As a school we aim to develop confident, articulate children who are able to communicate effectively through the written and spoken word. We encourage children to relish the opportunity to read and write in a variety of contexts and aim for all children to develop a love for reading and writing which will serve them well throughout their later life.
We use the National Curriculum as a basis for developing the children’s reading, writing, speaking and listening skills. All children undertake a daily dedicated English lessons. Additionally and importantly, at South Stanley Infant & Nursery School, we see English teaching as something that must be, and is, embedded across all lessons and activities across the day. From speaking clearly and articulately around school, to writing at length as part of a topic lesson.
There is also an emphasis on giving children the technical knowledge and language through which they can discuss and improve their work, helping them to become reflective and proactive learners. We have a strong emphasis on the home-school link to support learning in English.
Please see our long term English planning below.
Reading throughout the school
In addition to their daily Sounds Write phonic sessions, the children take part in daily dedicated reading sessions to build their ability to read automatically and fluently. During these reading sessions, we use Sounds Write and Dandelion matched reading books which are carefully matched to our phonics scheme. Once children become fluent with their reading in Year 2, they may bring home additional books that are not Sounds Write or Dandelion readers. Reading skills are also developed through our cross curricular links where we encourage children to read texts related to the topic being taught.
Each class has a text based approach to teaching English called our ‘Book Hooks’. These texts have been selected to be both engaging to children, broaden their understanding of a range of experiences and cultures. Many of these books have been selected as they are recommended as being high quality, age appropriate texts for children by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE) Children’s comprehension skills are developed using a ‘VIPERS’ approach (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequence)
At South Stanley Infant & Nursery School, we understand the positive impact that reading for pleasure has on children’s academic, social and emotional development. We encourage children to read for pleasure in a range of ways. We encourage a love of reading through attractive and inviting class reading areas, regular story time within classes, school poetry recitals, visiting authors and visiting poetry workshops. Each year group has a story suitcase containing ten texts which they repeat read daily. These texts have again been carefully selected to be both engaging to children, broaden their understanding of a range of experiences and cultures and are also recommended as being high quality, age appropriate texts for children by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education. We have ‘Book Blether’ sessions in class in which adults and children discuss the books they have selected and spend time sharing them – reading is also a shared pleasure!
Children across school visit the local library in South Moor every half term. Lisa the Librarian reads us stories, gives us activities to do and we even get to choose our own books to borrow for our class reading areas back at school! We always look forward to our visits to the library! We regularly share links to our ‘Lisa’s Library Reads’ on our Facebook page where Lisa the Librarian suggests books for the children in our school and keeps them in the library just for our school!
Across the Key Stages, children are taught writing through a text based approach. Over the year, teachers choose a selection of engaging novels or non-fictions texts and plan units of work around them. We aim to develop children’s cultural capital through their exposure to texts. The texts inspire a range of writing opportunities and throughout the unit children regularly write across a range of genres in response to the characters and events from the novel they are reading. This approach provides opportunities for children to appreciate and discuss a range of literature whilst reading and writing regularly for a purpose. It really engages the children and creates a buzz around their English work. Where appropriate, novels are linked to termly topics in order to immerse children fully into a cohesively planned unit of work.
Look at the link below which detail the National Curriculum by Year Group for English (including spelling lists for each year).
If you require any more information about how we teach English in school then please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s class teacher, Mrs Fagan English Coordinator or Mrs Thompson Head teacher.
From the very beginning of our Reception year we start teaching the children how to read and write. Our aim is to develop confident and fluent readers and writers through a consistent and well-established approach. At South Stanley Infant and Nursery School we use a phonic programme called Sounds-Write, a linguistic phonics programme that teaches the children that letters are used for spelling sounds. We therefore, when teaching, talk about sounds, not letters.
‘Blending’ to read and ‘segmenting’ to write are the key skills we emphasise throughout our phonic teaching. In Reception children are taught the sound-spellings (sound and letter correspondences, which Sounds-Write refers to as the Initial Code) for the twenty-six letters of the alphabet. We reinforce that sounds need to be said very precisely. For example, when we see the spelling <m>, we say /m/ and not ‘muh’. The children initially use their knowledge of sound-spellings (code) to ‘blend’ to read words with two or three sounds in them by saying the sounds and listening for the word. They quickly move onto reading more complex words, such as those with four and five sounds e.g. ‘lamp’ and ‘crisp’. After each word is ‘blended’, it is also written using the skill of ‘segmenting’, reinforcing the sound-spelling correspondences. The children are also taught to read and write polysyllabic words from the summer term in Reception and throughout Key Stage 1, applying their phonic knowledge of sound-spellings (code) to read these more complex words.
In Year 1 and Year 2, the children are taught spellings for sounds that use two and more letters e.g. that <ow>, <oa> and <oe> represent the sound /oa/ in ‘slow’, ‘boat’ and ‘toe’ (which Sounds-Write refers to as the Extended Code). When reading, they continue to ‘say the sounds, read the word’, looking for the spelling patterns they have been taught to help them read new and less familiar words. Throughout Key Stage 1, as in Reception, writing the words that have been read is a fundamental part of each phonics lesson.
Throughout the Sounds-Write programme the children undertake a variety of activities using relevant materials in a meaningful context that support their developing abilities to blend and segment. There is challenge when appropriate, within the level of their development, and high expectations are upheld throughout.
To support children’s learning at home, word lists are regularly sent to enable the children to practice blending and segmenting using the sound-spellings (code) that they have been taught.
With repeated exposure to consistent teaching, daily opportunities to learn new code and to practice blending and segmenting we support our children to become confident, fluent readers and writers.
If you have any further questions about Sounds-Write, our approach to phonics or how to help at home, please see a member of staff.
Phonics teaching continues in Year 1 and at the end of this year, the Phonics Screening Test (introduced by Department for Education in 2011) takes place to assess achievement in Phonics.
The excellent Punctuation Show has provided us with a Parent Guide to Grammar, It’s designed to give parents a reference if their children are talking about a term they’re learning about in class.
Helping Your Child With Reading
Sounds Write have some useful hints and tips for parents on their website or follow them on Facebook.