The emphasis in the 2014 Curriculum on phonics teaching, explicit grammar teaching and the enjoyment of reading are areas which have been a focus at the school over the last few years. In English we maintain a cross curricular approach, where appropriate, to make connections in learning across the curriculum.
As a school, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- are exposed to a wide range of high quality texts which inspire and motivate them
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
Reading at home
Your child should be reading at home for 15 minutes or more each day. Your support is hugely important for developing their reading skills, confidence and understanding. Even if your child is an independent reader, it is still important for you to read with them, listen to them and discuss the books they are reading.
How to support developing readers at home:
- Try to listen to and read with your child regularly, 15 minutes a day is better than a longer session once a week. It can help if a regular time is set aside so that it becomes part of a routine.
- Find a quiet place to share books where you can feel comfortable and relaxed – learning to read needs to be a positive experience – build their confidence by praising their efforts.
- Encourage your child to have a go at reading words, by using phonic skills to read any unfamiliar words, and by working on building up their sight vocabulary.
- Talk about the meanings of words to help to develop your child’s understanding and use of language.
- Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, labels, poetry, non-fiction, tickets, signs, leaflets etc.
- Read books to your child as well; if they see you enjoying a book it will encourage and motivate them to want to learn to read.
- Ask them questions about the text to develop their understanding.
Phonics and Spelling
Here at Greenfylde phonics is taught daily to all children in Reception and Key Stage One. We use the progressive phases of the ‘Little Wandle’ programme to teach children the letters of the alphabet and their matching sounds (sound – symbol correspondence).
The children are taught to read words by blending, which means pushing all the sounds together to make a word. The children are taught to spell words by segmenting, which means sounding out words and writing down, in sequence, the sounds they can hear. By the end of Reception children are expected to know all Phase Three sounds. By the end of Year One all children are expected to know all Phase Five sounds.
After children are secure in Phase 5 they move onto focusing on Grammar and Spelling rules. We teach these daily throughout KS2 in a structured and focused way so that children can enhance their knowledge of the English language.
Writing is incredibly important to our children’s development at Greenfylde. We use it as one method to express ourselves. Our writing lessons are carefully planned around high quality texts to ensure children are engaged with their learning and able to link it to their developing knowledge of literature. Teachers work hard to give children a purpose for writing, and ensure they are aware of good examples, as well as their own writing strengths. Throughout the school, we learn to plan, draft and edit our work with support from the adults around us.
Our school handwriting style has been developed to help children to learn to write with fluency and accuracy, and is taught and modelled consistently throughout the school. It is available as a model to children in every classroom.
Children in the EYFS begin to write, first forming the letter shapes while making the phonetic connections to the letter sounds. They then gradually progress through the journey of writing to joining the cursive script into fully joined words.
Website links for English
Little Wandle for Parents – https://www.littlewandlelettersandsounds.org.uk/resources/for-parents/