English

 
Essential Characteristics of Writers
 
The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
Well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelt correctly and neat.
A love of writing in all its forms.

Essential Characteristics of Readers
Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
An excellent comprehension of texts.
The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.
To be well read.

Essential Characteristics of Excellent Communicators
An exceptional talent for listening attentively so as to understand what is being said.
A rich and varied vocabulary that gives clarity and interest to conversations.
Clear speech that can be easily understood by a range of audiences.
An excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences.
A highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience.
A delight in initiating and joining in conversations.
Respect for others when communicating, even when views differ.

Much emphasis is placed on communication skills. We encourage children to listen carefully, talk, discuss, debate, reason and report. Phonics is taught systematically throughout the school as appropriate for each individual.  We follow the Letters and Sounds programme. Each child receives a spelling pack at the start of each term containing Look, Cover, Write, Check sheets for that terms spellings.  Spellings are differentiated to meet the needs of each child and either follow a spelling pattern or the contain tricky year group words.  Weekly spellings are then tested on a Friday and the results written in the spelling pack.  Children are encouraged to learn their spellings at home and House Points are awarded for children who practise every day and write 4 sentences using the words. Daily lessons ensure spelling rules are learnt and applied.  Assessments are regularly undertaken each term..
 
Independent writing is encouraged from the very beginning and a variety of situations will be used to develop different writing skills, i.e. creative, descriptive and factual writing. The use of engaging, relevant and high quality texts is central to our writing curriculum. These act as stimuli for children to develop and explore their writing skills. Children write for purpose wherever possible, on a theme linked to the half termly topic.  Written work is undertaken during lots of subjects not just during a Literacy lesson.
 
Spelling, punctuation and general grammar are taught at the appropriate stages.  Grammar is not taught as a discrete subject, but is integrated into our English curriculum. At Dilton Marsh, children are encouraged to use a cursive script from Year 1. Please see our Handwriting policy for more details.  Handwriting receives regular practice in each classroom.

Throughout the school we encourage a love of reading and we provide a wide range of books, both fiction and non-fiction. With your help, we want the children to use and read books confidently, both for pleasure and information. Children’s reading ability is carefully monitored throughout the school. A home reading scheme is operated in Foundation Stage through to Year 6, whereby children bring home books to share with their families each week. As well as fostering reading, this gives the school and parents a regular way of communicating about their child’s reading. Instilling a love of reading is a really important aim of our reading curriculum, so children do get opportunities throughout the week to read for pleasure.  We use a range of reading scheme books including Rigby Stars, Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Navigator and Pearsons Bug Club books. 
 
We are very fortunate to have a wonderful school lending library decorated by our talented TA Mrs Masters based on the children's designs.  Our library is well stocked and has a wide variety of books and magazines for the children to enjoy.  The library is open two lunchtimes a week for the children to spend time choosing, borrowing and looking at books.  It was opened two years ago by the local author Joffre White.