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English

Phonics

Children in Nursery, Reception and Key Stage One follow the “Read, Write, Inc.” Phonics programme. This is a way of learning the sounds that letters make and blending them together to read words. The children can also break words down into their sounds so that they can write them.

In Nursery, in the Spring term, children begin learning the sounds each letter makes. The children are also introduced to Fred and the way he talks in sounds.

In Reception, the children learn to read and write simple words and sentences. They learn daily in small groups. Fred continues to help the children read, and also write with Fred Fingers. This is where children can “pinch the sounds” on their fingers to spell simple words.

In Key Stage One, the children continue with their daily phonics session in small groups. They are learning to read with more fluency, and to have a clear understanding of what they read.

All children will take home reading books which match their phonics level. We would expect these books to be changed every 3 or 5 days depending on the book colour

Reading Fluency and Comprehension

Children in Reception and in Key Stage One follow the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme. As part of the programme, they take reading books home that match the sounds they have been learning in lessons. Children also borrow books from the school and class libraries.

Children in Key Stage two use Accelerated Reader, which is a computer programme designed to help children choose books that are within their reading ability – this ensures that children are not bored by texts that are too easy or frustrated by texts that are too difficult for them. The children are assessed and given a ZPD which shows their comfort and challenge range. Once they have read their chosen book, they take a short quiz to assess their comprehension and choose a new book. They have access to a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books across each level and are encouraged to read widely across their ZPD range.

Each class has a timetabled session for reading their class novel or books from a range of high quality texts. This is an opportunity for the children to hear excellent modelling of reading by the teacher which helps to improve their own fluency when reading aloud.

During guided reading lessons, children focus on a range of high quality texts including extracts and whole books to promote discussion using a mixture of individual thinking and partner work. This helps to develop their speaking and listening skills as well as focusing on their reading comprehension.Each reading lesson focuses on the following skills:

  • Vocabulary
  • Inference
  • Prediction
  • Explanation
  • Retrieval
  • Summarising (Sequencing in KS1)

To remember all of these reading skills we use the acronym VIPERS.
We teach these skills so that the children learn how to use and understand the texts that they read.

Writing

Foundation Stage

In the Early Years, children are encouraged to attempt their own emergent writing and their efforts are valued and praised. As their phonic knowledge increases, this will be reflected in their writing. At the same time, their knowledge of key words is supported through reading and writing activities, including shared reading and writing.

High quality books are at the centre of the writing curriculum in EYFS and a wide variety of opportunities are provided for children to engage in writing activities linked to these texts.

Amongst these are:

  • Shared writing
  • Role-play
  • Labels
  • Recipes
  • Lists
  • Making books
  • Writing letters

Through engaging in these activities, children become aware that writing is used for a range of purposes. They distinguish it from drawing and learn the left to right convention of writing in English. A variety of resources are used to encourage the development of the fine motor control which is essential for good handwriting both in indoor and outdoor provision. These include using play dough, cutting, threading and tracing. Fine motor skills are also a focus in motor skills groups targeted at specific children. Gross motor skills are also developed through these groups (as well as in PE), as upper body strength is recognised as being vital to good fine motor skills.

KS1 and KS2

At Queens Park Academy, high quality texts are at the core of our writing curriculum. Pupils access a wide range of genres, text types and authors which provide them with rich, diverse writing opportunities. In each half term, year groups will study one or two texts and produce three assessed outcomes. Final pieces will be published at the end of a two-week cycle of high-quality teaching that will equip pupils with the knowledge and skills to write effectively.

Our core curriculum is based on the CLPE’s ‘Power of Reading’ teaching sequences and our approach is guided by their ‘Writing in Primary Schools – What We Know Works’ research (CLPE 2018).

We aim to:

  1. Understand the role reading plays in developing writers and the value of being immersed in quality literature.
  2. Ensure children have experience of a breadth of texts including those that are visual and digital.
  3. Provide a range of meaningful opportunities to write for real purposes and audiences and to respond to writing as a reader.
  4. Develop an understanding of the craft of writing by engaging with professional authors and their processes.
  5. Understand and model the processes of writing authentically.
  6. Support children to identify as writers and develop their own authentic voice.
  7. Give children time and space to develop their own writing ideas.
  8. Use creative teaching approaches that build imagination and give time for oral rehearsal.
  9. Ensure the teaching of phonics, grammar and spelling is embedded in context.
  10. Celebrate writing through authentic publication and presentation across platforms.

We timetable a writing lesson every day and as children move to KS2, we add an extended lesson on a Friday to allow sufficient time for pupils to plan, draft and review their writing.

End of Key Stage 2

By the time children leave, us we aim for them to be able to:

Write with confidence, fluency and understanding, orchestrating a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct.

Have an interest in words and their meanings, developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.

Understand a range of text types and genres and to be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation.

Develop the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness.

Subjects

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