Literacy and Languages

There are two aspects of the language area of the curriculum. The first covers the experiences and outcomes in the language a young person needs in order to engage fully in society and in learning.

The second covers experiences and outcomes in additional languages.

In West Primary School the main language spoken is English.  Additional support is available from the Authority for those children for whom English is not their first language.

The second language taught in West Primary School is French and from Primary 5 children are involved in learning French.

Learning through the languages area of the curriculum enables children and young people to:

  • Develop their ability to communicate their thoughts and feelings and respond to those of others
  • Develop the high levels of skills in listening, talking, reading and writing which are essential for learning, work and life
  • Use different media effectively for learning and communication
  • Develop a secure understanding of how language works, and use language well to communicate ideas and information in English and other languages (in West Primary this is French)
  • Exercise their intellectual curiosity by questioning and developing their understanding, and use creative critical thinking to synthesise ideas and opinions.
  • Enhance their enjoyment and understanding of their own and other cultures through literature and other forms of language.
  • Develop competence in different languages so that they can understand and communicate in the wider world.

Competence and confidence in literacy, including competence in grammar, spelling, punctuation and the spoken word, is essential for progress in all areas of the curriculum. All teachers have the responsibility for promoting language and literacy development. We are at present focusing on writing skills by developing the Big Writing approach.

In West School we recognise that very strong connections between learning in languages and learning in the other areas of the curriculum are essential.  We actively pursue opportunities to work in a cross-curricular way and to create contexts for learning which help promote understanding and relevance for the children.

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