John Ball Primary School

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Languages Faculty

Reading

We aim to develop a strong community of readers among both the children and staff. We actively promote and celebrate a love of reading through ongoing assemblies and various Book Week activities. We value the importance of books and literature in enabling children to become confident, happy, and enthusiastic readers and writers. We strive to ensure that children experience high-quality and diverse literature, and hear a wide range of ambitious and challenging language and voices. 

We use ‘The Power of Reading' approach and the children learn to read through a mixture of individual and whole class reading. One English lesson per week is designated as a Big Reading session so that the key skills of reading can be explicitly taught and modelled for that particular year group.  Regular follow-up sessions are then used throughout the week to further consolidate these skills.

Every class also has at least one story, or an ongoing chapter book read aloud to them daily. Children are given opportunities to learn and recite classic and modern poetry. It is essential that children have a ‘book in the bag’ at all times, bringing it to school and taking it home again every day. The expectation is that children will read to an adult at home four times a week, with comments being written into your child’s reading record book.

Phonics 

High-quality phonics plays a vital role in supporting children’s ability to read. Daily phonics sessions are taught to all children in Early Years and Key Stage 1.

Phonics sessions last 20 minutes, are planned weekly and are taught in a whole-class setting using the Little Wandle programme. These sessions are interactive and multi-sensory, and provide children with opportunities to practice spelling patterns and tricky words. Where necessary children who need extra support or challenge are given small group consolidation, or pre-learning before and/or after these sessions, usually with a Learning Associate. Discrete phonics teaching continues into Key Stage 2, and for as long as necessary for those children who require extra support and learning time to secure their phonics knowledge.

Writing 

At John Ball we believe in providing our children with exciting and purposeful reasons to write. We aim to link our writing with quality texts and curriculum themes, and with skills relating to grammar, punctuation, handwriting and spelling. These should be taught discretely, then applied and practised through shared and modelled writing. 

Children need to be able to write for both audience and purpose, and are therefore given regular opportunities for their writing to be published and presented to parents, and to the wider school community. Presentation is valued highly and children are encouraged to feel proud of their written outcomes. Wherever possible, children should be encouraged to write through a Talk for Writing approach, orally rehearsing before they write. 

The earliest stages of such writing begin with ‘Drawing into Writing’ in Early Years, with children showing an increasing acquisition of phonic skills that are independently applied in their written work.

French 

Studying languages prepares children  to participate in a rapidly changing world. It is important  to enable access to ideas and experiences from a wide range of people, communities and cultures. 

At John Ball Primary School, we teach French, from year 4 through weekly lessons and are taught by Mme. Patten, our specialist French teacher.