Reading & Writing
Reading is one of the most important skills that will enable a child to learn and become a lifelong learner. It provides an important means of obtaining information but most of all a source of pleasure. From an early age, pupils take books home from a progressive reading scheme to share with adults. This nurtures an enjoyment of reading and also provides a valuable reading experience with parents. As children become more proficient, they extend their reading matter to a wider choice of fiction and non-fiction books.Guided reading is introduced in the Reception class and continues Key Stage 1. In this adult led teaching group pupils learn the key reading strategies, they also learn the importance of contextual understanding and reading for comprehension through the means of directed questioning and discussion.
In Key Stage 2 children take part in whole class reading lessons. These are called Destination Reader lessons and include whole class modelling, partner work and independent reading. Children use a range of reading strategies to deepen their understanding of the texts they read. They are provided with sentence stems tailored to each reading strategy to guide their discussion. Key Stage 2 children have been provided with Destination Reader book marks so that they can practise using these sentence stems when reading at home too.
Reading at home
Children are encouraged to read every day at home. Every child in our school freely chooses a fiction and non-fiction book to take home read and share with their families. In addition to this, children are given a ‘book band’ reading book to read at their level.
Spelling and phonics
Phonics is one of the key tools for reading and writing. Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils are introduced to phonics through a structured programme and begin to develop their spelling of the high frequency words (the most commonly used words.) Older pupils learn about spelling patterns, rules and exceptions to these.
Spelling skills are introduced within the classroom through direct teaching, investigations of words and texts and studies of spelling patterns and conventions.
The Great British Spell Off
Children from Year 1 to Year 6 will be given a new spelling list each half term. This list includes spellings outlined by the government in the national curriculum. As they progress through the scheme word lists contain a mixture of new words and words previously learnt earlier in the scheme. This should give children the opportunity to revise words they know already, ensuring they don't simply learn them for the test and then forget them. Children who are able to spell all the required spellings by the end of the half term will be given a certificate at the end of the half term.
We expect your child to learn these spellings over a half term. We do not expect your child to learn all of the spellings in one go. Try to spread their learning across the half term working on 5 or 6 words at a time, adding on more once they have been learnt.
Methods to support spelling at home
There are a range of methods that you can use to support your child with their spelling at home
Sounding words out: breaking the word down into phonemes (e.g. c-a-t, sh-e-ll.) Many words cannot be sounded out so other strategies are needed.
- Dividing the word into syllables, say each syllable as they write the word (e.g. re-mem-ber.)
- Using the ‘Look, say, cover, write, check’ strategy: look at the word and say it out aloud, then cover it, write it and check to see if it is correct. If not, highlight or underline the incorrect part and repeat the process.
- Using mnemonics as an aid to memorising a tricky word (e.g. because - big elephants can’t always use small entrances.
- Finding words within words (e.g. a rat in separate.)
- Making links between the meaning of words and their spelling (e.g. sign, signal, signature.)
- Using a dictionary.
- Just having a go at spelling words that they are unsure of.
Phonic Scheme and Progression
The Letters and Sounds Phonic Program is implemented from Nursery to Reception. In Nursery children incorporate many different sound and letter activities in their daily learning. Phonics is taught for 30 minutes each day for children in Reception and KS1. It is also used to support children in KS2 who have English as an additional language (EAL).
Phonics teaching involves teaching children the sounds of letters ( not just the names) and how to segment and blend them together to make words, e.g c - a - t can be blended to make cat.
Phonics and reading skills are taught in six distinct phases. These phases are set out in the Letters and Sounds Program and are taught sequentially.
How you can help at home
- Encourage and model correct pronunciation of sounds
- Reading daily to your child OR with your child OR listen to them read
- Encourage sounding out as one strategy when they are having trouble reading a word
- PRAISE all attempts
We want every child to leave school as effective and confident communicators who love writing. Our broad and creative curriculum provides writing inspiration to each child. Our consistent approach uses drama and talk as a first step to expressing ideas. There is a focus on planning ideas as well as thinking about the task, audience and purpose. Children are taught to write in a variety of styles in context such as narrative, persuasive, journalistic, recounts and reports. Children learn how to vary sentences, make ambitious and precise word choices and use grammar and punctuation accurately. Our annual whole school writing dayensures that we can develop our writing skills as a whole school and celebrate our love of writing!
High Frequency Words to Read and Write
The following sets of words contain the first 300 hundred most frequent words that children will encounter in their reading. Children need to learn how to read and then write them.