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Mrs La Farge's blog

Dear Parents

It has been lovely to welcome all the Gateway pupils back to school after our Autumn break, it hardly seems possible that we welcomed 52 new pupils to the school in September and now they are all very settled and fully involved in the busy school life here.

This week, Mr Grosse, Mrs S Kemp, Mrs L Kemp and myself all enjoyed listening to the children reciting their learnt poems. This is an annual House Competition and once again I was impressed with the confidence, articulation and expression of the children I heard. I was especially pleased with the Year 3 pupils I listened to, as for many they are new to the school and this was the first time they have taken part. By Year 6 the children had chosen a wide range of different poems to learn and all were able to explain why they had selected their particular choice.

Learning poetry by heart went out of favour for a while but now research suggests that poetry, and especially reciting poetry, brings many advantages to primary aged children. Poetry often contains words that rhyme for effect and children can reinforce their phonics and letter sounds by listening for and locating rhyming words. Poetry also builds vocabulary. Children are exposed to words they have not heard before and they hear them in context. Not only are children hearing new words, they are learning how words are chosen for effect and to create imagery. A poem can also be used to demonstrate sentence structure, parts of speech and many grammar skills. Quite rightly, poetry can be found in the English planning for all year groups at Gateway, giving the pupils the opportunity to explore this special way of communicating.

A big thank you to all our parents who have no doubt been involved helping their children to learn their poems. They have risen admirably to this challenge and can feel rightly proud of themselves and their achievements, we are well aware it is not an easy task.

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Gateway Pupil in music lesson