Speaking and Listening:
Speaking and listening skills are essential to the development of all areas of the curriculum and therefore of paramount importance to the development of our children. We encourage children to engage in stimulating conversations that increase their vocabulary and enable them to become active listeners. Speaking and Listening is taught across all areas of the curriculum and all aspects of the school day. This begins in Reception through role-play and continues throughout school in many different forms including assemblies, performances and presentations, engaging in discussion and debate and understanding the importance of effective communication.
Phonics begins in Reception and follows a carefully planned and structured programme. Teaching follows the Letters and Sounds scheme and Jolly Phonics is incorporated to further support children in their learning. Phonics is taught as a discrete lesson daily across all of Reception and Key Stage One. Our children are taught in groups that match their stage of learning enabling them to develop phonic knowledge and skills. In KS2 the teaching of phonics will continue if deemed necessary, with the expectation that all children will become fluent readers secure in word building and recognition skills.
Reading is a vital life skill that supports children’s learning across the whole curriculum. We strive to ensure that the children are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding. We immerse children in quality texts with the aim to instil a love of reading and promote lifelong learning.
Reading is taught through a variety of strategies. In Reception, children share books without words initially, to develop story telling language, use of imagination and to encourage the use of the illustrations to support the events in the story. Children will then bring home books matched to their phonic level and are encouraged to read and re-read books that only contain phonemes taught to build their confidence with reading. Children also bring home ‘reading for pleasure’ story books to enjoy and share with an adult. Across the school, we follow Collins Big Cats Phonics reading scheme. As children successfully move through these levels, they move onto higher coloured bands, which may include books from other schemes such as Oxford Reading Tree and Project X. Alongside this, in school children are also immersed in a rich text environment.
In school, children are taught daily in reading sessions. In KS1, children are taught to read on a 1:1 basis or in small group guided reading sessions. By the end of KS1, all children are encouraged to take part in whole class reading sessions through engaging novels. These sessions include lots of talking about the text and activities based upon VIPERS questioning so that the children can demonstrate an understanding of what they have read.
Home reading books are provided at the appropriate level until children become fluent readers. Children are encouraged to select their own books from the school library. Books can be swapped on a weekly basis.
We encourage children to become independent and creative readers who are motivated to write. Across the school, we teach children to write effectively and coherently for different purposes and audiences. In order for children to be able to do this, we immerse them in a rich text environment providing models of different genres. Teaching writing is carefully planned and structured. Children are initially introduced to specific types of writing; they explore examples of a particular style and look closely at structure and vocabulary. They have opportunities to model and plan their own writing in a particular style before producing their own piece of writing. Opportunities for editing and re-drafting their work are encouraged.