In our school, English is taught as Phonics, Reading and Writing.
Phonics is primarily taught in EYFS and KS1 but Reading and Writing lessons happen in every year group.
Our Reading and Writing lessons, based on high quality children's books, are linked so that vocabulary explored in Reading can be transferred to Writing lessons.
We love reading and want our children to leave us as confident and enthusiastic readers who can decode, understand, enjoy and hold opinions on a wide range of books. All of our teachers are readers and take part in a termly book club where they read texts before passing them on to the children.
Children and visitors can usually spot what teachers and classes are reading if they have a look around the school!
Reading is built into our school day through regular 1:1 reading with adults linked to a child's home reading, personal reading time, story time at the end of the day, phonics and reading lessons and finally reading through the creative curriculum.
- Phonics is taught as a way of decoding written letters and spoken sounds in the early stages of learning to read.
- At St Nicholas of Tolentine RC Primary School, we teach daily systematic, high quality phonics through the Letters and Sounds Programme in Reception and Year 1. Children who are not secure working at Phase 5 by the end of Year 1, will also be taught phonics in Year 2.
Reading and Writing lessons
Each term, every class will be reading a high quality text that links in some way to the curriculum topic. As they read this book, the children will be encouraged to play in the text and explore it using their imagination. Vocabulary, subject knowledge and inspiration from these reading lessons provide the fuel to write a range of text types during their Writing lessons. For more detail on the two approaches we use please see below:
Reception and Year 1
In Reception and Year 1 we use Talk for Writing. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. Schools that have adopted the approach have not only increased their children’s progress but have found that both children and teachers love it.
Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. It build on three stages of teaching:
1) Imitation - the children learn a text and the language they need
2) Innovation - the children adapt the model text with ideas of their own
3) Invention - the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.
Key Stage 2
In KS2, our English curriculum is inspired by the The Power of Reading approach. This has been developed by the CLPE (Centre of Literacy in Primary Education). The CLPE is an independent UK charity with a global reputation for the quality of their research into literacy and teaching. Their work promotes high standards in the teaching of literacy where they particularly emphasise the importance of books and literature in enabling children to become confident, happy and enthusiastic readers and writers.
This approach enables all children to have access to high quality texts that support schools to raise engagement and attainment in reading and writing.
Our school library
We regularly buy new books for our children and have been lucky enough to receive grants from organisations such as the Foyles Foundation to help with this. Each term, our teachers have the pleasure of reading a new batch of books that have been ordered for the school before passing them on to the children. We passionately believe that all children should see themselves represented in stories of all types and keep this idea in mind when choosing books for our library, to read as a class and when inviting in authors.