English is at the core of all our other subjects. We wish to develop in our children a love of language both written and spoken that will go with them through their learning journey. We believe a high standard of speaking, listening, reading and writing skills will place our children at an advantage in their wider curriculum learning.
Phonics consists of the skills of segmentation and blending, knowledge of the alphabetic code and understanding of the principles which underpin how children learn to read and write. The children in EYFS and Year 1 receive daily phonics sessions through supportive, differentiated group work.
In Nursery children follow the governments initiative ‘letter and sounds’. The first phase of Letters and Sounds concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for phonic work. The emphasis is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.
Reception and Year 1, teachers use progressive planning. Focused activities allow children to revisit, learn, practise and apply their knowledge and understanding in fun and engaging games and activities. Pupils are systematically taught the phonemes (sounds), how to blend the sounds through words for reading, and how to segment the sounds for spelling.
When children reach the summer term of Year 1, their phonic knowledge is assessed through the statutory phonics screening check. It can also be repeated during Year 2 to monitor progress and identify those children in need of intervention.
We recognise that reading is of central importance in allowing children to access learning, broaden their educational experiences and deepen their knowledge of the world. We aim to nurture in each child a love of books and reading and develop a growing ability to read fluently, confidently and with understanding, not only to improve and extend each child’s skills but also for pleasure.
Spelling is an integral part of the writing process. Children who spell with ease are able to concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning.
The learning of spelling is encouraged as part of the home-school partnership and weekly spellings will be sent home to practise in Year 1 and Year 2, in readiness for a test in school. Children will be given words according to their developmental needs, so the amount and level of difficulty will vary.
Our children need to develop a passion and skill for writing in which they feel comfortable in experimenting with different styles and formats. Our aim is to provide children with opportunities to enjoy writing and to understand the purpose of writing. Children need to want to write to be a successful writer. In Early Years, all children’s attempts at writing, including emergent writing, are valued and built upon, so that children appreciate the importance of their writing in conveying meaning to the reader. In KS1, the emphasis will be on verbally rehearsing writing and this will lead to regular writing sessions. In Year 2, with support and guidance children are encouraged to edit their work and identify areas of development in their own writing. This enables them to be more reflective learners and develops lifelong skills in writing.