English, the language of learning
English is the language of learning and communication in all classes, apart from French language classes, and throughout the school. The literacy learning programme is developmental and focuses on listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Opportunities for developing these skills are authentically integrated into the IPC units of work where possible.
Opportunities for speaking, listening and presenting are integrated on a daily basis in various situations such as classroom discussions, group work and presentations to the class and school community.
Year 1 and Year 2 learners follow a pre-reading programme called Jolly Phonics, a thorough foundation for reading and writing. It uses the synthetic phonics method of teaching the letter sounds in a way that is fun and multi-sensory. Children learn how to use the letter sounds to read and write words.
Students build their basic reading strategies of decoding and comprehending texts through daily guided reading, an instructional approach that involves a teacher working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviours. They further develop their understanding of texts and critical thinking skills through literature discussion and reading groups.
In writing, they become familiar with a range of different writing purposes and text types through work in the IPC units. Words Their Way, a developmental word study and spelling program, is used to ensure accuracy. Students complete activities individually, with partners and in small groups to encourage cooperative learning and individual responsibility.
British English is used as children build their knowledge and extend their understanding of spelling, vocabulary and language conventions, although students may be introduced to other versions of English to learn about the differences. International students who arrive in school, with a different version of English, will be supported.
French, the second school language
Grouping within the French department recognises the needs of native and advanced French speakers through to beginners. A specific ideal of the school is for all children to leave the school proficient in French or truly bilingual.
Year 1 and 2: students all learn together in French, with a teacher and associate teacher. Second language learners are immersed and all students follow the same curriculum. French as a Foreign Language is introduced during Year 2. Years 3 to 6: all students are assessed and placed either in Main French (mother tongue and very high level second language French), where they follow the full French language programme which develops listening, speaking, reading and writing skills, or French as a Foreign Language (FFL).
Other mother tongue languages
WIPS recognises that some students have a mother tongue other than English or French. It is important for parents to support this as no formal support is given in school, and we are happy to help facilitate any parent initiative to provide mother tongue instruction, such as provide a classroom or help to find a teacher.
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