English / Literacy
Learning to read and write well are two of the most important skills that children develop in primary school. At Queen Emma, developing these crucial life skills is one of our highest priorities.
By the time they leave us to move onto secondary school, we want all children to be able to:
- read fluently, with enjoyment and good understanding
- write clearly, accurately and creatively, sharing their ideas with confidence
- speak confidently and listen to others carefully and with respect
We help children to acquire these skills through dedicated daily literacy lessons, but also by focusing on the key skill of Communicating across the whole curriculum.
In KS1, we teach reading through a range of strategies, including daily systematic teaching of synthetic phonics (using the progression set out in the publication Letters and Sounds). We do not use a single reading scheme for children’s reading books, but draw on a number of different high-quality schemes. These books are organised according to the national Bookbanding colour scheme.
For more information please click on the link to view our Reading and Writing Policies on our Policies page.
Information for Parents
Supporting your child in English
One of the most important things that you can do to help your child succeed at school is to read to them and hear them read regularly. Sharing and discussing books together makes a huge contribution to a child’s language development, whether they are at the very early stages of learning to decode words in Reception, or reading more fluently in the older classes. Your child’s class teacher will be happy to talk to you about how you can support your child individually with their reading.
We have compiled lists of recommended books for children in Years 3 to 6. They are all books she has read and loved and will help us to ensure every child learns to enjoy reading. If you have a book token for a present or just want to buy a new book as a treat please consult the lists to help with your choice.
Obviously, the lists are not exhaustive and you may also have favourites which you might like to share with us. We are very happy to keep adding to our recommendations.
The most important learning skill a children acquires in primary school is a love of reading. It is the foundation for all the work they will do in the future. As well as your children reading the books you too might want to help inspire your children by reading to them or sharing books together. If you read a book from the year above you will be helping embed the ideas, vocabulary and sentence structure your child will be reading in the future.
Bug Club – Our Online Reading Scheme
Bug Club is our brand new online levelled reading scheme. Each child has a personalised homepage where they will find books at exactly the right level for them. All of the books included in the scheme are graded into the same colour-coded book band levels that we use in school. Your child’s class teacher will allocate books to your child according to their current reading level. These books will appear in the ‘My Stuff’ area of their personal homepage. When your child has finished a book, it will move to ‘My Library.’ Children can read these books again or can choose a new book from ‘My Stuff.’ There are quiz questions linked to each book to support your child’s understanding of what they are reading. To answer a question, click on the bug icon when you see it on a page in the book. Your child does not need to answer all of the questions in one go, they can come back to a book later. When your child has finished all of the quiz questions in a book, they will gain coins. When they have read several books, they will have collected enough coins to gain a reward. Children can spend their coins in one of the reward worlds.
Please click on the links below to find out further information about Bug Club and about our coloured book-bands.
No Nonsense Spelling Facts
Queen Emma Library
The librarians are working hard to keep both the downstairs and upstairs libraries neat and well organised. Keep up the good work!
Just outside the downstairs library, we are very lucky to have such a fantastic amount of space in which reading and writing are being celebrated. Comfortable reading areas have been created to make a welcoming space for children to read.
Our Key Stage 1 Library is looking fantastic! Thank you to Ms Greenhill for all of her hard work painting fictional characters on the library walls. Thank you too to a wonderful group of parents who painted this amazing under the sea scene to brighten up our library space. Colourful book boxes have been purchased to hold our ever-expanding collection of fiction books and we continue to purchase new books to increase our collection of all genres.
Ms Greenhill has been busy again, painting several fantastic murals in our upstairs library. We hope you agree it enhances our library and makes it a very welcoming and inspiring reading environment. Thanks to a range of fundraising activities, new bookcases, beanbags and a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books have been purchased to further enhance this space. Thank you for your generous contributions.
Thank you for all of the fantastic ‘Extreme Reading’ photographs that were sent in. We have all enjoyed looking at different ‘extreme’ ways in which the children have been reading.’
Examples Of Learning
Year 1 really enjoyed the exciting ‘Traditional Tales’ drama workshop sessions with the Spinning Wheel Theatre Company. We had fun thinking about the key elements needed for a traditional tale and how those pieces are put together to make a story. The children worked in small groups to create their own traditional tales using the key parts and developed them as freeze frames to perform to each other. They also explored how to use their bodies to show what the different characters were like. The workshops were a physical and engaging way of recapping and celebrating the work that the children have done in English so far this half-term.
Year 1 had a fantastic time reading out their own imaginative versions of The Three Billy Goats to the class and they enjoying being dressed as a character from tales that we love!
Year 2 have been creating story maps for their journey stories. They have also explored the characters by using role play . They have been learning about past tense by playing a game and they found features of journey stories too .
Macaw Class wrote absolutely amazing quest stories based on the book the Ice Palace by Robert Swindells. Here are some pictures of them sharing their stories with each other. They went onto publish their favourite few paragraphs and some of their published work can also be seen in the photos.
In Year 3 Macaw class had a go at filming their own videos using the ‘Clips’ app on the IPads. We used different filters and effects on some of our videos and filmed our own poems based on ‘The Magic Box’ by Kit Wright. We wrote our poems so that they were filled with memories from the past and interesting images using adjectives, verbs, adverbs and similes to make them as descriptive as we could. Hopefully they will give you an image in your head of some lovely times! We realised that we had to speak loudly and hold the IPad still to make a really good video, so there will be lots of our learning that we can use next time to improve them even more!
The year 4’s have been using story maps and dictionaries to help support their learning in English. Well done!
We worked together in English, to identify the writing elements of an English persuasive text. As a pair, and then as a group, we were able to discuss punctuation, grammar and vocabulary we would need to elevate our own writing. In grammar we focused on our use of modal verbs, and recognising them in sentences. We then were able to apply our understanding to persuasive texts.
The persuasive model text needed to be highlighted in year 6. In partners we looked for and discussed persuasive writing elements, high-level punctuation, topic-specific vocabulary and grammar points already covered this year. Well done!
Descriptive writing has been highlighted recently, and we have used senses to help illustrate our ideas.