From our Nursery Class onwards, we encourage children to improve their listening and talking skills. We do so by sharing and enjoying stories and rhymes and using information books. We also listen, recognise and repeat sounds and words. We do this in a fun way through familiar songs, rhymes and riddles. This learning is a vital part of developing our children’s ‘phonological awareness’. Children are also encouraged to experiment with writing, using a range of tools. We discuss children’s stories with them and celebrate their imagination and creative detail.
‘Phonics’, the sounding of the letters, is taught alongside the look and say method, in particular for ‘tricky’ words which do not follow the usual phonics ‘rules’. The focus here links alongside our children’s developing phonological awareness, building upon the work already started before children come into P1. The ‘Jolly Phonics’ scheme, which is a synthetic phonics model, is an important part of our teaching in this area. Most of this learning is done orally (speaking) and aurally (listening), both within and outwith the contexts of the class or group reading lessons.
From First Level onwards the focus for teaching and learning moves to more complex skills of comprehension and children are encouraged to ‘interrogate’ reading materials to ensure they fully understand what they have read. Talking and listening and knowledge about language skills are linked to work in reading.
Literacy Resources to support home learning:
Spelling Homework Guidance:
The development of writing skills is part of weekly literacy lessons. Children are taught the skills they need in groups and as individuals and personal targets are set and worked towards.
Handwriting skills develop initially as fine motor skills develop; this is taught in a variety of fun and interactive ways, including the use of sand and interactive whiteboards. Thereafter, the amount of teaching and practice is tailored to the age and stage of our children.
Children are given opportunities to develop their talking skills through our structured activities and play. Listening and talking skills are developed across the curriculum in a range of differing contexts, from class group work to whole school assemblies, and from individual presentations to whole stage debating in P7.
During the last two sessions, Reading remains one of the key priorities for development in our school improvement planning. During last session, we re-organised our central library to make it a more modern, exciting place to learn. The Librarians Pupil Group have also worked hard to evaluate and change both the environment and the texts we have. As part of this, we also evaluated all of our class libraries. All the classes have been consulted on the types of texts they enjoy and we have invested significantly (including nearly two-thousand pounds of our Book Fayre money) on a range of new texts and audio books for both the central and class libraries.
French lessons are a regular part of learning activities at Giffnock Nursery and Primary School. Pupils work through a structured weekly programme developing oral, reading and written skills. Liaison with secondary schools means this programme is build upon in secondary classes with pupil continuing the languages started in nursery.
We also have Spanish learning activities which are enjoyed by a range of our children.