‘Together in God’s loving family, we believe, we learn, we grow.’
A poetry competition for local schools was held at St Pius X for the fourth consecutive year. Six schools took part with seventeen poems altogether. Congratulations to Timothy Balog, Eve Hughes, Maia Dines and Isabella Pearse-Norton for coming second with their poem 'School Dinners Rule' and to Dominic Carver and Jack Stone-Campo for coming third with the poem 'There's A Sign On the Wall'.
English at St. Pius X Catholic Primary School:
We follow the new National Curriculum for English, and use the ‘Jonathon Bond Toolkit’ to assist teachers with planning the subject.
We believe that a close partnership with parents is essential for children to benefit most from their time at St. Pius Catholic Primary School and to develop their ’love of reading’.
Children will be have a book from the stage which suits their level of reading. They will be able to select any text from this stage and will be moved to a different stage when their teacher judges them ready. In Foundation and during the early stages of reading, these books will be decodable and match the sounds the children have been taught. Children who have completed all stages will move onto our Free Reading scheme.
Every child will be heard read in school and a record of their progress will be kept and targets discussed with the child.
Children will bring home their reading book every day along with a reading record book. We ask that you try to find 10 minutes a day to spend reading with your child and that you make a comment in their record book.
When you are reading with your child you can help them to improve their understanding by discussing what they have read.
Ask them questions about the text, their ideas about what could happen next or whether they are enjoying the book. Encourage them to tell you what stories and information they know. Discuss their opinions about how things might be different in stories or in the world.
Let them see you, and join you, in reading; TV, magazines, letters, instructions, charts, signs … and remember your child will like to hear you read to them as much as they like reading to you!
If your child is a reluctant reader this can be even more important. Don’t force them to read but read to them or make it a game or challenge/takes turns. Read a comic or anything else they choose. As long as they are reading and enjoying it then it is a skill they will carry into the future.
Free Writing books enable pupils to write expressively in the genre and on the subject of their choice, without the restrictions sometimes given to them in the classroom. ‘Big Writing’ takes place weekly in the classroom, and whole school ‘creative writes’ take place half-termly and are linked to ‘writing for purpose’. The school also hosts writing competitions involving schools in the local area, and regularly gives pupils the opportunity to enter national competitions.
Class teachers can choose to give a child a ‘Star Writer’ certificate, if they feel a child in their class has completed some exceptional writing that week. These pieces are often displayed in the whole school Star Writers book, located in the school reception area.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar:
Spelling tests take place regularly and again, spellings are linked to the new National Curriculum. Spellings are also taught through ‘Basic Skills’ sessions in class, as are punctuation and grammar skills, which take place every morning.
Pupils follow the Penpals scheme of work for Handwriting across the school. It is important for pupils to be able to write clearly and develop a fluent and legible handwriting style. Presentation should be neat in published work. Handwriting is explicitly taught in every year group and is practised on a daily basis. When pupils are able to write clearly, legibly and with a joined style, then they are able to use a handwriting pen, but not before.
For a video illustrating how Penpals is used across the key stages, please see the link below: