At Fordley we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we will help children to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety. The English Curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum English Document (2014). The Early Learning Goals are followed to ensure continuity and progression from the Early Years Foundation Stage through to the National Curriculum.
Reading and Phonics at Fordley Primary School
At Fordley, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is key for academic success. Every member of staff at Fordley understands that our intention is for every child to leave our school as a successful and accomplished reader. To ensure this, teachers plan well sequenced, coherent, ambitious reading lessons specifically designed in a bespoke way to cater for the needs of all children in our school.
We understand that in order for children to begin to become successful readers, systems must be in place from the beginning of the children’s learning journey at Fordley.
In the Early Years and throughout Key Stage One, we teach phonics using a systematic, synthetic approach. We teach using the Read, Write Inc programme, which is a DfE accredited phonics scheme. Read, Write Inc is a method of learning letter sounds and blending them together to read and write words. As part of this, children have daily phonics sessions in small groups where they participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs. Fully trained teachers and teaching assistants draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and liaise with the English Lead in order to identify children who may need additional support. Children work through the different phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge. Children are formally assessed every six weeks to allow for regrouping. Children who are falling behind in their phonics are given one-to-one additional tuition three times per week to target specific gaps in their phonic knowledge. This is reviewed weekly.
We know that opportunities for children to overlearn and achieve reading success at home, their home school reading books MUST be matched to their phonic ability. Children from Reception to Year 2, where appropriate, are given a home school reading book each week, matched precisely to their current phonic knowledge. In addition to this, and to encourage a love of reading, children also take home one school library per week to read for pleasure. We encourage families to read with their child through various incentives such as ‘Reading Rewards’ where children earn bookmarks and books as a reward for reading at home, and also ‘High Flying Reader’ assemblies after each holiday to celebrate children who have made an effort in reading across a school holiday. In addition to this, we have a termly focus for our celebration assembly where ‘Remarkable Readers’ are celebrated.
In Key Stage Two, children are also given a weekly reading book for home that matches their reading/phonic ability. Children who did not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Years 1 or 2, continue to receive phonically appropriate home school reading books. In addition to this, children who are identified as needing bespoke phonic/reading input are targeted through Read, Write Inc during whole class guided reading sessions.
Across Key Stage One and Key Stage Two, children take part in Whole Class Guided Reading lessons, where children are exposed to a range of different texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these. Where possible, chosen texts link directly to texts being studied in English lessons, to immerse children in a specific, high quality text or genre. Key Stage One also ensure that each child is heard read at least once per week by an adult.
Children are read to each day by their class teacher. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child.
Each classroom/shared area has a reading area that is filled with books suitable for their reading age and also from a range of high quality texts.
Through links formed with Seven Stories, we frequently welcome authors into our school to talk to the children about various elements of reading and writing. These events always create an exciting atmosphere and support our ethos of success for all. Children are given an opportunity to meet the authors through book signing following on from their presentations.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One. This way, children can focus on developing their fluency and comprehension as they move through the school. Attainment in reading is measured using the statutory assessments at the end of Key Stage One and Two. These results are measured against the reading attainment of children nationally. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year 1. However, we firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments. We give all children the opportunity to enter the magical worlds that books open up to them. We promote reading for pleasure as part of our reading curriculum. Children are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and to review their books objectively. This enhances a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles.
Speaking, listening and Writing at Fordley Primary School
It is our intent at Fordley Primary School to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English teaches pupils to verbally communicate and write fluently so that they can convey their ideas and emotions to others effectively.
Talk for writing is used successfully across the school to help children to gather ideas and structure their writing.
Shared and modelled writing, take place within English lessons. This allows the teacher to demonstrate good writing practice to the children while using their ideas. Teachers ensure that the writing demonstrated shows high expectations and covers the success criteria they would expect to see in the children’s writing.
Children write frequently in a range of forms. This may be responses to a text, completing text feature grids, short writing tasks such as writing as a character or writing a whole story, poem or report as an extended piece of writing.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling play a key role in the children’s writing. These skills are taught explicitly and referred to during English lessons where children are actively encouraged to integrate their grammar and spelling learning within their writing.
The National Curriculum for English reflects the importance of spoken language, cognitively, socially and linguistically. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. Throughout our school from Nursery upwards we ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language and listening skills. Children are taught to understand and use the conventions for discussion and debate.
All children are given the opportunity to engage in a range of dramatic conventions including improvisation, role-play and hot seating and school productions.