Programmes of study reflect the aims of the National Curriculum 2014 and seek to foster confidence and develop skills in the key areas of speaking and listening, reading and writing. The new Curriculum places an emphasis on word reading, transcription, spelling, punctuation and grammar. Our aim at Blundell’s Prep is to teach these skills while still teaching the children how to write creatively in a range of different fiction and non-fiction genres. We also place value in comprehension skills and our reading programmes are taught with this in mind.
The teaching of English in the classroom is complemented by a wide range of enrichment activities, including book fairs, poetry competitions, dressing up as book characters for Book Week, theatre trips and talks by visiting authors.
Here at Blundell’s Prep we think reading is the cornerstone of learning. With this in mind, we use the Accelerated Reader scheme. This is a computer program that helps teachers manage and monitor children’s independent reading. A child picks a book at their own level and reads it at their pace. When finished, the child takes a short quiz on the computer to test their comprehension of the book. We have four dedicated Accelerated Reader sessions a week when the children have the opportunity to read in school and take their comprehension quizzes.
STAR Reading is used to determine the child’s reading level. It is a computer based reading assessment program that adapts to the child’s answers. If they answer correctly then the test gets more difficult, if they answer incorrectly then the test gets easier. The test uses multiple choice answers and takes around 20 minutes. We carry out this test four times throughout the year and this will determine the book level range.
If you would like more information, you can find a list of the 30,000 titles that AR currently have quizzes for at www.arbookfind.co.uk and you can find more information about the scheme at www.renlearn.co.uk.
Aims of the English department
- To teach the youngest children reading, writing and spelling through a phonetic structured approach.
- To equip the children with the literacy skills with which they can access the wider curriculum.
- To seek to develop an interest in and appreciation of literature for its own sake.
- To foster confidence and develop skills in the key areas of speaking and listening, reading and writing.
- To express themselves imaginatively and creatively and communicate with others effectively.
- Emphasis is on developing speaking and listening and reading skills, through word building and synthetic phonics and through group discussion and role play.
- To develop higher order reading skills including inference and deduction.
- To have the opportunity to write extended compositions across a range of fiction and non-fiction genres.
- Comprehension, spelling lists, handwriting, stories, poems, library skills and reading aloud will happen throughout every year.
- To develop higher order writing skills, advising, arguing, persuading, informing, describing, analysing and reviewing.