English / Reading
Reading is really important as it is so closely linked to success at school and thus children's self-esteem, confidence and motivation. Being able to read is the key to independent learning and so it's given a high priority by all staff. Learning to read is a complex process, but basically we need to decode the words and also understand what we are reading. We set out to make sure all of our children are confident readers with a wide range of experience!
We use a systematic approach to teaching phonics as part of our Read, Write Inc. programme. At the end of Year 1 all children currently take the National Phonics Screening Test. Alongside phonics teaching, an emphasis is placed on learning to read, interpret, enjoy and comment upon a wide variety of books, magazines, newspapers and information texts - a selection of these is available in the foyer. From September 2014 we will also be using the RWI programme Literacy and Language. It is a complete literacy programme rooted in the new national curriculum for children in Years 2 – 6 who can decode fluently. It develops children’s comprehension, vocabulary, writing, critical thinking and discussion skills and provides teachers with explicit guidance in how to teach grammar – in a fun and meaningful way.
We have a list of stories for storytime, allocated to each year group. We read these to children as a class every day, which encourages their listening skills and sometimes allows them to access a book they may not read themselves. All classes have a well stocked book area. Books are sent home on a daily basis. Children all have either a scheme or other book to read in school and at home and we ask you to make sure they record this in their home/school diary. We also have two libraries, one in each area of the school. Look out for parent / child drop in sessions.Reading at home is really important and reading to your child is a good way to share stories and other books. Remember the emphasis should be on fun and pleasure!
Come along to one of our Read Write Inc sessions to find out more contact school.
A love of reading is further nurtured by a variety of initiatives such as Reading clubs, visits from authors, story-time in partnership with the Schools' Library Service and out favourite "Come Dine and Read With Me". We encourage children to use the online Oxford Owls Reading program at home as well as in school. Click Here for more information.
Writing - The ablility to write well is linked to children's experience of story and other texts. We use a "Talk for Writing" approach, which involves the adults and children storytelling, talking about the story, drama activities and then shared writing. Gradually the children become more proficient as writers, because they have the vocabulary and the skills. In this way we teach the writing process and support the children in planning, composing and revising their work. Children write every day, across the curriculum and for a range of purposes,
We also teach spelling, punctuation and fluency in handwriting.
Handwriting - We help our children develop a neat legible and fluent style of handwriting. We use Nelson handwriting and from the time children can correctly form their letters, they are taught continuous cursive (joined up) handwriting. Short, focused handwriting sessions are taught on a regular basis. When they achieve success they feel a sense of pride, are more motivated to write and tend to be better at spelling. We have regular handwriting competitions in school and all children have the chance to earn a pen licence once they have mastered their skills. They are very proud of their achievements when they receive their pen licence and new pen!
Getting the right habits established early on is key to future success. We appreciate that some children find this more difficult than others and offer additional support or alternative ways of recording when necessary.