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English & Literacy
Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at school. Everything else depends on it; so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read
As reading is so important to our children’s learning and development, we ensure there is time focusing on this during our daily RWI and Guided Reading lessons. We have also incorporated a weekly comprehension lesson into our RWI and Guided Reading programmes to really encourage our children to develop their inference and understanding skills. In these lessons, we unpick and decode words and discuss what is happening in the text and predict what might happen next. We also discuss and learn the meaning of new words, helping us to increase our vocabularies. We then read questions linked to the text, and use our inference skills to locate and find the answer.
Read Write Inc - Our Approach to Phonics
We start by teaching phonics in Reception and believe that this should be taught in an exciting and engaging way. We follow the Read Write Inc. Programme to support us with the planning and delivery of the teaching of reading and writing, enabling all children to develop the skills to be able to read quickly and easily. It follows a programme of teaching specific sounds and reading them in words. As children progress, they learn more complex sounds and read and spell trickier words.
Throughout the year, we will run specific Read Write Inc. workshops for parents to help adults at home to understand the approaches we use to teach early reading and writing skills. This will support pupil’s to make accelerated progress in this area. An introductory video link is available here for more information http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/resources/parent-tutorial-1-understanding-read-write-inc-phonics.
What is the phonics screening check?
In Year 1, all children are required to take the Government statutory phonics screening check which is a short assessment of children’s ability to read both real words and pseudo words. Children that do not pass the phonics screening check in Year 1 are then required to retake the test in Year 2.
For children who do not pass the check, a programme of personalised support will be put in place to support them throughout Year 2.
Children are taught spelling, handwriting, writing for purpose and are encouraged to develop their creative writing skills throughout specific lessons. Some of this is delivered as part of the daily phonics sessions and also as part of the focused and independent learning activities.
We use a cursive handwriting script which teaches children the correct letter formations and also the different families of letter joins. Children across all year groups, from EYFS upwards, practise handwriting 3 times a week.
Children are given opportunities to write for different purposes to really embed the importance of writing and give them the chance to develop their own skills. Writing is encouraged in a range of contexts in order to stimulate and engage our children.
At the beginning of each half term, the first literacy lesson of the term involves the children being given an image that links to the whole Academy topic (such as London or Time Travelling). The children are then encouraged to write creatively about the picture, using their imagination to enhance their writing. This helps build up our children’s confidence within writing, as well as giving them the platform to take full ownership of their writing and their ideas.
At the end of each half term, we immerse our children in a classic fairytale for the week, including role-playing the fairytale, reading different versions and writing character descriptions. By the end of the week, the children are so confident with the fairytale that they are then given the opportunity to retell and re-write the story in their own words. The children really enjoy these weeks, and are always so keen to get writing in their books!