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'Speaking and listening' and writing

Speaking and listening


For a child to be able to make progress at school and in the wider world, they need to have a broad vocabulary. This allows them to access the learning effectively as well as enabling them to form friendships and understand the world around them. With this in mind, we strive to develop every child's vocabulary and give them opportunities to practise new words and phrases daily at school. 



How does my child learn new vocabulary at school?

- The learning environment is language-rich, meaning that there are many resources for the children to access to broaden their vocabulary. This includes 'Common exception word' walls, displays, vocabulary mats as well as great examples of new word learning e.g. our Magpie boards, where we 'borrow' words from our reading in class.

- New vocabulary and concepts are central to the teaching of every subject and are identified on the planning. These words are also displayed in the classroom and sent home on the knowledge organisers so that they can be practised at home.

- The texts used in class and chosen for the book corner are all high quality, rich texts, which allow the children to experience and explore new words and ideas.

- We use 'word aware' games and activities to encourage the children to explore language and we frequently come back to words and repeat them to ensure they are stored in your child's long term memory.


How can I help at home?

- You may notice the children wearing 'ask me' stickers. These will identify a word that they have learnt that day. Please ask the children if they can explain it to you!

- Talking homework is sent home to encourage discussion of their learning and new vocabulary at home.

- Pay attention to our 'Walk and Talk' boards in classroom windows. They will give you something to talk about on the way home from school!

- Take the time to talk to your children - you will be surprised what they know!

- Look at the 'knowledge organisers' on your child's class page. They contain the main information and topic vocabulary that you child will be learning this term.



Parents engage in the development on their children's vocabulary.

Children learn new words daily, through topic work, English lessons and through reading.

Children are able to apply new vocabulary in their work.

Children speak confidently in a range of social situations.




Writing is a key life skill, allowing children to access the wider curriculum as well as engaging in everyday activities such as writing lists or filling out forms. During their time at Oakley Infant School each child will develop a range of skills, which will allow them to become independent, confident writers. 

We aim to:

- teach children to write for a range of purposes and audiences, giving their writing meaning.

- inspire them to write creatively though a range of stimuli and 'hooks' e.g. a crime scene.

- inspire a love of writing.

- develop a wider vocabulary through the use of 'word aware' strategies.

- give the children experience of a range of text types and genres.

- develop a range of writing skills (transcription, handwriting, composition, vocabulary, punctuation and grammar)

- develop a comfortable and sustainable pencil grip and handwriting style.



The writing journey begins before the children even start school, with the breadth of vocabulary and experiences that they encounter. A child that has explored their garden and talked about the feel of mud will have a much better understanding of what 'garden' means when they encounter it in their reading and writing. At Oakley, we understand that not all children will have had the same experiences so aim to engage them in a wide range of stimulating activities throughout their time with us, from cooking, to exploring nature to trips further afield. 


Through their time at the school they will progress through the Phonics Bug scheme, giving them the skills to break words down into individual phonemes (sounds) in order to record them e.g. the word 'cat' needs to be segmented into c-a-t before it can be written down. Following the completion of the scheme, the children then follow 'No nonsense spelling', which supports the development of grammar and spelling.


During their time at the school, each child will work through the 'Kinetic Letters' handwriting scheme. This comprises of four main strands: making bodies stronger, holding the pencil, learning the letters and flow and fluency. It enables children to develop legible handwriting that is produced quickly and automatically. With the development of automaticity, handwriting becomes a valuable tool and not a hindrance to learning. More information about the scheme can be found at the top of this page.  


Each child will enjoy a range of rich, high quality texts to inspire them and develop their creativity. Through carefully planned Learning journeys, they will explore these texts, using them as models and inspiration for their own writing. They will explore the structures and purposes of different genres and learn common spelling patterns and grammar to help them to write accurately. They will write for a purpose and audience so that their writing has meaning e.g. to add information to the school newsletter or to teach Year R about fire safety and they will develop a love of writing!


How can I help at home?

- Encourage your child to write at home. It doesn't matter if it is a shopping list or a joke or a story - all writing is good practice! Please praise them for their efforts.

- Encourage them to form their letters correctly using the Kinetic Letters guidance sheet at the top of this page.

- Use a sound mat to support them. Please look at the 'Home learning' tab for more resources to support you.

- Model good vocabulary and good writing. They will copy what you do.

- Read them a range of books. They will be inspired by other people's writing first. 



Assessment of writing is ongoing as teachers continually monitor the progress of the children in their class.

'Site of application' tasks allow the children opportunities to practise skills at a distance from the teaching of them.

Independent progress writing tasks are completed termly. 

Ongoing moderation within the school and with other schools ensures that writing assessments are accurate.

Assessments are recorded and monitored by the Subject leader. 

Children enjoy writing and are inspired to write outside of curriculum time.


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