English at Pittington
Speaking, listening, reading and writing skills are vital in all areas of the curriculum. Take a look at some of the exciting things we’ve been up to and see how we develop and apply those skills through all of the subjects in school. We tailor our curriculum to meet the needs of our children and use their strengths and interests to drive learning and spark enthusiasm.
In the early years the children have been using the outdoors as a stimulus for writing. The children re-designed the outdoor area after talking about recycling and reusing.
The children collaborate and share ideas. They are encouraged to listen to each other’s ideas and respect the thoughts of their peers.
In Key Stage 1 the children have been working on writing recounts and what better way than to tell everyone about their trip to the beach and aquarium this term. First-hand experience, emotions and memories give the children a wonderful starting point for their writing.
Our children have been working hard with phonics since they started with us in nursery. They have been enjoying the sunshine and taking part in ‘phonics boot camp’ and lots of activities in the classroom to give them the best grounding for reading and writing that we can provide.
Finger strength and fine motor skills are key to becoming writers. Our nursery children happily choose to demonstrate their skills both in and out of the classroom.
Our reception children are ready for anything year 1 has to throw at them! Confident, happy readers, writers and communicators leave our early years well equipped to tackle an exciting new curriculum.
The fun and first-hand experience does not stop at key stage 1. Throughout key stage 2 the children are given countless opportunities to develop and showcase their literacy skills through all subject areas.
The children in year 5 have been looking at Anglo Saxon village life in history. They created model houses in DT and then used ICT skills to read and search ‘rightmove’ properties to look at the language of advertising. They then set about writing scripts for their own T.V. shows and created adverts for their own estate agencies. So much fun with so much learning packed in.
Year 6 have been exploring the Hobbit as a class text and used poetry to explore the mountain and the long journey faced by the adventurers. They also used the text to explore the thoughts and feelings of Thorin and were challenged to re-write the opening from his point of view. The children combined this with their work on collage and Picasso in art.
Another busy term bringing to an end another busy year in our fabulous school. Time for a rest and for our staff to start planning for new classes next academic year.
Spring Term Update – What’s been going on?
World Book Day
We celebrated World Book Day in style as only our children and staff can again this year. The costumes were outstanding and celebrated everyone’s favourite stories, characters and authors. We held a special assembly and each class took part in fun reading and drama activities linked the children’s own books and our class readers in school. A fabulous day to recognise how important reading is and how much pleasure it can bring.
In the Classroom…
Nursery have been sharing and enjoying books by the author Julia Donaldson. They have started work on rhyming and are regularly taking books home from our library to share at home. Phase 1 phonics has started with the children going on sound walks around school beginning their very important journey of hearing and deciphering environmental sounds.
Reception are working hard during daily handwriting activities to improve finger strength for letter formation and writing. They are using story mapping skills to begin structuring their work and guided reading sessions are now taking place weekly in class.
Our Year 1 children are being inspired to write through the ‘Supertato’ series of books. They have written their own stories using the characters they have met and written ‘How to’ guided for growing peas. The children continue to refine and improve finger strength through fine motor activities and there is a big focus on letter formation in handwriting. The majority of the class are working to be secure in phase 5 phonics in preparation for the up-coming phonics screening check – but more importantly preparing them to be confident, independent readers and writers.
Year 2 have found the immersive world of Enid Blyton’s ‘The Enchanted Wood’ maintains its charm for children and adults alike. Parents have been enthused to see them revisiting an often cited favourite childhood book. The children have been inspired by this book to write letters to persuade a company not to cut down forests, their very own fairy tales and a newspaper article about the shock discovery of a tree that acts as a portal to different worlds! The class recently sat their first practise SATS test and this has helped them begin with familiarisation of the assessment process and has assisted Mr Wright in his planning, interventions and challenges.
In year 3, following on from reading a literary classic in the autumn term, the storytelling skills of Michael Morpurgo are being enjoyed with The Butterfly Lion class text. Links have been made to both history and geography topics through literacy this term. The children have been using speaking and listening skills in debate work and using drama and reading to support story writing.
Year 4 are desperately trying to train their dragons in literacy and have written instructions and their own stories using themes from the book. They have drawn and painted dragons and produced a beautiful display in their classroom.
Year 5 are busy reading Journey to the River Sea, writing their own tales of being lost in the Amazon and campaign speeches ready for class debates about deforestation. We have been learning about our rights and have held a peaceful protest sharing our thoughts on how to care for the environment and our future. Our reader links perfectly to our geography work on South America and we have used it to inspire our carnival dance in P.E. To finish off the term we are having an Amazon art day where team work and communication is key to recreate a section of the River in our classroom.
Year 6 are preparing for end of year assessments and are working exceptionally hard to showcase their talents in reading and writing. Their class text is The Jungle book which has inspired them to write reports, travel articles and narrative encounters. They have been debating and presenting arguments for and against Mowgli returning to civilisation, showing how well they can think and form opinions for themselves – secondary schools watch out!
Reading Team Launch
As promised last term – The Pittington Primary School Reading Team...
The staff embraced their characters and talked to the children about their role in reading and how to identify different types of questions in a fun assembly this term. All children are now becoming familiar with the characters in class and using them to help improve responses to questions in all subject areas. A huge thank you to our staff who do everything they can to make learning meaningful and fun – I wonder who decided Mrs Lee should be Word Witch…
Literacy is at the heart of our curriculum at Pittington Primary School and we teach all aspects of the English curriculum in almost everything we do. We teach the children the importance of being able to communicate with one another through, writing, roleplay, speaking, listening and reading. The children learn in a literacy-rich environment and have lots and lots of fun in the process – which is exactly what learning should be!
At the moment we are busy launching our new ‘reading team’ – a set of characters we use to help the children to understand different types of questions and what is required in answering them. Each member of staff has become a character of the team and will be in role for special assemblies and for whole school events like World Book Day.
Meet the Team…
Writing is a life skill and we promote it in every single subject we teach. The children are taught the skills they need to write for different purposes. They learn the grammar, punctuation and spelling rules they need to be fluent and accurate writers. As a staff we work hard to give the children first-hand experiences and create a positive climate for writing. We encourage our children to be creative, imaginative and to take risks with their work. The writing they produce speaks for itself.
Spooky story writing with carved pumpkins to add to the atmosphere.
Budding news reporters using role play to support writing.
At the moment in school we have a drama group working hard in their own time outside of lessons to produce a Christmas performance of The Grinch. Spaces were filled immediately in the group and as interest is so high throughout the school, we will be looking at giving opportunities to even more children in the new year.
Watch this space to see pictures of the children in costume - currently being created by some of our talented staff in school….