For useful links and games to help with English take a look at our English Support page.
Co-ordinators: Mrs. Russell & Miss Morgan
Early Years foundation Stage
In the Nursery setting children will access Literacy based activities throughout the week as child choice or adult directed activities. There is focus day which covers the area of Communication and language.
In the Reception classes once the children have settled into the setting they will access a daily Literacy based carpet session. Throughout the week all of the children will work with the teacher on an adult led activity, whilst also being able to access Literacy based child choice activities too.
The children in the Nursery setting have a Communication and language focussed day in the week, which includes phonic based activities. Children will access activities through child choice activities or adult directed. Small group work will take place based in the age and stage of development of the children.
The children in the Reception classes have daily phonics lessons, initially using the Jollyphonics scheme to introduce the sounds using an action and a song.
Depending on the age and stage of the children, phonics groups are then set to address the ability of the children within the letters and sounds phases. Phonics is reinforced through child choice activities in the week.
The children in the Nursery setting have a Communication and language focussed day in the week, which includes reading based activities. All the children have the opportunity to choose a book from the reading area on a daily basis. Depending on their age and stage of development, when ready, the children will access the initial reading scheme “Dandelion Launchers” in school.
In the Reception classes the children have daily access to a reading area. Stories are modelled in the classroom by the teacher and are used as part of their learning. Once the children are at the appropriate age and stage for reading, which is reinforced through the phonics lesson they will start to access the reading scheme “Dandelion Launchers” in school. The children will read in a guided reading session at least once a week, with an additional reading scheme book “Oxford Reading Tree” being sent home on a Friday.
Reading is taught from Reception onwards in small ability groups, as a guided session. Strategies for decoding text, understanding, selecting and retrieving information from the text, are all crucial early skills, upon which are built the skills of deduction, inference and interpretation. A reading book is taken home every night by each pupil, with a diary which acts as a reading record and a means of communication between school and parents. Individual reading takes place every afternoon, immediately after lunch, for twenty minutes and daily reading at home is the expectation. Once a week each class is paired with another class when children share and talk about their books.
As children progress into Year 1 the materials used in guided reading are taken from a wider range of texts; the Read, Write, Inc scheme, Dandelion readers, Big Cat readers and the Oxford reading tree. The children read and discuss texts within a good balance of fiction and non-fiction. In KS1 diaries are stamped to show that guided reading has taken place that day. Children take books home, which are changed twice a week and they also have access to a book corner to choose a book which is not a scheme reader. Once children are confident readers and are ready to move off the scheme books they choose books from class and school libraries, reading at their own pace.
For some stimulating reads for free readers, take a look at the Blue Peter Book Awards.
Phonics and SPAG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar)
The teaching of phonics is central to our Early Years and KS1 development of reading and writing. Children are taught in groups according to ability and as phonic knowledge becomes embedded the focus shifts more towards spelling, punctuation and grammar. From 2016 children at the end of Y2 will have SP and G tests in addition to phonics screening at Y1. For those children who have struggled to progress through the systematic, synthetics phonics programme, an alternative approach is delivered, relying more on whole word teaching and visual memory. This programme can continue, in some cases, into KS2. As from September 2014 the phonic groups are largely taught by the literacy teacher of that group, making it easier to track progress and the transference of skills in to literacy lessons. In KS2 almost all of our pupils will have progressed beyond the phases within letters and Sounds and have a daily SPAG session, within their literacy group. Any children still requiring synthetic or analytical phonics are taught in small groups or one to one.
English at Ravensmead, is taught using a cross-curricular approach. This means that much of our literacy teaching is closely linked to the termly topic and reading and writing skills continue to be developed, outside the dedicated daily hour of literacy teaching.
We attempt to give all pupil writing tasks, a real purpose and audience and to provide meaningful opportunities for extended writing. To facilitate these aims, exciting experiences are organised including trips, visiting theatre groups, authors and speakers. The language enrichment resulting from such experiences can lead to powerful writing.
Assessment of reading and writing is an ongoing process and records of skills acquired for every child are kept and constantly updated. Children are made aware of the skills necessary to progress in reading and writing and targets made clear. Three times a year more formal assessments are recorded, which gives each pupil a National Curriculum level and every child’s progress is tracked to ensure that the expected progress is being made. Interventions are put in place where it is thought necessary.