At the Mount Stewart Schools, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. We aim to provide an interesting and engaging English curriculum that is underpinned by the belief that developing children’s language is crucial to their success across the curriculum and for life-long learning. At Mount Stewart, we want children to enjoy and appreciate literature for all its rich variety.
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. As children’s reading develops at different rates, teaching is tailored to each child and their ability. Children will read daily in the classroom, either in shared reading, one to one reading or guided reading groups. Children are encouraged to read a range of books in school and at home. In EYFS and KS1, the teaching of systematic phonics encourages children to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children are expected to apply their phonics skills in all areas of the curriculum. Phonics planning must allow children to gain a progressively deeper understanding of the phonetic structure of the English language as they move through the school to ensure all children are provided with the key tools needed to become a fluent reader.
We want our children to develop into skilful and imaginative writers across the curriculum. Writing is organised around a clear learning sequence where children study and engage with a high quality model text, practice the grammar skills necessary for the genre before progressing into extended writing and editing. Writing forms a significant part of all subjects across the curriculum. We pride ourselves on good presentation skills in literacy and therefore we teach children at the Mount Stewart School to write using a cursive script from the beginning of their time here. We know that using a cursive script helps most children become more confident, fluent writers and also helps improve spelling.