The Mead Infant and Nursery School Newbury Gardens, Ewell, Epsom, KT19 0QG Tel: 020 83930966

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English

English is at the heart of all our work at The Mead and we are relentless in maintaining our promise to you – that every child will be an effective reader and writer before they leave. English is the way in which we communicate with each other and it is an essential component of every area of our curriculum. English skills include speaking, listening reading, creative writing and handwriting and your children will practice all of these every day.

Speaking and Listening are essential skills for learning. Our aim is to ensure that all our children become confident speakers, able to express their feelings and views and ask questions. We also teach our children to listen attentively, respect the views of others and take turns when speaking. These skills are developed through speaking and listening games and activities such as drama, circle time, partnership work and taking part in productions.

From your child’s very first day at The Mead we aim to ensure that reading is a pleasurable experience. Interest and enjoyment are key motivators for helping children to learn to read. We use a variety of strategies including phonics, whole word recognition, contexts and picture cues. We provide a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books (Oxford Reading Tree, Oxford University Press and Collins Reading Scheme), to enthuse and inspire your children as we carefully teach them the structured skills they need. Each individual child’s progress is carefully tracked and we greatly value your contributions to their daily reading records in their Yellow Reading Diaries. Each year we invite parents to attend a literacy workshop so that we can explain to you about what your children will be learning and how you can help them at home.

In our developmental approach to writing, children are encouraged to write for a variety of purposes, starting from their personal experiences. All attempts are acknowledged and praised from the earliest forms of mark making to writing in complex sentences. We gradually extend the children’s skills, helping them to sound out new words and order their thoughts until they eventually become confident, independent writers. At The Mead we follow the Letters and Sounds programme in order to promote children’s speaking and listening skills, so that, by the end of key stage 1, children have fluent word reading skills and have a good foundation in spelling.

From Reception the children are taught to write using a joined-up cursive script. We encourage them to take pride in their writing and this is evident in the high standard of work they produce. Again, we invite parents to a workshop so that you can learn the cursive letter shapes and help your children to form them at home.