We follow the Department for Education’s ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme.
Children in EYFS and Year 1 are taught a daily phonics lesson which is highly structured to allow opportunities for reading, spelling and writing.
Extra lessons and interventions are provided for children who need more help to learn the new sounds.
Children’s reading books are carefully aligned to their phonics stage so that they can practise reading words with the sounds they already know.
KS1 Guided Reading
Children are taught in a reading group of children working at a similar reading level
A weekly reading lesson takes place with the teacher, supported by a carousel of other literacy-based activities
Texts are closely matched to children’s reading level and build progressively
Varied range of skills across a week (we use the Reading Dogs to help us remember the key skills of Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Retrieval, Sequencing)
KS2 Guided Reading
Children are taught as a daily reading lesson as a whole class, based on a short text or extract
Increased focus on explicit teaching of comprehension
Varied range of skills across a week (we use Reading VIPERS to help us remember the key skills of Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summarising)
Revisiting these skills on a regular basis, week on week
Sessions are fun, engaging and challenging
Opportunities for teachers to explicitly model reading skills and for children to learn alongside their peers
Links to high quality texts used in writing lessons
Strong focus on inclusion, with separate intervention on decoding and fluency where necessary
Skills progression maps support consistently high expectations for children’s reading skills
Children’s reading is also supported through the use of a leveled system of reading books.
Teachers decide when to move children through the coloured book bands based on their progress with a wide range of reading skills, including decoding, fluency, expression and comprehension.
They are still welcome to choose books from our fabulous library to read for pleasure in addition to their leveled reading book.
When they have graduated to becoming a ‘free reader’, children can select their own reading book from the library, class bookshelves or books from home.
Their teacher can still guide them in making appropriately challenging choices.
English lessons are planned in sequences (generally 2-4 weeks long).
Most units of work are based on The Literary Curriculum from the Literacy Tree which is a thematic approach to English. Children experience quality texts, significant authors and a wide range of themes and genres.
Grammar and punctuation skills are taught explicitly, and then applied in purposeful and engaging short writing opportunities, building towards a final piece where new and existing skills can be showcased.
Units have been selected to complement the school’s curriculum topics where possible and to ensure coverage of the full range of writing composition, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary objectives for each year group.
Skills progression maps support consistently high expectations for children’s writing skills
From Year 2, children are set a weekly list of spellings from an overview which ensures coverage of all the high-frequency words, spelling rules and patterns outlined in the national curriculum.
These words are introduced in class, with regular opportunities to practise and apply them in written work.
Children are asked to practise them at home for a short spelling test which helps their teacher to understand how well they have been learnt and where further teaching and support is required.
In addition to their weekly rule or pattern, children in KS2 are given several ‘statutory words’ to learn. These are words which the Department for Education requires all children to have learned before they leave primary education. They are generally words which don't follow the weekly rules children are learning or words which are frequently misspelled or tricky to remember.