Intent: To equip pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Across our curriculum, we aim to provide regular opportunities for children to listen and respond to each other, ask questions, justify opinions and explain their theories or strategies. Speaking and listening develops knowledge and knowledge of vocabulary, therefore discussion is promoted in all lessons, across all subjects – talk partners and discussion centred tasks (Magenta Principles) are used extensively within their daily learning. Children present their ideas through school council elections, assembly presentations and ½ termly project based homework. All children are regularly involved in role play and all are involved in the annual Christmas Production. Through regular review and reflection children begin to evaluate the effectiveness of their own and their peers work.
On arrival in reception all children are assessed using Speech and Language Link to identify any gaps with their speech, receptive or expressive language. Where appropriate additional support is given to any child who might present with any gaps in their learning.
Early Reading / Phonics / Reading VIPERS
The importance of reading cannot be over-emphasised. In order for children to access other areas of the curriculum they need to be able to read and evidence suggests that the number of words known at the age of 5 can indicate children’s success in later life.
To begin with children are taught phonics twice daily using the ‘Letter and Sounds’ programme. The morning session focuses on learning or consolidating a new sound, while the afternoon session recaps and applies the sounds learnt earlier in the day and marks the start of the children’s journey into spelling. Throughout EYFS and KS1 children work their way through the 6 phases – we expect the majority of children to have completed first 31 sounds (phase 3) and 16 High Frequency Words by the end of their Reception year and phase 5 by the end of Year 1.
From their first day at school, children are given their own banded reading book which in its simplest form encourages the children to talk about the pictures on each page. The children progress through the banded books being exposed to ever more challenging words and sentences. By the end of Year 1 we expect the majority of children to be confident decoders and able to recognise all the first 100 High Frequency Words. Additionally, children should be reading books securely within Turquoise Band by the end of Year 1. By the end of Year 2 we expect the children to read age appropriate texts confidently and independently – Gold Band. Each book band is split further by grouping sounds together. Children therefore have access to texts which contain the same sounds that are taught during daily phonics sessions.
Once their phonological understanding is secure children take part in a mixture of whole class, guided group or independent reading activities. As they progress through KS2, we focus on the understanding and comprehension of texts, where the children learn key reading skills (known as Reading VIPERS) such as: vocabulary, inference, prediction, evaluation, retrieval and, summary. Reading is taught through a mixture of whole class and guided group session and is further supported using resources from Literacy Shed Plus. Children in KS2 complete and regular reading comprehensions.
In addition to regular opportunities in school, we expect all children to read at their level every day for at least 15 minutes as part of their homework. We strive for children to develop a love of reading and promote reading through our engaging curriculum. We aim for children to be exposed to texts or new vocabulary in every curricula area and promote a love of reading by setting reading challenges, by dedicating time to reading and celebrating reading success.
Spelling and Phonics Expectations
By the end of EYFS children are expected to:
- segment / blend phase 2 sounds
- know 31 sounds
- spell most CVC words, CV words and some CCVCC words
- By the end of KS1 children are expected to recognise and spell most of the Year 1 & Year 2 common exception words.
By the end of KS2 children are expected to recognise and spell words from the Year 3/4 and Year 5/6 spelling lists but also be aware of the spelling patterns and apply them within their writing.
Children who struggle with their reading and spelling have access to Nessy Reading and Spelling, which is an online learning platform.
In KS2, spelling lessons follow a teach, practice apply model. Pupils are taught a new spelling pattern in session 1, they practice these spellings in session 2 and then apply this knowledge in session 3. Furthermore, children are exposed to new vocabulary twice weekly, where they are also exposed to new words, spelling patterns and synonyms.
English - Writing
As soon as children arrive in school, we provide ample opportunities for children to mark-make and to develop their fine and gross motor skills ready to hold a pencil. Children are expected to have a cursive (joined) style of handwriting by the end of Year 2.
English lessons occur every day and each unit of learning (spread over 2-3 weeks) will focus on a variety of key skills including:
· Immersing the children in a model text
· Exploring key vocabulary
· Looking at age appropriate grammatical features including parts of speech, paragraphing, types of sentence and a range punctuation.
· Identifying the features and characteristics of the model text
· Learning and practicing spelling patterns, supported with resources from Spelling Shed, including online resources.
· Orally rehearsing sentences
· Consolidating skills
· Planning, drafting and editing a piece of meaningful and purposeful writing
Across a term, units will explore a variety of fiction and non-fiction genres and will use a combination of texts or engaging animation (sourced from Literacy Shed Plus) as a hook on which to guide and structure the learning. Each unit will end with a piece of extended writing (once every ½ term, this piece of writing will be assessed in detail).
Furthermore, children will be taught flexibly with tasks designed to meet their individual needs. A combination of independent, ability group, and whole class activities will be set and differentiated according a pupil’s individual needs. As the children enter KS2 we aim to develop pupils’ independence by giving them some freedom and choice to complete different activities through a version of ‘Continuous Provision’.