We follow the National Curriculum guidelines in terms of teaching a wide range of genres and spelling which progress through the year groups. Children are inspired in their writing by a range of stimuli including links with our themes for example Science Fiction stories linked with Space and Persuasive posters linked with the Seaside. We use an approach to writing which teaches effective use of grammar, spelling and punctuation in context rather than in an abstract way using the methods of Jane Considine. Children begin to check and edit their own work in the infants and they are involved in the next steps in their learning through our learning journeys for writing which each child progresses through at their own pace. We emphasise the development of children’s creative expression and, alongside this, teach skills such as spelling, grammar and punctuation. Children work in small mixed age ability groups focused on phonics and spelling on a daily basis engaged in dynamic and fun activities led by all our teachers and teaching assistants. Children throughout school from YR to Y6 are grouped according to ability to learn phonics and spelling to aid reading and writing. These groups are small as all class based staff take a small group of children to ensure teaching is focused. Activities are interactive, investigative and fun.
Children are taught to read using systematic synthetic phonics based on Letters and Sounds. They are encouraged to also use other cues to decode texts. In Foundation stage children initially read books from the Rigby Star scheme which is based on phonics and this links with what they are learning in school. In Year 1, children have a phonics-based reading book and a second reading book to develop both decoding and comprehension as well as a love of reading. Many of our reading books are from the Oxford reading Tree scheme. As they reach the upper levels of Oxford Reading Tree they broaden their reading with a range of early readers from Collins, Puffin and a wide range of publishers. Children read their reading books 1:1 with adults in school on a regular basis with those children who find reading more difficult receiving additional support and encouragement. All children in school are also grouped by ability into guided reading groups where they work with their teachers on focused reading activities.
We place a high value on reading and enthusing the children about books. All the children spend time in the school library at least once a week and choose books from the library to take home along with their reading book. We also hold regular reading events such as World Book Day activity days, inviting parents in to read with the children, buddied reading between older and younger children and visits from authors, poets and story tellers. We have a reading shack in our playground meaning that children can visit to read at playtimes and both parents and children can swap books from the shack.
Speaking and Listening
We believe that developing good listening skills and the ability to articulate thoughts are vital and children are engaged in plentiful discussions as whole school, classes, groups and in pairs as well as drama activities and forest school or outdoor learning activities which give rise to an enormous amount of high quality talk! Children have weekly assembly and PSHE themes which they discuss and learn the conventions of discussion and asking questions. All the children in school have “Talk Partners” who are chosen randomly. There are many times during the school day when they will talk with their talk partner to discuss things or answer a question. We use Philosophy for Children to develop children’s thinking, philosophy, speaking and listening skills and have achieved the Bronze Quality Mark in this so far.