Reading and Writing
The aim is to help each child to be able to read fluently and with understanding so that reading becomes a source of real pleasure and enjoyment.
Reading is a complex skill which is taught thoroughly and systematically at St Andrew and St Francis. We start developing a love of reading in the Nursery by introducing an exciting range of books to the children. They learn to love and know key authors by making props for stories, acting out stories and enjoying the fun and rich language of stories. All children take books home from their classroom to share with parents in every year group.
As reading schemes become more complex, their reading progresses. Phonic awareness is introduced in Nursery and in Reception. The 'Letters and Sounds' & Jolly Phonics scheme is used to support reading development until they are proficient. Comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading and to ensure that this is taught, pupils from Y1-Y6 learn through Guided Reading sessions. In small groups, the children are taught to use reading behaviours to support their comprehension. Reading is also taught at every opportunity throughout the curriculum.
Reading at home
At the beginning of learning to read, every child is expected to read and be read to every night. Reading children stories is the best and most enjoyable way of introducing them to new vocabulary and concepts which help them with all their learning. The length of time a child is expected to read for increases with age. A young child will need to read to an adult for short periods every night, where as an older child will be expected to read on their own in a quiet environment and then talk about what they have read.
Children take 2 books home weekly; one book is from their PM benchmark reading scheme and the other book is book of their choice from the class library. When the children have completed the PM Benchmark scheme, they no longer need to take one of these books home.
From Year 2 children also have the opportunity to borrow a book from the school library.
In Early Years and KS1, parents can communicate with their class teacher on children's reading through the SASF Reading Journal Diaries. (See your class teacher if you do not have a Reading Journal.)
Children can track and comment on the books which they have borrowed from the school library using the Junior Librarian Reading Cloud. (Please look at the Parents - Library section in the website.)
At SASF we use the phonics scheme 'Letters and Sounds’ combined with 'Jolly Phonics'. Children learn to identify sounds they use when they speak, recognise the common spellings of each sound, blend sounds into words for reading and segment words into phonemes for spelling. This involves teaching sounds first and then the name of the letter.
Whilst children work within the phase that is appropriate to their level of learning, they may also be given experiences of other phases to support future learning or secure previous understanding. The children are regularly assess to ensure that their needs are being met.
Children in the Nursery should learn to:
The children will learn these skills through exploring the world around them with listening walks, songs, games, stories and instruments.
Children in the Reception should learn to:
As well as using games, rhyme, songs and stories to understand and develop these skills, phonics will be taught through a daily 15 minute session. These sessions are structured as:
Revisit and Review
Children in the Year 1 should learn to consolidate their previous learning. There are no new graphemes taught but instead children learn to:
At the end of Y1 all children nationally are screened to assess their phonetic knowledge. The assessment is made up of real words as well as made-up “whacky words”. Your child’s phonic score will be included with their annual report.
Pupils who are unable to read the expected number of words (32/40 in 2015) at the end of Y1 will continue to receive targeted phonics teaching in Y2. They will redo the phonics screen at the end of the Y2.
From Year 2 through to Year 6, children develop their understanding and knowledge of spelling. This will include:
Children will be given spellings to practise each week. These will be used and applied through their early work each morning linked to grammar, punctuation, handwriting and dictation. Although no formal test will be done, it is important that children spend the time at home to understand the spellings.
Click here for the spelling expectations from Reception to Year 6, including the Year 3/4 word list and Year 5/6 word list.
How you can help at home
We want every child to leave school as effective and confident communicators, who love writing. Speaking and listening is key to good writing and our children spend time discussing ideas prior to writing. Our children learn to write in exciting and imaginative ways right from the start. In Nursery, we begin writing our names. Writing in Key Stage 1 is very purposeful and may be linked to an activity such as writing a list of instructions for cooking. Initially, children learn to write stories and then other forms of writing such as recounts and reports. By the time the children leave us, they will have experience and knowledge of writing all text types including: non-chronological reports, biographies, persuasive texts, historical recounts, diary entries, flash back narratives, poetry, play scripts and many more.
In all writing children will be given the opportunity to discuss and plan, draft and edit, evaluate and proof read and finally present their work to a partner, small group, class and possibly even the whole school.
A crucial component of being able to convey meaning through writing is the ability to use Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS) correctly. This is therefore taught discretely as well as across the curriculum. There is a separate National Assessment for GPS at the end of Year 2 and the end of Year 6.
Our Y1-6 English scheme of work is text led, meaning that most teaching and learning is stimulated by a book that the class studies for a period of time. As well as providing a context for children's learning, this also ensures that we are developing pupil’s knowledge of a wide range of books. Texts studied include: The Owl and the Pussy Cat by Edward Lear (Ian Beck); Gorilla Zoo by Anthony Browne; Tuesday by David Weisner; The Ice Palace by Robert Swindells; Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare; John Agard: Collected Poems
Please click here for further details of the English scheme of work:
Ways to help your child at home
Our reading schemes around school are Daily Supported Reading in Reception (Summer term) and KS1 and Destination Reader in KS2.
Please click on the icons below to find out more about these fantastic Reading programmes.