The Falcons School for Boys Pre Preparatory endeavour to instil a love of literature and words; we try to ensure that through the teaching of English, the world becomes an exciting place for our boys. By planning creative and inspiring lessons, we expose pupils to a variety of literary styles while accommodating different types of learners. There are also plenty of visits to the school from a wide range of professionals, including authors and actors who provide a range of exciting workshops.
Right from the beginning in Nursery and Reception, the boys cover English through the Literacy and Communication and Language aspects of the EYFS curriculum. They are taught phonics, handwriting, guided reading and speaking and listening is a priority from the outset. Speaking and listening is the vital part of Language and Literacy in Early Years; listening to stories, poems and patterns in language is crucial for language development, which is vital for personal development and effective learning all through their school career.
The boys start phonics in Nursery and learn a new grapheme/phoneme each week. Alphabet books are sent home initially, aimed to generate interest in reading. As the year progresses, boys move onto one-sentence books. In Reception, the boys consolidate and learn their sounds, using this for both reading and writing. We encourage writing all around the classroom as much as possible, and every class has a writing table and multifarious opportunities to write as part of role play and other classroom activities.
In KS1 the curriculum is taught through creative writing, handwriting, comprehension, grammar and guided reading. Speaking and listening is practised across all English lessons and the boys also have spelling tests each week. In Year 1, boys learn to write for a purpose while they continue to develop their grammatical skills and understanding. By Year 2, boys are writing independently, with a good command of descriptive language. They will have experience writing a range of persuasive, creative and factual composition including letters, diaries, reviews, poems and stories.
We have an extensive boy-targeted guided reading collection, a new scheme of daily reading books and a fully-stocked library which caters for a wide range of abilities and interests and encourages reading for pleasure as well as meaning.
Within every class in the school, children are heard reading regularly, either individually or in guided reading groups. Guided reading is a time when the teacher can focus on comprehension of the story through effective questioning. Boys’ progress is monitored regularly and discussed with parents so that any difficulties are recognised and appropriate action is taken. Sending reading books home daily is done in order for the children to reinforce and celebrate what they are doing at school. We gradually transition them from books designed to help teach reading, to a love of books which give pleasure, entertain and inform.