EYFS and KS1
In EYFS the literacy area of learning is included within continuous provision and gives children opportunities to begin to develop the skills, engagement and motivation needed to enable them to become writers. In addition, when they are ready, children are introduced to the basics of sentence writing. A large part of children’s literacy learning in EYFS and KS1 is focused on developing a love of books: children are read to daily and are encouraged to share books, dressing up and role play linked to stories throughout the year.
In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, children are taught phonics every day through the Read, Write, Inc (RWI) programme.
The Read Write Inc (RWI) phonics programme provides a sound foundation for children’s learning in literacy. RWI is a method of learning letter sounds and phonics which is used to help children develop their reading and writing skills.
Learning to read is one of the most important things your child will learn at our school: everything else depends on it. We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so that they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so that they can focus on composing what they write.
When using RWI to read the children will:
o learn that sounds are represented by written letters
o learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
o learn how to blend sounds
o learn to read words using Fred Talk
o read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
o show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.
When using RWI to write the children will:
o learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds
o learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
o write simple sentences.
The program is followed until every child can read fluently, confidently and with understanding. As well as whole group teaching, top up sessions take place to accelerate and consolidate phonics understanding.
In KS1, children also take home a reading book which is carefully matched to their reading ability through ‘book bands’. When children have developed the skills to read competently and confidently, they will be given the opportunity to choose from a wider range of books as a ‘free reader’.
Alongside, RWI phonics, children in years 1 and 2, are taught to write using the Talk for Writing strategies. This involves the children being exposed to a range of texts, both fiction and non-fiction. They learn each text, get involved in the stories through role-play and dressing up before writing their own versions. The theme for each half term will be based on a whole class text.
In EYFS, children are taught the basic stages of pre-cursive handwriting, with the expectation that children will learn to join their handwriting during year 1.
In KS2, writing is taught using the principles underlying the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach with texts linked to the whole class book for the term. This process usually involves children learning a text, or part of a text, so that they internalise the text pattern. This may be enhanced by further opportunities for talk and drama to fully submerse children in the text type. Text genres are analysed to create ‘tool kits’ and vocabulary banks which can be used for independent writing.
All year groups use cursive text for handwriting.
KS2 pupils also participate in spelling lessons which follow the No Nonsense spelling scheme.
Years 3,4,5 and 6 are taught how to develop their reading and comprehension skills through whole-class reading sessions three times per week. The texts used are high-quality texts covering a range of genres. During these sessions, children are taught, and given opportunities to practise, a range of skills including analysing the author’s use of vocabulary as well as inferring information from the text.
To encourage children to develop a love of reading, children have opportunities to choose their own reading books from the school library. To provide further engagement and motivation for reading, we have recently invested in the Accelerated Reader programme. Children spend time each week reading their own choice of books from a selection chosen to meet their ability. After reading each book, children complete an online quiz which gives them feedback on their reading. Accelerated Reader promotes and rewards reading for pleasure, gives teachers the information they need to monitor students’ reading practice and to make informed decisions to guide pupils’ future learning.
Read, Write, Inc (RWI) phonics is used in Y3 for those children who need further development of their phonics skills.
In addition, RWI Fresh Start is a ‘top up’ programme aimed at children in Y5 and 6 who would benefit from further development of their phonics, reading and writing skills.