Early Years Foundation Stage
In the Foundation Stage (Reception) children are given opportunities to:
- speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities;
- use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum; and
- become immersed in a language rich environment.
Key Stage 1
At Key Stage 1 (Year 1 and Year 2) children are given opportunities to:
- learn to speak confidently and listen to what others have to say;
- learn to read and write independently and with enthusiasm; and
- learn to use language to explore their own experiences and imaginary worlds.
Key Stage 2
At Key Stage 2 (Years 3 to 6) children are given opportunities to:
- learn to change the way they speak and write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences;
- read a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetic texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them; and
- explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and learn how the structure of language works (using grammatical terminology).
To provide a differentiated English curriculum to meet the needs of all the children through the continuity of experiences we:
- set suitable learning challenges for individuals or small groups of children;
- respond to pupils' diverse learning needs;
- liaise with the Special Needs Co-ordinator to ensure that provision is made for all children with SENd;
- overcome potential barriers to learning and assessment for individuals and groups of pupils and
- identify vulnerable groups who are not making expected progress, and provide appropriate support.
We have a low intake of pupils with English as an Additional Language, but teachers differentiate planning for those children who require it and provide opportunities for them to be immersed in the language, modelling high quality talk at every opportunity
The teaching of English develops skills through which our children can give critical responses to the moral questions they meet in their work. Their understanding and appreciation of a range of texts brings them into contact with their own literary heritage and texts from other cultures. The organisation of lessons allows children to work together and gives them the chance to discuss their ideas and outcomes.
Cross Curricular Links
Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links. They will plan for pupils to practice and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum. Extended writing is expected to be produced in Topic work and Science; to showcase the children’s transferable literacy skills.
Parental involvement and the Community
We believe it is vitally important to work together with parents and carers to support their child’s development of English. We promote a positive home/school partnership in the following ways:
- asking parents/carers to read regularly at home and record and write comments in the pupils’ reading record;
- parent workshops to provide practical advice on how parents can support their children in English;
- sharing termly targets set during parent meetings in reading, writing and GPS;
- celebrations – special events such as World Book Day, assemblies, displays, book fairs, etc;
- Home Learning - in line with our homework policy and home/school agreement; and
- visits to the onsite Debenham Library.
Top Marks Literacy Foundation Stage
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised
Our school has chosen Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised as our systematic, synthetic phonics programme to teach early reading and spelling.
We will work our way through the whole Little Wandle Programme until your child can read fluently. Children move from learning to read, to reading to learn, giving them access to the treasure house of reading. Our expectations of progression are aspirational yet achievable when maintaining pace, practice and participation by all children.
We usually teach new sounds each week and have a review lesson on a Friday.
How we make learning stick
The Little Wandle Resources help learning to stick. Each sound that we teach to begin with has either a mnemonic (like the astronaut you see here) or a phrase like ‘boing-boing’ for oi. This helps children recognise and remember the graphemes. Every time we teach a new sound, we also read words during the phonics lesson that contain that new sound, so that the children practise what they have learned.
Reading and Spelling
Children learn that there are graphemes that can have different sounds and sounds that can be made with different letters. See another example below of different ways to write the phoneme ‘sh’
shell caption chef mansion special and passion
The children learn to spell by saying the word, segmenting the sounds, counting the sounds and then writing them down.
We use Little Wandle Assessments to match your child to the right level book. We assess your child every six weeks to check progress. Any child who needs extra support has daily keep-up sessions planned for them.
Reading a book at the right level for your child
This means that your child should;
- Know all the sounds and tricky words in their phonics book well.
- Read many of the words by silent blending (in their head) their reading will be automatic.
- They only need to stop and sound out about 5% of their words by the time they bring the book home but they should be able to do this on their own.
The most important thing you can do is read with your child
Books going home
As well as the ‘learning to read’ book that your child will bring home they will also bring home a book for sharing with you. This book is SO important. This is how we are going to give them the WILL to read. Please read with your child as often as you can – at least once a day.
Supporting your child
It is really important that you pronounce the sounds correctly at home if you are supporting your child. These videos are on the website for you to refer to and if you are unsure, please ask your child’s teacher. Show the parents where to access them on the website and play them!
Children in the Early Years and Key Stage 1 take home a book at an appropriate level for their ability. These books develop a fluency and enjoyment of a variety of texts. Each child has a home school reading record that teachers and parents can use to share information about a child’s reading. Parents are encouraged to read with their child every week. Classrooms have a reading corner with a selection of books for the children to enjoy and develop their love of reading.
In Key Stage 2 the children are encouraged to read independently and for pleasure and enjoyment. They read a range of texts in class and have home reading books. They use learnt skills and knowledge to form an understanding of what they have read. The children have the opportunity to read a variety of text types, varying in length, genre and complexity, to provide them with sufficient challenge.
In KS2 reading books are colour coded following Big Cat Collins levels. We also have a variety of texts for children who are reading beyond fully decodable books. Children have books that support and consolidate individual reading skills and for those children who are independent readers.
In KS1 we follow Big Cat Phonics reading scheme that has decodable books linked to our SSP Little Wandle, which are labelled by colours and have a clear reading progression.
We encourage all readers to share a book at home with an adult. We believe that this not only helps to develop inferential skills, but also support a lifelong love of reading. We recognise the value of adults (both in school and at home) reading aloud to children, in order to improve their grasp of story language, enthuse them to develop a love of books and inspire them as writers.
In order to support children further we run short intervention programmes such as Toe-by-Toe and provide 'Keep Up' sessions and interventions links to our Phonics Scheme Little Wandle.
"Reading should not be presented to children as a chore or duty. It should be offered to them as a precious gift."
— Kate DiCamillo
"If you don’t like to read, you haven’t found the right book."
— J.K. Rowling
"Books to the ceiling, Books to the sky, My pile of books is a mile high. How I love them! How I need them! I’ll have a long beard by the time I read them."
— Arnold Lobel
The use of engaging, relevant and high quality texts is central to our writing curriculum. These act as stimuli for children to develop and explore their writing skills. Children write for purpose wherever possible. Teacher-led activities show children how to plan, draft, rehearse and edit texts preparing them to write ambitiously. Children learn how to debate and present, to reason and justify their answers. Grammar is integrated into our English curriculum and is taught discretely and in context. Handwriting follows a cursive font and children learn this through explicit handwriting lessons.
“Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.”
– John Jakes
"One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world."