English sits at the heart of our curriculum – it is through language, story and text that children learn to form concepts, connect ideas and express themselves. Through literacy, in all its forms, children learn to both make sense of the world and shape their place within it.
Across both writing and reading, we place a heavy emphasis on developing a child’s vocabulary. By the time children leave Year Six, the limited word hoard they arrived with in Reception will have expanded enormously, giving them the language they need to understand sophisticated texts and express themselves in a wide range of contexts.
The development of talk underpins all learning. Through targeted teaching of vocabulary and key knowledge, we aim to develop speaking and listening mental processes. We understand that high quality writing comes from high quality speech. We plan for these opportunities within our curriculum whenever possible allowing children to formulate ideas, speculate and focus on language acquisition.
We do this by:
Phonics is a way of teaching children how to read and write by developing their phonemic awareness—the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate different sounds used in the English language. Children learn the correspondence between these sounds and the spelling patterns (graphemes) that represent them. We place a strong emphasis on the teaching of phonics in the early years of reading and writing in order to give all children a solid foundation for learning. Because not all words in the English language comply to the rules of phonics we also teach so-called ‘sight words’ by repetition and retrieval.
Phonics lessons are taught daily from Reception class up to Year Two. The sessions are short, engaging and memorable with an emphasis placed on revising a previously learned letter-sound correspondence, learning a new one, practicing this, and applying it to sentence level work.
The teaching of phonics begins in Reception class using the ‘Read Write Inc' programme this is continued into
Years One and Two learning alternative spelling, sounds and refining their knowledge to become more fluent readers and more accurate spellers.
During the Summer term in Year One, children nationwide are tested on their phonic knowledge. This test helps us to identify children who have gaps in their phonic knowledge and may need further support in Year Two. The test is low-key and we endeavour to make it stress-free for the children. Essentially, the children are asked to read 40 words from a list, using their phonics to ‘sound out’ the word and then blend it if they need to. Parents are informed as to whether their child has achieved the national expectation within the child’s end-of-year report.
Children in Reception and Year's One and Two take part in a tailored phonics programme designed to meet the needs of the individual; Following the principles of the Read Write Inc programme, the children are streamed across five specific phonics groups.
Each group provides a structured and systematic approach to teaching phonics and is designed to create fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers. Each group will be revising all letters of the alphabet and the sounds which they most commonly represent as well as constant digraphs and the sounds that they represent.
This is supplemented by the reading of specific banded books as well as in comprehension activities designed to increase the children’s reading and writing knowledge.
Writing is critical to pupils’ success in education and beyond. We value the process of writing and practice regularly to build strong, confident writers over time. Good thinking is the foundation of good writing, and high quality class texts linked to our curriculum allow children to develop their ideas around key concepts. Ambitious vocabulary is taught to enable children to express themselves creatively as well as to consolidate learning. Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG)are the tools with which language is given depth and punch. These are taught through key texts and models so children learn in a meaningful context which they can apply to their own writing.
Writing opportunities are purposeful and engaging, with a focus on the audience to shape the style and tone of the text. The process of writing allows children to build their knowledge and understanding and explore ideas creatively before their first draft, which they will then use self, peer and teacher feedback to refine and redraft before their final draft. Publishing opportunities illustrate the importance of presentation and writing from every child is celebrated in class and school displays.
Reading is at the heart of the curriculum; We encourage all children to read a variety of text by developing a positive attitude and understanding of what they read.
Year groups focus on a book each half term which forms part of the learning journey and creative curriculum; children also receive a book for independent reading, which is read with the class teacher on a regular basis as well as at home with their parent or carer, children are encouraged to record their thoughts in a reading diary.
We promote reading by;
Listening to and discussing a wide range of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reference books or text books
Reading books that are structured in different ways and reading for a range of purposes
Increasing their familiarity with a wide range of books including Fairy Tales & Myths and Legends
Reading Recovery is a daily teacher led individual intervention for 5 to 6 year olds.
The intervention involves one to one lessons for 30 minutes a day. It supports low attaining children in reading and writing to reach age expected levels within 20 weeks.
The components of a lesson are:
Within the 30 minute framework the activities are designed to meet each students individual needs at their instructional level.