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
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.
Oxford Reading Tree: Songbirds, Floppy’s Phonics, All Stars
Oxford University Press: Project X Phonics
Pearson: Phonics Bug
Badger Learning Books
High Frequency Words
These are the main methods we use to teach children to write:
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.
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.
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.
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!