English

Reading

We are passionate about children learning to read at Park Primary School. Over the seven years that your child is in our care, we aim for them to develop a love of reading and books so that they move from learning to read to reading to learn – and reading purely for enjoyment too!

Writing

At Park Primary we encourage all children to take pride in everything they do. From the moment our children begin their learning journey ‘presentation’ is a key focus. This is a skill they then have for life.

These are the main methods we use to teach children to read:

Story reading and telling
Staff read regularly to the children from stories, poems, nursery rhymes, and more.
Each class has a class author and listens to their teacher read regularly from a class novel.
Phonics
This is where the children are taught about letter sounds and shapes, and which letters (or groups of letters) make which sounds.
Children are taught to say the sound, and recognise the letter (or group of letters) that makes that sound. However, using phonics to help you read is not just about knowing the sounds that the letters make. The children have to learn how to blend those individual sounds together to read words. For example, c – a – t blended together says ‘cat’ and sh – o – p says ‘shop’.

 

In Reception Class, Year One and Year Two the children have a twenty minute phonics session every day. The sessions are delivered by the teachers and teaching assistants in the Infants, under the guidance of Miss Motala, our English Leader. The children are grouped for phonics according to what they know and can do. This means that they are taught specific next steps in small groups. Each term the class teachers evaluate progress in phonics and the groups are adjusted to reflect the progress that the children are making. If a child is struggling, specific intervention will be put in place to prevent them from falling behind. For some children with Special Educational Needs, phonics targets will be included in their Individual Education Plans. This means that they will be taught phonics one – to – one with an adult.

We use a combination of different reading schemes to support our children to develop their phonic skills.
They are:
Oxford Reading Tree:  Songbirds, Floppy’s Phonics, All Stars
Oxford University Press: Project X Phonics
Pearson: Phonics Bug
Badger Learning Books

High Frequency Words
Children are taught to read common words on sight, through the use of flashcards and games.
Guided Reading
Guided Reading is when a group of about six children, all of a similar ability, work with the teacher on their next steps for learning in reading. The children all have the same book and will be working on either applying their phonic knowledge or developing their comprehension. This is where a lot of teaching of reading takes place as the teachers work very closely with the children on their reading targets. The children are grouped within their classes according to their reading ability and will take p art in a guided reading session with their teacher daily.
Home Reading
Each  child  will  have  a  home  reading  book  which  they  have  chosen  themselves  from  a  selectionof books in the hall. Our home reading books are banded by colour and the colours are linked to the children’s reading levels, meaning that they should be choosing a book from  a selection that is well – matched to their reading ability. Home reading books are a little easier than the  ones they read in the Guided Reading sessions. This is because Guided Reading is for learning new skills and home reading is for practising them.

These are the main methods we use to teach children to write:

Independant Writers

We encourage our children to become independent writers, communicating clearly with a sense of audience and purpose. A variety of texts are used to support modelling of effective writing. All year groups have access to a range resources and teachers are encouraged to use these to provide example texts as appropriate to their class’s curriculum needs.

Teaching Methods

In shared writing, the teacher models writing at age related expectations. This teaching is further developed in Guided Writing where the teacher works with a small group of children with a shared need. Teachers will deliberately plan opportunities for children to experience a range of outcomes from each unit: scaffolded writing, an independent piece (Independent Writing) and a piece from across the curriculum applying the skills.  We encourage children to independently apply the skills they are taught during shared sessions.

4 'B' Rules

We use Tom Robson’s Gem Power theory to reward independent thinking .All our children follow the  4 ‘B’ rules – Use your Brain, Use Bits and Bobs, ask your Buddy and finally when all else fails ask the Boss!

Where it all begins

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS)

Children will begin the EYFS with a wide variety of writing skills ranging from simply making marks to writing their own name unaided. They will move from gross to finer motor skills using a variety of tactile methods. They need opportunities to make marks in their own way and to gradually refine these into recognisable patterns and eventually individual letters.

All EYFS staff, including support staff, must be aware of directionality and when children are showing a firm interest in writing their name, they should be encouraged to use correct directionality.

To aid co-ordination, sand trays and sticks (or fingers), paper, paint and large brushes, modelling materials, blackboards and chalk may be used. They will be taught the use of capital letters for names and beginning of sentences.

Marking

We also put a big emphasis on our Marking Policy, for consistency, to enforce next steps and accelerate learning.  All staff have clear guidelines and training on how to mark.  We have adopted the use of pink (perfect pink), green (growing green) marking  and the children respond in purple (polishing purple) to address any misconceptions and move their learning on. It is important that children are given adequate time to make the improvement and that the suggested improvement is going to improve the piece of work. Children at Park are proud of sharing their work and prefer immediate feedback. Often we improve work together and this has had a positive impact as children are putting in more effort and focusing on the positive achievements in their learning.

Celebration

We are so proud of our writing at Park Primary that we want to share it with the world!  Every week, two children from each class become published authors on POBBLE.  This is an interactive literacy tool which allows people to comment on children’s work.  Even Famous authors comment sometimes!

Useful Documents

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Glossery of Terms used in Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar Teaching
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Year 1 phonics screening
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How can I help my child with reading in Keystage 1

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