We teach the key skills of English (as a spoken language, read and written) discretely in literacy and in context through our carefully planned topic work . Our aim is to inspire children to read and write independently, skilfully and with pleasure.
Reading covers a range of skills, word reading, comes first. Phonics, matching letters and sounds - then the techniques of independent decoding and blending grow alongside the understanding of word structure and the historical links between words in the English language. Recall of key words and sight vocabulary grows in line with the age related stages of the National Curriculum. At the same time we teach how to understand and take delight in stories and other books, at first by sharing and listening but as soon as possible by fostering a love of independent pleasure in reading. All this supports children in their own comprehension of a range of texts and sets them off into a world where they appreciate and enjoy a positive relationship with the written word.
We use a range of reading texts and phonics materials. Primarily for phonics we use the "Letters and Sounds" programme, this splits the learning of phonics into phases from 1 to 6. The following link explains each stage:
We add to this elements of the "Read Write Inc" scheme which we find the most succesful. For some children who have specific learning styles we find the "Jolly Phonics" can help too. This blended apporach has been succesful in the school as it allows us to match the best programme to the right child. We know this works as in recent years our Y1 phonics results have always exceeded the national average.
We use a range of commercial schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree, Collins Big Cat along side other publishers so children can experience a broad range of styles and genres as they learn to read. In addition we use the the PM Benchmarking scheme to aid assessment of reading and measure progress. This assortment of texts is explained in our Reading at Home section: http://www.billingborough.lincs.sch.uk/reading-at-home/
Mrs McCormack is our phonics leader and would be happy to discuss any aspects of early readng with parents.
Children need to read at home ( see the link above) too and our reading record/home school books enable communication between parents and teachers in this respect. In the same way pupils need help and support to learn and practise their spellings.
Writing is actively taught across all lessons both as a discrete skill and in many cross curricular contexts.
In the beginning writing is the transcription of the phonics taught for reading. Correct letter formation and handwriting techniques for later learning are established early, click on to our separate page for more detail. Spellings are taught in sequence as set out in the national curriculum.
Written composition begins with the structure of sentences and the early
skills linked to planning ( drafting), writing and checking (editing ) their own work. Wherever practical we teach writing as a life skill embedded in range of real contexts that tie in to class topics and themes. In order that children write with accuracy and correctly we teach new vocabulary, grammar and punctuation in line with the age related expectations set out in the national curriculum.
We learn how to this with class modelled and shared work then demonstrate these skills independently in our Big Write Books. These techniques grow year by year so our children emerge as confident, enthusiastic writers.
The Aims in English remain similar throughout Key stage 1 and 2 however the skills taught are increasingly complex and stretch the children. It is our mission not only to reach the standard that matches the child's age but to exceed this where ever we can.
Unfortunately not the ones with chocolate chips.
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