This core curriculum area covers speaking, listening, reading and writing (including handwriting). Children enter school at different stages of development of their English skills. We aim to develop these skills so that each child becomes an increasingly confident and proficient language user. English is taught daily in the literacy hour as well as at other times of the day and through other areas of the curriculum.
These skills are developed in a variety of settings and throughout all curriculum areas to encourage communication in purposeful, clear and orderly dialogue, that is appropriate for a range of occasions and purposes, and which invites careful, sympathetic and responsive listening. Children are given the opportunity to express and explore thoughts, feelings and emotions through speaking. They are encouraged to listen carefully to stories, discussion, other ideas and feelings and to respond appropriately. They are expected to learn to respect and respond to the views of others.
Reading has extremely high status within the school and we seek to create fluent, discerning, life-long readers who love and value books. We actively involve parents in the process of reading and acknowledge the role of parents in the development of reading. We encourage parents and children to enjoy reading and sharing books together. Where this is regular practice at home, children make significant progress. Time is set aside for regular reading and children are given the experience of reading alone and together. They are encouraged to discuss these and make choices about their reading. We have a wide range of high quality reading materials to support your child’s reading development.
Phonics is taught daily in the Early Years Unit and Key Stage 1 through discrete small group sessions. The sessions are carefully planned to be fun, engaging and challenging. We follow the Letters and Sounds Guidance and have invested in a range of quality resources including the interactive Phonics Bug online resource to support teaching. The children have many opportunities to apply their learning through child initiated and adult directed activities.
Assessment is ongoing and used to inform next steps and planning. Using the assessments we can plan for rapid intervention where necessary to ensure no child is left behind. Any children entering Key Stage 2 who are still experiencing difficulties in reading and/or writing because they have missed or misunderstood a phase of phonics teaching receive support from Their class teacher and Teaching Assistants trained in phonics intervention using quality teaching methods and resources to support the individual child.
Guided Reading And Home Reading
Early Years and KS1
In the nursery and reception classes the children are taught how to value books and how to handle them with care. The environment is enhanced with quality fiction and non-fiction texts and the children are encouraged to bring in books from home to share. During induction sessions and parent information evenings we encourage the parents and carers to donate a book to celebrate their child's birthday, instead of sweet treats, to further promote the value of reading.
In the Reception and Key Stage 1 classes Guided Reading is taught twice a week. Sessions are led by The class teacher and Teaching Assistants. The children access a range of quality texts, fiction and non-fiction, from Big Cat, Phonics Bug and some Oxford Reading Tree. During guided reading sessions the children focus on key words and phonemes linked to the phonic phase they are working in. The sessions include opportunities to respond to the texts and develop early awareness of punctuation, grammar and comprehension. Guided reading sessions are planned to challenge and progress skills and confidence.
The children are allocated home reading books each week. These comprise of a physical book and an online book. These books are chosen from the Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree and Bug Club schemes and Bug Club Online. Books are carefully chosen and are pitched at a slightly lower level than the books they are accessing in school. This enables the children to gain confidence and experience success whilst sharing their developing skills with their parents and carers.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 Guided Reading is taught two times per week. Sessions are led by either the class teacher or a teaching assistant, and groups move around regularly, making sure that the class teacher gets a chance to read with each group. Children access and exciting range of texts within these sessions from Big Cat, Bug Club, Oxford Reading Tree and other reading schemes. As well as accessing physical books, children also have the opportunity to engage with the online Bug Club website. Children are set books to read either within school time or at home, and set follow up work accordingly.
Home Reading is something which enriches the children's learning both in their English and across other subjects. We feel it is vitally important that children are inspired to read and it be something which they get lots of enjoyment out of. We therefore let children choose their own home reading book each week or fortnight. In lower junior classes the books are in banded boxes linked to the reading ability of that child. Children are encouraged to read with a family member, discussing the text, making predictions and justifying reasons throughout the discussion. In upper junior classes children get the chance to choose a book from our very well-stocked school library. Children can choose from a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, and have the opportunity to keep the book for longer if they are particularly engrossed, they too are encourage to share their ready at home with parents and keep a record of the texts they've read.
Children learn to write by using the language they speak. We actively encourage children to ‘have a go’, and then with skilful teacher input and support we work through the recognised stages of development to achieve standard written English. Spelling, phonics and punctuation are developed gradually through the children’s writing. As they develop, children are encouraged to see writing as a powerful means of self - expression and communication and to write for a range of purposes.