Overview

  • The children follow the guidelines set out in the National Curriculum for English which covers three main areas:

    • Spoken Language
    • Reading
    • Writing

    Spoken Language

    In school we encourage purposeful talk and attentive listening.  Our aim is to encourage children to express themselves confidently, politely and purposefully by increasing their vocabulary, ranging from describing their immediate world and feelings to developing a broader, deeper and richer vocabulary.  Teachers endeavour to provide constructive feedback on spoken language and listening, not only to improve pupils’ knowledge and skills but also to establish secure foundations for effective spoken language in their studies at primary school, helping them to achieve in secondary education and beyond. 

     

    Reading

    English literature is a fundamental part of the National Curriculum.  All staff endeavour to nurture a love of reading; our aim is to provide  all children with the tools they need to foster a love of reading, whatever their literary experience or knowledge. We believe that reading for pleasure should be a fundamental part of childhood and lifelong learning whatever the child’s ability, background or culture.  We use a wide variety of picture, story and reference books, specifically selected to engage our pupils.  At all times when reading, we encourage children to think about and discuss what they have read.  Once they have reached a good level of competence, this is used to help them with their learning in other areas of the curriculum.  This in turn will make a huge contribution to their educational achievement.

     

    Writing

    From the moment children begin making marks, we encourage them to see themselves as real writers, writing confidently and meaningfully in a wide range of situations, for different audiences.  As their skills develop, there is a growing emphasis placed on accurate use of grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) as well as presentation.  Our teachers pride themselves on how well they create purposeful writing opportunities, linking to novels and a wide range of topics of interest.  

     

    Phonics

     

    The teaching of phonics is based upon the curriculum guidance in the DFES Letters and Sounds document. We also use the actions prescribed in Jolly Phonics alongside this guidance to help reinforce sounds for children.  We conduct discrete daily phonics teaching sessions in single phase groups from Early Years through to Key Stage 1 based on the model of review, teach, practise and apply.  These lessons cover a variety of teaching methods including demonstration, games, singing, modelling and practical activities / resources leading to high quality phonic sessions being delivered by all staff.

    Children are encouraged to use their phonics skills across the curriculum in all subjects and not just in their discrete phonic sessions. Also the correct modelling of the articulation of the phonemes is something all staff- both Teachers and TA’s are frequently ensuring is occurring in their day to day teaching. Our teaching of phonics is supplemented in our English and Reading schemes. The school reading book system in Early Years and KS1 is also matched to the phonic phases the children are learning to further embed their phonics understanding.

    Our Phonics Policy can be found here.

    Reading Schemes

    Reading is the core to the curriculum, underpinning the other subjects that we teach. Children are exposed to a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts and are encouraged to explore these during lessons and in their own time. Reading systems within school teach the skills that are required to not only decode new words but to understand the other skills that are needed to be successful reader. Reading is encouraged at home and incentives are put in place for children to enjoy doing so. Our aim is to develop children who have a passion for reading and are able to apply these skills across the curriculum. We have a range of progressive reading schemes, which are tailored to develop children’s skills as they become more fluent readers. Initially, children read phonics-based texts until they are confident to decode unfamiliar words. A comprehensive list of our progressive schemes, are outlined in the overviews below:

    Early Years

    Children in Nursery are given the opportunity to take a book home every fortnight from the library bus to share with parents and carers.  This is a great opportunity for children to start to acquire basic book handling skills and to start to develop comprehension skills.  When your child is ready to start reading independently, we give them their first reading book. In school we use a range of books to develop children’s reading. All of our books are arranged into levelled colour bands which allow children to read books on a similar level, containing the same key range words and range of vocabulary. It also allows us to choose books which are age appropriate for your child which is also linked to the current phonics phase your child is working within.  In Early Years we primarily use the following schemes.

    • Songbirds (phonetically decodable)
    • Phonic Bug (phonetically decodable)

     

    • Key Stage One

    In Key Stage One, we build upon the experiences from Early Years. We aim to develop the children’s skills already built and allow them to progress further. We still use a range of schemes with both sight word and phonic focuses to allow us to tailor a child’s reading journey which develops their strengths and supports their weaknesses.  We believe that children need to experience a wide range of books at all levels of reading to continue to foster their interest in books and allow experience of different genres, characters, layout, font or topic.  The main schemes we use in Key Stage One include:

     

    • Phonic Bug (phonetically decodable)
    • Rigby Red Star
    • Bug Club (brown and lime band)

     

    Key Stage Two

    In Key Stage Two, children continue to have access to these schemes and structured books to support their reading. Children continue to read books from a range of genres; this fosters ownership of reading and encourages them to form their own opinions about books.  The main schemes we use in Key Stage Two are:

     

    • Phonic Bug (phonetically decodable)
    • Project X (phonetically decodable)
    • Bug Club
    • Oxford Tree Tops

    By the end of Key Stage Two, most children are fluent, independent readers who have strong opinions about what they choose to read. If your child is secure in reading they will be encouraged to choose books from their class selection of books or KS2 library. These books have a similar level of reading challenge but may be different types of text, containing a range of characters, layout, font or topic.

     

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