Languages, Literacy and Communication
Our pupils will be inspired to become life-long learners who meet the four purposes of learning; who listen, read, speak and write with enthusiasm and to the best of their abilities at all times; who understand and respect the importance and place of Welsh, English and International Languages; who become creative, resilient, adaptable and empathetic young people; who learn about their own identity and others; who have pride in themselves and their cultures. Our pupils will engage with content that is inclusive, appropriately challenging, rich, stimulating and invariably excellent.
Johnston School firmly believes in the importance of reading, in order to open up opportunities for all pupils. Reading helps to develop thinking through reflection and directly influences language development and independent learning. It takes place in a variety of contexts; guided reading, reciprocal reading, shared reading and individual reading. This takes place in English activities and across the wider curriculum. We ensure that a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction texts are used, as well as material which will appeal to boys.
We use a multi strategy approach to the development of reading. This includes:-
Whole story approach
Whole class teaching
When pupils are starting to blend, they are introduced to reading books. Through our reading schemes, pupils are introduced to a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts, which offer breadth and reinforcement. Once pupils become confident readers, then teachers use their discretion to introduce them to free readers in order to develop their confidence and to help them realise that they are able to read books of their own choice. Once the teacher assesses the child to be a wholly confident and fluent reader, then they can move off the scheme, but still continue their reading diary, so that their reading can be monitored.
Great emphasis is placed on a strong home-school partnership and the support and encouragement of parents is sought after and valued. Nursery children take home books to share with their parents and the rest of the pupils in the school take home their reading scheme or free reader books. A reading record book accompanies the reading book for teachers', adult helpers' and parents’ comments and communication between school and home.
Writing is a more formalised process of the use of language by which knowledge may be internalised and often its purpose is to communicate that knowledge to others. It is a developmental process and all attempts to write from initial mark making to extended pieces of prose are valued and appreciated.
Teachers are responsible for the teaching of writing in their classes or groups.
In the Foundation Phase, writing development progresses at the rate of the learner, using a variety of interactive and multi disciplinary approaches.. Mark making is encouraged and valued. A variety of media and materials are available. There is a strong link between gross motor, fine motor and writing skills, so physical activities are utilised to develop the skills required for writing.
In Years 2 to 6, the teaching and development of writing skills is carried out through a varied range of resources, where genres of writing are evaluated, modelled, practised and implemented in a range of contexts for a variety of audiences. This may be supplemented by text types selected to enable the appropriate writing skills to be developed.
Children are given opportunities to use a wide range of forms and styles of writing for a variety of purposes and audiences in all areas of the curriculum.
Talk for Writing
In September 2018, the Milford Haven cluster of schools, undertook a two year programme to introduce Talk for Writing (developed by Pie Corbett). The Talk for Writing approach enables children to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. A key feature is that children internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘talking the text’ as well as close reading. The approach moves from dependence towards independence with the teacher using shared and guided teaching to develop the ability in children to write creatively and powerfully.