We aim to develop all four aspects of Language i.e. Listening, Talking, Reading and Writing and each aspect is given equal emphasis. The following outcomes form the basis of A Curriculum for Excellence and are to be found in each of the aspects of Language:
- Enjoyment and Choice
- Tools for Learning
- Finding and Using Information
- Understanding, Analysing, Organising & Evaluating
- Creating Texts
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 in the world of work.
All teaching staff in Holy Cross have been trained in the delivery of the Active Literacy Programmes which advocate that children need to spend time with literature and other texts which will enrich their learning, develop their language skills and enable them to find enjoyment. The children experience an environment which is rich in language and which sets high expectations for literacy and the use of language. Children in all classes are immersed in literature and regularly read and respond to a variety of stimuli such as novels, poems, short stories, advertisements, signs, posters and blogs to name a few. To reinforce this further, children of all ages are actively encouraged to rad in their spare time to broaden their awareness of authors and styles of writing.
Punctuation, spelling and grammar are integral features of the Active Literacy Programmes. Spelling is taught using a variety of active strategies such as SACAWAC (Study and Cover and Write and Check), recognizing phonemes and their different representations, and looking for ways to simplify the spelling of longer words by using syllables or a ‘words within words’ strategy. Children are reminded to apply previously learned spelling rules in all their written work.
Each class has a ‘fiction library’ which the children are encouraged to use frequently. There are two ‘non fiction’ libraries – one for Primary 1 – 3, the other for Primary 4 – 7 located in the school resource room. A whole school ‘Reading for Information’ programme has been developed to assist the children to make best use of the library resources. In addition, the P7 and Nursery children have access to a ‘mobile library’ which visits the school regularly.