At all ages, the ability to listen and respond appropriately to others is a critical life-skill and key to accessing and developing children’s learning in school and the world around them.
We use talk in the classroom daily, we model and teach children to articulate their answers, questions, opinions, arguments, descriptions and explanations, as well as express their feelings.
We encourage children to use the English language articulately in order to communicate with their audience effectively. We regularly use talk to clarify and solidify thinking and learning through ‘Talk Partners’ in the classroom.
We provide real life contexts throughout the curriculum that provide opportunities for children to adapt their tone and style for a particular audience, from presentations to performances and role plays to debates. Talk is very much seen as a key to success.
We believe that children should develop skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It enables them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively.
The aim for our English curriculum is to promote high standards of literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the written and spoken word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. Our curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
read easily, fluently and with good understanding;
develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions of reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literacy heritage
write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
At Frenchay Church of England Primary School we are passionate about ensuring all children become confident and enthusiastic readers and writers. We believe that phonics provides the foundations of learning to make the development into fluent reading and writing easier. Through phonics children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read words. The teaching of phonics is of the highest priority.
We use the Department of Education approved document ‘Letters and Sounds’, with a transition to Little Wandle in the academic year 2021/2022, for our teaching of phonics. This allows our phonics teaching and learning to be progressive from Reception up to Year 2.
When children begin in Reception they are introduced to Phase 2 which marks the start of systematic phonics work. They have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they revise previous learning, are taught new graphemes/phonemes, practise together and apply what they have learnt. Through Letters and Sounds, the children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. These phonemes include those made by a single letter as well as digraphs (two letters that make one sound), trigraphs (three letters that make one sound) and split digraphs. Children work through the different phases and as they grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Attainment in phonics is measured by the Phonics Screening Test at the end of Year 1.
The sequence of reading books show a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge that is matched to our Letters and Sounds programme, meaning that the book a child is expected to read matches the phoneme correspondences which they know. Children re-read these books to encourage fluency. Along with these phonetically decodable books, children also take home a book simply to enjoy. It is through sharing books that children’s vocabulary is broadened, cultural capital is built and a love of reading is nurtured. When teachers feel a child is ready, they are introduced to other reading books which build upon decoding skills but also develop a repertoire of further reading strategies such as sight recognition, knowledge of grammar and picture cues.
Every class has a dedicated whole class Guided Reading session which is informal in Reception and Year 1, gradually becoming more focused around identified reading objectives as they proceed through the school. The aim is for all children to benefit from exposure to a broad range of quality texts both to expand their knowledge of the world and their vocabulary so that no child is disadvantaged, irrespective of their starting points. Reading lessons are structured to cover skills including inference, prediction, retrieval, explanation and summarising. Importantly, every class enjoys a daily story session of Reading for Pleasure where an adult models reading aloud including characterisation, modulation and fluency.