English is at the heart of every child and adults life, in fact, the explosion of social media is raising the profile of reading and writing since so much of our communication now relies on the written word. We live in an environment where Literacy is all around us and we use the fundamentals of writing and reading in our daily lives. This is why at Amherst we believe that English should be at the heart of all aspects of school life.
At Amherst, we aim to deliver a high-quality English curriculum that gives children the best possible opportunities to become confident and successful readers and writers with a deep love and understanding of the English language. We believe the development of reading and writing is central to improving a child's life chances and we strive to ensure all children can communicate clearly in written form and become masters of language.
We promote reading throughout our curriculum and children are taught to develop their reading skills every day. This development begins with the phonics taught in Key Stage 1 where they learn that sounds are the building blocks of our language. These 44 sounds build our words, sentences, paragraphs and texts.
We have recently implemented whole-class guided reading in Key Stage 2 to improve pupils’ reading and comprehension skills. We are also proud at Amherst to be committed to reading to our children every day from a “spine” of quality texts.
Teachers at Amherst have high expectations for all children to achieve and enjoy the art of writing and to be able to use the skills they acquire in a range of contexts. Again, this art is started with the teaching and learning of phonics in EYFS and Key Stage 1 and is developed and refined using our Grammar Progression Document. We also understand that children need to be able to listen to and tell stories orally before writing their own, which is why we often use 'Talk for Writing' to help develop children’s oracy skills as well as using as many opportunities as possible to share and discuss ideas in lessons across the curriculum.
Amherst Primary uses the handwriting scheme Letter Join to teach children at Amherst to write using a cursive script. We know that using a cursive script helps most children become more confident, fluent writers and also helps improve spelling.
We understand the importance of writing and language in our lives and we are committed to ensuring we do our very best to help the children in our care become creative writers and successful readers.