punctuation underpin all aspects of our teaching and learning. Both discrete and contextualised approaches ensure pupils understand the structures and meaning of the English language. Pupils in Lower School benefit from daily phonics lessons following the Letters and Sounds Programme whilst pupils in the Prep School enjoy weekly spelling lessons using the No-Nonsense Spelling Programme additional resources.

Reading widely and for pleasure is strongly encouraged and from their earliest days in school, we aim to foster a love of reading and storytelling, while developing a lifelong appreciation of the power, beauty and utility of language. Our extensive library is used by all our pupils, from Early Years to Year 6, and we have a full-time Librarian whose role is to inspire and encourage varied reading experiences. Particular highlights in the Literacy calendar include, World Book Day, poetry recitals and author visits: an opportunity for our pupils to become immersed in the world of literature.

“The teaching of reading is consistently effective.” Ofsted 2018

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