Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening are taught in daily Literacy lessons with an additional daily phonics session.
In their early years, the children are taught basic phonics through a phonic scheme called Letters & Sounds. These focused sessions gradually introduce children to letter sounds and help to develop their sight vocabulary. When ready, children move on to the Support for Spelling programme where they learn a range of spelling patterns including prefixes and suffixes. Alongside effective use of phonics, children are encouraged to develop fluency and expression when reading as well as demonstrating appropriate comprehension. It is our aim that all children develop into lifelong readers and they receive regular individual or guided reading as well as listening to a rich diet of quality children’s literature.
We believe that parents have an important role to play in this process – sharing books with children, reading to them, talking about books and communicating with their teacher. A reading diary is kept for each child and this is sent home each evening so that parents may record their comments. Children are welcomed into school to read with children. We have a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books available for children to borrow and they also have the opportunity to borrow books from our school library.
There is a strong emphasis on developing writing skills and teachers model how to structure and organise writing so that it engages the reader. Children are given the opportunity to write imaginatively, record information, express themselves clearly and use an adventurous and wide-ranging vocabulary. Punctuation and grammar are taught as an integral part of this process.
Teachers use quality texts to stimulate and engage children and give them a real purpose for writing. Literacy links are made with other areas of the curriculum when appropriate such as diary writing in History.
Teachers regularly mark alongside children giving verbal feedback and the opportunity to respond to marking immediately. In this way children understand what they have done well and what their next steps are.
There is a strong focus on spoken language both within Literacy lessons and across the curriculum. Children develop speaking and listening skills through drama, group discussions and regular use of talk partners.
In Year One, English is taught in the child’s class. In Year Two English is taught by grouping children across the year. We currently have two mixed ability sets and one group for the more able and gifted children who require enrichment because they have already met the Year Two expectations.
Ongoing rigorous assessment procedures are in place and parents receive information on their child’s progress on a regular basis.