English


Phonics

As a key step in children’s journey to become lifelong readers, Phonics is prioritised in Early Years and Key Stage 1. We teach reading with a “phonics first” approach, following the First Class Phonics scheme of work, which breaks learning down into manageable steps for children whilst regularly recapping previous learning. This gives children the essential skills of segmenting and blending words whilst also developing a solid understanding of grapheme-phoneme correspondences.


All children in EYFS have daily, targeted Phonics sessions, and teaching links closely with a range of phonetically-decodable books for children to use both in and outside of school.


Children’s progress is regularly assessed throughout the Phonics session. Teachers will measure how confident children are at recalling different sounds and letters, and also how well they can apply learning in a written context. In both individual and guided Reading sessions, teachers will assess whether children are reading the sounds with increased fluency.

During the summer term, Year 1 children will also be assessed using the national phonics screening check. They will work individually alongside a member of staff to segment and blend a range of ‘real’ and ‘alien’ words. Results will be shared with parents in the child’s Summer report and additional support will be provided with those children who have not met the requirements. We will also measure the success of our Phonics scheme using a KS1 Reading test, to reflect the fluency and understanding of children’s reading.

 

Reading

“Pupils read regularly and in a range of contexts.”

Ofsted, 2016

We have developed a book-led curriculum to excite and engage children, where books are the driving force for learning new knowledge, skills and vocabulary. Core texts have been carefully selected to ensure they are high quality, engaging and support learning linked to the National Curriculum, with supplementary texts to ensure topics are enriched with a range of literature. 

We use the First Class Reading Scheme to ensure our curriculum is detailed and progressively mapped out, whilst also corresponding with our phonics programme. Assessments are made daily through guided reading, 1:1 reading, and when reading across the curriculum. We use NFER tests three times a year to support teachers’ own assessments and KS2 pupils also complete STAR reading tests four times per year.

To equip children with the skills and passion to become competent lifelong readers, we use the following approaches:

  • Daily Guided Reading: Our timetables for guided reading include fluency practice, extended reading, and close reading
  • Reading Aloud: Teachers read aloud to children daily during STAR time (Stop Teaching and Read) to develop a culture of reading for pleasure
  • Phonetically Controlled Books: KS1 children take home phonetically controlled books to match our phonics programme First Class Phonics
  • Reading in other areas of the curriculum: Our book-led curriculum means reading for purpose is evident across the school day
  • Accelerated Reader: Children are given books carefully matched to their reading age and motivated to keep making progress with reading certificates, the word millionaires board, and exciting rewards
  • Reading Practice: We encourage children to read for at least 20 minutes a day and teachers monitor children’s progress through homework book
  • Reading Environment: Reading corners and book displays promote reading and showcase our current topic-themed books
  • Life-Changing Libraries: Opened by Cressida Cowell herself, our two Life-Changing Libraries are well stocked with high quality, diverse and inclusive books, as well as magazines and a Toniebox for audiobooks
  • Team Read: Our reading role models share book recommendations and help out as school librarians
  • Author Visits: Children have met authors and illustrators including Cressida Cowell, Tom Palmer, Joseph Coelho, Steve Smallman, Rashmi Sirdeshpande and Emma Jackson
  • Reading Events: For example, children celebrate World Book Day, World Poetry Day, and Book Trust’s Pyjamarama
  • Books At Home: We are committed to ensuring every child in our school not only has access to books at home, but also access to their own books. We aim to build each child’s personal library in the following ways:

- Prizes in school are always books.
            - Books are bought as Christmas presents.
            - Scholastic book fairs.
            - Last year, we were lucky enough to have a reading roadshow from Wood Street Mission, where each child was able to choose 5 brand books to take                   home
            - More recently, each child has chosen a book to buy with additional funding.

 

Writing

We strive to create a love of literacy in our children, helping them to understand the purpose of writing and the positive impact it can have on both their own and others lives. Children will gain analysis skills; improve their vocabularies; plan and create texts with clear, purposeful structures; and learn to edit their work to maximise the effect it has on the reader. They will also develop their spelling, punctuation and grammar, and learn to write with legible, joined handwriting.

Each half-term, children will be introduced to a new class text, used as stimulus for the activities in their English lessons. Children will produce a thorough narrative text and a non-fiction text. During the terms that are longer than six weeks, children will also engage in “Poetry Week,” where they will use different poetic forms as stimulus for their own creations.

To support what they have learned in English, children will be given opportunities to write in as many curriculum areas as possible. Each term, they will produce two pieces of extended written work in foundation subjects. This will help children gain a greater understanding of writing for different purposes.

When children write a piece of work, teachers will evaluate and discuss its effectiveness with them. At the end of KS1 and KS2, teachers submit their statutory assessments based on the government’s framework, supported by the school’s senior leadership team. Teachers of other year groups will produce termly assessments to monitor children’s progress through the school.