Language and literacy are of personal, social and economic importance. Our ability to use language lies at the centre of the development and expression of our emotions, our thinking, our learning and our sense of personal identity. Language is itself a key aspect of our culture. Through language, children and young people can gain access to the literary heritage of humanity and develop their appreciation of the richness and breadth of Scotland’s literary heritage.
Literacy is fundamental to all areas of learning, as it unlocks access to the wider curriculum. Being able to read and write increases opportunities for the individual in all aspects of life.
Curriculum for Excellence
The 3 organisers of literacy are:
Listening and talking
At the early stages of reading children are taught the initial sounds through the Jolly Phonics programme. The children do not learn the sounds in alphabetical order, and will learn s,a,t,p,i,n as the first set of letters. Learning this grouping of letters allows the children to very quickly form short 3-letter or CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) words such as sat tin pin etc.
Pupils will move through the Oxford Reading Scheme and will be introduced to the characters of Floppy, Biff, Chip and their friends. You can help your child by reading with your child, talking about the characters and story, you can encourage the children to search for words in the story. In the later stages you can hear your child read and encourage fluent reading skills which demonstrates expression. Talking about the books with your child is also important. Furthermore you can encourage your child to read at home through introducing them to comics, magazines, electronic books, audio books and books.
Pupils will move on to the Kings Court Reading Scheme when they are proficient readers and at all stages in school we will expose them to a variety of different styles of books or genres, such as non-fiction or factual books, plays, poems and different kinds of fiction novel, such as humorous, mystery, crime and classical stories.
All pupils are encouraged to take reading books home as a homework task. You can help by reading these with your child.
The BIG Writing approach to writing has been adopted across the school. Pupils are taught from an early stage of the four elements which need to be in all pieces of writing, these are V- Vocabulary, C- Connectives or sticky words such as and, because, O-Openers How to structure the opening of each sentence, P- Punctuation. From P1- 7 VCOP is structured to challenge the pupils in their writing. Teachers ensure that language lessons to teach these four elements link closely to the writing.
The BIG Writing programme is carefully structured and enables pupils to clearly identify where they need to improve their writing. Pupils have clear targets set for them within this framework.
The link between writing and reading is created through Writers Craft lessons where pupils are encouraged to look carefully at various aspects of writing, pupils will be encouraged to use these within their writing lessons.
Pupils will write within a variety of contexts often linked to topic work. Children will learn how to write stories, reports, posters, invitations, letters, poems and plays, this list is not exhaustive.
Spelling and Phonics
After pupils are familiar with all the letter sounds of the alphabet and have learned these using the Jolly Phonics Scheme pupils will move on to the Oxford Spelling Scheme. This is a graded scheme which pupils work on throughout the school. It teaches letter patterns and spelling rules. Pupils also learn the 100 most common spelling words.
Should pupils have difficulty learning how to spell, we use a variety to strategies, one being the Stareway to Spelling programme used from P4 and above.
We teach pupils how to form their letters correctly and, from P3 upwards, we teach the pupils how to join their writing in cursive script. We are keen to instill in the children pride in their secretarial skills.
Listening and talking
This is taught throughout the curriculum and pupils are encouraged to participate in a wide range of contexts. Pupils will work in small group situations, take part with the whole class, or listen to find specific information. Pupils will learn the skills of listening and talking through this medium. Links will be made with the rest of the curriculum. From time to time pupils will learn the skill of public speaking and will be expected to speak in front of the whole class to present their ideas.