Literacy is a core subject that is celebrated by children, teachers and parents at the Dubai English Speaking School. Each child is valued and receives positive encouragement to develop their skills within this curriculum area. We follow the National Literacy Strategy as part of the British National Curriculum and all teaching members of staff have received the most recent UK training from our non-teaching Literacy Coordinator.
Each class participates in a daily Literacy Hour as well as additional time for library, spelling activities and handwriting. A great deal of emphasis is placed upon children's learning. We ensure that lessons are multi-sensory and interactive and therefore develop visual, auditory and kinesthetic learning styles.
Click on the following link for access to activities that you can do with your child at home:-
Reading is exciting at DESS
Reading has a high profile at DESS and books are valued. Throughout the year we celebrate reading through Book Weeks, Book Days, Storytelling weeks and Poetry Days. As part of these occasions children pair up with older or younger children to buddy read and share in the delights of books. Authors, illustrators and storytellers run workshops with the children, all the staff in the school (including office staff) tell stories to children and swap classes, whilst parents also offer to read and share in the delights of a good book. We ensure there is a balance between fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
In the teaching of reading our emphasis is upon:
1) Decoding: teaching reading strategies in order for our children to become independent readers
2) Comprehension: higher order questions when teaching comprehension.
All of the teaching staff has received specific training to ensure consistency of methods. Parents who hear readers receive specific training too. Reading is taught through a variety of methods:
Shared Reading - whole class teaching with a shared text
Guided Reading - small groups of children of similar ability. A specific format is used to teach this reading
Whole class story and library time
Writing is cool at DESS
At DESS we have placed a high priority on the teaching of writing. All staff has received training in the principles of:
Shared Writing: whole class teaching that requires teachers to demonstrate the writing process
Guided Writing: small group activities that address the group's specific writing needs and targets
Through interactive teaching we explore all of the writing genres and their features in fiction, non-fiction and poetry, so ensuring that our children can confidently write in different styles for different audiences and purposes. Children are instructed in grammar in order to understand the construction of our language system and take control of their own writing. Each child has their own whiteboard so that they are interactively involved with the teaching and learning at all times.
Phonics is Phun and Spelling is Scintillating!
Reception and Year One children receive a daily 15 minute programme of phonics using the NLS Progression in Phonics. We are very particular how we teach about letters, graphemes and phonemes to ensure accurate teaching input in children's early education. The learning is highly interactive through a series of purposeful games and is great fun!
Phonics in Reception
Year 2 and KS2 develop these skills through two specific NLS spelling programmes. When teaching spelling our emphasis is upon spelling strategies, games and investigations.
We are currently developing a specific programme in KS1 entitled Garden Writing. This programme is very particular in the way it teaches the size, formation and starting position of each letter. It uses colour coding and whole body movement to enable the children to understand at an early age how letters are formed, hence avoiding "bad habits" so difficult to correct in later years. Handwriting is taught on a regular basis, little and often! We also use the Nelson handwriting scheme.
Click on the link to download some handwriting worksheets.
Speaking, Listening and Drama
Drama is a crucial way of accessing the curriculum whilst developing great speaking and listening and writing skills. Children are often asked to display good listening skills and to work together as a team. Children often work as groups to develop these skills and present and perform to others.