We place the highest priority on developing children's literacy skills and we are proud of their achievements. We invest heavily in resources, staffing and training so that children have the very best opportunities to learn. We aim for every lesson to be good or better, with no exceptions. We track the progress of every child carefully and ensure that there is timely intervention for any child experiencing difficulty.
We teach phonics across the school using the 'Read, Write Inc.' programme. This is a rigorous, systematic synthetics phonics programme. We teach the children to associate the sounds of language with the letter/s that represent them. During daily lessons the children are taught to hear individual sounds, link these with a letter/ letters and blend these together to read words. They also learn to sound out words they need to write and spell them using their phonic knowledge. If you want to support your child’s learning at home please ask your child’s class teacher about the most appropriate materials to use, as not all phonics schemes work in the same way.
High Frequency Words and spellings
We want all our children to read and write fluently, so we also teach them to read and write frequently occurring words without recourse to phonics. In the EYFS the children will start to bring these words home to learn, later in KS1 they will have weekly spelling homework.
The children begin to read independently using a carefully levelled range of fiction and non-fiction texts. (Reference: Book Bands - Institute of Education, London). These are from a variety of reading schemes e.g. PM, Oxford Reading Tree, Alphakids. They will have a guided reading lesson with a new book and then take this to read at home on the same day. This is followed up the next day with a writing/ comprehension activity, so please make sure your child returns their reading book every day. Teachers carry out regular assessments to ensure every child is reading at a level that offers challenge but also gives them the opportunity to read with fluency and expression.
If you would like to read additional books with your child the following website has 250 books, graded in the same way as ours. Just go to www.oxfordowl.co.uk and click to join for free!
From the moment children begin Nursery they are encouraged to write for real purposes e.g. labels, lists. As they learn sound-letter correspondences, they are taught to sound out words they want to write and use their phonic knowledge. Over time children will progress from simple sound-letter spellings e.g. c-a-t, to more complex spellings using two or more letters to represent a sound e.g. r-ai-n, n-igh-t. Alongside this method children will also write the high frequency words they have been learning.
We plan purposeful writing activities and we aim that all children become competent, motivated writers. In the Nursery and Reception we plan from the EYFS guidance materials and in KS1 the children follow the National Curriculum programme of study for English. They learn to write for a range of purposes e.g. stories, instructions, reports and they learn to use appropriate grammar and punctuation.
When they start school children are taught correct letter formation as part of their daily phonics programme. They then continue to develop their handwriting skills by following the Nelson handwriting scheme. This ensures that they can easily make the move to joined-up (cursive) writing.