The teaching of phonics begins in the Foundation Stage using ‘Letters and Sounds’, supported by the use of Jolly Phonics and a range of fun, stimulating games to help children begin to learn to read and write. The teaching of phonics continues throughout the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, systematically, progressively and regularly so that by the end of Year 2 or early Key Stage 2 almost all children will be ready to move into the KS2 Spelling programme.
Home reading books are provided first of all using the Phonics Bug reading scheme before moving into the Bug Club scheme. Children are also encouraged to choose from recommended reads in their classrooms. Teachers use their reading assessments completed in class to decide on the appropriate home reading book band. Teachers review these regularly to ensure that children move through the scheme at an appropriate pace, however not so quick that they lose the understanding of the texts that they are reading. Teachers acknowledge that reading is not just recognising the words on the page but developing a clear understanding of what has been read, character's emotions, authorial intent as well as structural and language features. This is all taken into account when moving children through the home reading scheme.
Whole Class Reading
Children in Y1-Y6 take part in 3 Whole Class Reading sessions a week. These sessions are additional to the daily English lesson and are planned to develop children's reading skills whilst celebrating the joy of reading a text together and becoming engaged and immersed into a plot. Books are chosen carefully with a clear rationale for each book that is covered. These are high quality texts, rich in vocabulary with sometimes complex plot structures. You can see the current list of books that the children will cover in each year group below.
We use the VIPERS in Reading lessons to develop the key skills of
Summarising / Sequencing.
Children have the opportunity to read aloud independently and in chorus, focusing on their expression, fluency and intonation.
Throughout KS1 and 2, the English curriculum is delivered in units of work lasting on average for three weeks per unit. The first week of the unit is spent focussing on developing children’s reading and comprehension skills and finding out about the text genre and its features.
The second week of the unit focuses on developing the children’s writing skills in that particular focus genre. We call this our modelled writing week. Teachers give clear feedback as to how children can improve their writing and pertinent links are made with improving the children’s grammar, punctuation, spelling and vocabulary skills.
By the third week of the unit, the children are ready to write independently for an extended period of time in the focus genre. Their final piece of writing is assessed and feedback is given to each child as to how well they have done and what they need to do to improve further.
Spelling is taught in 3 discrete sessions a week per class and we use Spelling Shed as scheme to support our teaching. We follow the National Curriculum, focusing on specific spelling patterns and rules. The expectation is that the children apply these in their writing so whilst we promote learning the words at home and spelling them individually, we know that a child has truly understood the pattern or rule when it is applied in independent writing in all subjects.