Knowing other languages and understanding other cultures is a 21st Century skill set for students as they prepare to live and work in a global society.
Literacy and English
Literacy is fundamental to all areas of learning.
The Literacy and English framework promotes the development of critical and creative thinking as well as competence in listening and talking, reading, writing and the personal, interpersonal and team working skills which are so important in life and the world of work.
In the earliest stages of learning to read, ‘Phonics’, the sounding of the letters, is taught using a multi-sensory approach. The focus is on phonological awareness, which builds upon nursery rhymes learned by children before they start school. The structured programme used in Mearns focuses on a synthetic and balanced approach to the teaching of phonics. Resources are used to develop thinking skills and knowledge about rhyme. Most of this work is done orally and aurally, both within and outwith the contexts of the class or group reading lessons.
As children progress, 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.
The development of writing skills is taught in weekly whole class lessons. Children are taught the skills they need. Teachers ensure children are clear about their targets and work is planned to help them achieve these targets.
Children are given opportunities to develop their talking skills through structured activities. Older pupils are taught skills to enable them to deliver oral presentations and they also learn techniques for effective group discussion.
Children are taught to develop talking and listening skills through activities such as discussion of reading texts, discussions prior to storywriting, debates, podcasting, art and design and music.
We are always trying to improve the provision of attractive library books to encourage an interest in reading for information and pleasure. Our central library has been refurbished and children are encouraged to work independently while learning and applying basic reference and research skills. The PTA has generously supported and improved the number and quality of texts and technology available in this central resource. Use is also made of the local library and expertise of the librarian. Knowledge about language (grammar) skills are also taught.
Learning other languages enables children to make connections with different people and their cultures and encourages them to become global citizens.
In the early stages, French is introduced using La Jolie Ronde programme with an emphasis on listening and speaking only, to avoid any confusion with English Language learning. Pupils also enjoy singing games.
Curricular areas are taught in English. Pupils are introduced to French in Nursery and this language is taught from P1 to P7. Pupils may also be introduced to other languages.
From P3, pupils begin to be introduced to reading and writing. Vocabulary and simple sentences are taught.
In P6 and P7, pupils continue to develop oral, reading, listening and writing skills using a structured approach.
Liaison with secondary schools supports pupils to extend skills learned in primary.
Our French oral programme is often enhanced with support from a French Language Assistant. We continue our links with a French school.