National Curriculum for English
Phonics and Spelling
Phonics is planned across Foundation Stage (FS), Key Stage One (KS1) and into Key Stage Two (KS2) where the need arises.
Our approach to learning phonics at Cawston Grange is through using Letters and Sounds: Principles and Practice of High Quality Phonics as well as Jolly Phonics and Phonics Play. We have a multisensory approach in EYFS and by using Jolly Phonics the pupils are provided with a picture, a song and an action to help them learn each different sound. This is an effective and interactive way for young learners to recall phonemes.
Letters and Sounds and Phonics Play provide us with games and resources to support our teaching of phonics. It aims to build pupils’ speaking and listening skills through tuning into sounds within spoken words (segmenting) and identifying grapheme and phoneme correspondences in order to support blending skills and develop the ability to read words. It sets out a detailed programme for teaching phonic skills, with the aim of pupils becoming fluent readers by age seven. Any child in Key Stage 2 requiring additional teaching in phonic skills will be supported appropriately in order to close gaps in their understanding and encourage them to reach their full potential.
Spelling is taught based on a rule a week in Years 1-6. This rule is focused on during discrete teaching sessions and children are tested weekly on differentiated words which follow this pattern. High frequency word tests are done termly for the words in the National Curriculum.
- We understand the importance of reading as a mechanism for accessing all areas of the curriculum and encourage a habit of reading widely and often.
- Children learn to read easily and fluently through daily phonics in FS and KS1, regular reading to adults in school, reading partners and they are encouraged to read regularly at home.
- Children in FS and KS1 are heard read individually once a week. In KS2 this continues for children who still need this support. Basic skills are given a priority across the school with daily slots. Teachers evaluate the needs of their class and tailor their planning to suit this.
- In Reception and Year 1 for three morning sessions every week, one class participates in a phonics session, whilst the other class take part in focused guided reading groups. The children are in differentiated groups, each with a different adult (which rotates on a weekly basis). The reading focuses on decoding, prosody and comprehension of the stories read. The books are matched closely to reflect the phonics that have been taught, enabling consolidation and a secure recognition of each sound.
- Whole class reading is planned in for at least three times a week in Years 2-6. Teachers ensure that all of the reading domains are covered in this way. The whole class text is linked where possible to the theme for the English lesson, to make it more meaningful.
- We use a variety of texts designed to evoke enthusiasm and interest, as well as to develop understanding. Forging a connection with the text culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually is also promoted. Children are encouraged to take a reading book home from our reading scheme, which is split into coloured book bands, encompassing a variety of genres. They record the books they read on a genres sheet in KS2.
- Pupils also need to read to find information in all lessons and comprehension is assessed in a formal way every term.
- All children visit the library once a week, where they take out one fiction and one non-fiction book. The library is also open every lunchtime for children to browse and change books.
- Book Week promotes the positivity of reading; including the book fair, roving readers, all staff reading their favourite book and storytelling evening in pyjamas.
- We hold a Reading Café on the last Friday of every month, to expose the children to a range of genres and develop a love of reading. Parents are invited in, to discuss the books with the children and share their love of reading.
- We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
- We encourage our pupils to speak clearly and confidently and articulate their views and opinions.
- We teach that children need to express themselves orally in an appropriate way, matching their style and response to audience and purpose. Paired, group and whole class discussions regularly happen in most lessons.
- We plan in activities which encourage full and active participation by all children, irrespective of ability.
- School Plays, class debates, class assemblies, School Council. talk partners, drama / role play, PSHE and Circle Time, sharing learning, Storytime sign-up and presenting a practised piece to the class are all ways in which we develop children’s spoken language.
- We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts.
- We plan for children to develop the stamina and skills to write at length, using accurate spelling, punctuation and grammar.
- Children are exposed to high quality texts, modelling and shared/ collaborative writing to demonstrate good practice.
- We provide writing frames to support where needed and allow time for planning, editing and revising.
- Children evaluate their own writing using success criteria to self-assess or peer-assess.
- Extended pieces of independent writing are marked using a system across the school, looking for effective examples of Vocabulary, Conjunctions, Openers and Punctuation.
- Handwriting is taught at least three times per week, following the Nelson scheme.
- Letter formation and joins are modelled by the teacher and then applied in the children’s books.
- Children earn their handwriting pen licence when they join correctly and consistently. This is a celebrated occasion with a visit to the head teacher.