English- Phonics, Reading and Writing
At Holy Cross Catholic school, we believe that pupils should develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively. We use the Letters and Sounds programme to teach phonics and use the phonic bug programme which offers children the chance to learn alongside at home and match sounds taught to e-books shared online.
During both key stages pupils’ interest and pleasure in reading is developed as they learn to read confidently and independently. This involves two dimensions:
· Word reading
At Key Stage One children take part in a daily dedicated phonics session as set out in the Letters and Sounds document. The teaching of phonics is emphasised in the early teaching of reading to beginners. This involves the speedy working out of unfamiliar words and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. We also teach the children to read high frequency words by sight which aids fluency.
Skills continue to be developed in the following ways:
· sharing books together as a whole class, group or in pairs
· individual reading for Reception, Year One and Year Two with the class teacher or TA once a week
· reading books are sent home and changed once a week
· guided reading is introduced during Year One and continues in Year Two.
From Reception the children begin reading comprehension, in Reception this takes the form of oral questioning and book talk with the teacher. In Year 1 and 2 it progresses to written comprehension. At Key Stage Two there is a greater focus on guided reading and comprehension activities as opposed to hearing children individually read, although the teacher still closely monitors the children’s reading.
Other strategies include:
· whole class reading
· guided reading
· group reading
· one to one
· paired reading
Each child will have a Reading Record; the purpose of which is to record the reading experiences both at home and school. This contains lists of phonics and high frequency words and tips for how to help your child read.
During both Key Stages, pupils’ interest and pleasure in writing is developed as they learn to write confidently and independently.
This involves two dimensions:
· Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
A cursive script will be used throughout school and taught at Key Stage One in a dedicated weekly lesson and, as appropriate at Key Stage Two.
· In the Foundation Stage children will begin by using a multi-sensory approach e.g. water painting, drawing letters/shapes in sand/salt, paint, felt pens, large sheets of paper, chalks on the playground etc.
· During the year they will progress to using whiteboards and pens to practice individual letter formation.
· In the summer term Reception children will transfer handwriting to their writing books and practice sitting letters correctly on lines.
· In Year One children will practice the joined script for vowel digraphs.
· From Year Two onwards children will be taught to use a joined script.
Current teaching practice and resources are to be in line with the new 2014 English curriculum. Children will be taught spelling strategies using a variety of approaches as set out in English Appendix 1 of the new curriculum (statutory requirements) and from the National Letters and Sounds document. Spelling Journal will be used from Y3 – Y6. We follow the No Nonsense Spelling programme from Years 2-6.
· In Reception children will complete phases 1 – 5 of Letters and Sounds.
· In Year One children will revise Phases 4 and 5 and complete phase 6 of Letters and Sounds during dedicated phonics lessons
In Year 2 children will revise Phase 6 and move onto No Nonsense Spelling and receive weekly spellings.
· In Key Stage 2 children will receive dedicated daily spelling lessons through No Nonsense Spelling. Spelling Journals will be used and weekly spellings will be sent home.
All children from Year 1 onwards will be given a list of weekly spellings to practice at home.
A variety of models for teaching writing are used; teacher modelling, shared writing, supported composition, guided and independent writing. Targets for writing are identified through next steps marking.
· From Year One onwards there is a weekly, dedicated Big Write morning.
· The teaching of writing/literacy is primarily approached creatively through topic and Power of Reading books at both Key Stage One and Two.
· The majority of sentence level work is taught through writing. At Key Stage Two, children are taught these skills through daily SPAG lessons.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation (SPAG)
The school follows the statutory guidance which gives an overview of the specific features that will be included in the teaching of SPAG. Children are taught to use Standard English and the vocabulary necessary to discuss their reading, writing and spoken language using the No Nonsense Spelling programme.