How we teach English
Reading opens up a world of opportunity for our children. Through reading literature, they can experience lives and visit places that they may otherwise never have the opportunity to. We provide our children with high quality phonics teaching in EYFS and Year 1 through Little Wandle, and encourage them to supply this knowledge to decoding words so that they leave KS1 as confident, fluent readers. Early readers are provided with fully decodable reading books linked to the phonemes they are learning in class to support this.
Once children are able to read the decodable books confidently, they will begin to use our Accelerated Reader system. The children complete their Star test and then read books at an appropriate level for them, answering comprehension quizzes before moving on to a new book.
Each class visit the school library weekly. The children are encouraged to choose a book they are interested in, which may not be one they can read themselves. The book can be taken home, for parents and children to enjoy together. In addition, classes visit Shirley library each term.
Reading comprehension sessions focus on teaching the children a range of comprehension skills including retrieval, inference and understanding vocabulary choices so that children can fully explain their understanding of what they have read. As the children move through the school their comprehension sessions will focus on a wider range of high quality texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Children will have greater opportunities to analyse choices that author's have made allowing them to then apply this knowledge to their own writing.
In every class, the children will be read to by an adult ’expert’ reader daily. This may be a high quality text or rhyme or part of the class novel and will give the children the opportunity to hear an expert reader who can relate a story in an engaging manner. It is a time for children to enjoy books, while providing them with rich language experience and opportunities to develop vocabulary and comprehension skills, with planned questions and key vocabulary.
What is Little Wandle? It is a complete systematic synthetic phonics programme (SSP) developed for schools by schools.
Please see document below which explains more about Little Wandle and the learning behind it.
What you will see in classrooms:
- High quality phonics sessions following a 4 part lesson revisit/recap, Teach, Practise and Apply
- Children reading books at an appropriate level for them
- Comprehension skills being explicitly taught
- Teacher modelling of fluent reading and expert comprehension
- High quality texts shared with the class
Reading into Writing
Our writing curriculum is built around a wide range of diverse, high quality texts. In each year group children engage with poems, picture books, novels and visual texts as inspiration and models for their own writing. Hook lessons inspire the children at the start of each learning journey, igniting their interest in the subject matter. Initial lessons focus on reading skills to engage with the plot and characters, followed by specific spelling, punctuation and grammar skills lessons which will be applied in the children’s written outcomes at the end of each journey.
What you will see in classrooms:
- High quality tests used as inspiration and models for writing
- Progressive writing journeys based around a text
- Explicit modelling of skills and knowledge
- Scaffolds to support children’s understanding at all levels
- Speaking and listening skills developed through regular high quality dialogue between both pupils with peers and adults
- A progression in skills understanding and application as children move through the school
See uploaded document below to view the texts studied in each year group.