The end of each year expectations for reading, writing, spelling and spoken language for each year group are in the attached documents.
Early Reading Schemes
At Tushingham Primary School, we ensure that children are equipped with the reading skills that they need to access the curriculum as a whole, regardless of their starting point. In Reception and key stage 1, we promote a 'phonics first' approach when children are learning to read at school and at home. Decodable reading books are very closely matched to the children’s current phonics knowledge and we offer each child many opportunities to practise reading, as well as reinforcing the grapheme-phoneme correspondences that they have already learned.
Each week, children will bring home a book in their book bag. We encourage children to read each book at least 3 times. The first time is for decoding; the second time is for building fluency and third time is to develop the children’s comprehension of the text. The decodable books that we use for our reading schemes all follow the same cumulative progression of GPCs.
At Tushingham, we believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014 to enable all children to:
- 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 for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary 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
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We will provide the means for children to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. Continuous assessment ensures that we are able to provide targeted support so that all children achieve their potential; we believe that a secure base in English skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
Reading and Phonics:
Children begin to learn to enjoy books and reading as soon as they start our school. They learn to read through learning phonics in a systematic way. At Tushingham, we use Unlocking Letters and Sounds, which is a DfE validated Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme to deliver daily phonics teaching. This is reinforced throughout the day, helping the knowledge to be retained. We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception, which allows children to make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English Language and how they can be represented. They also learn ‘Common Exception’ words in each phase. Children use these learnt sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.
In Year 1, through Phase 5a, b and c, children learn any alternative graphemes and phonemes for the sounds that they have already been taught, as well as additional Common Exception Words. By the end of Year 1, children will be able to decode words to read them and encode words to spell them when writing. In the summer term, children in year 1 will be assessed using the Phonics Screening Check, which is a statutory check to identify whether children understand phonics to an appropriate standard.
This knowledge and skills learnt in reception and year 1 are built upon in year 2 as children continue their spelling and reading journeys through our Pathways to Spell and Pathways to Read programmes which ensure children continue to develop and deepen reading and writing skills.
Children are regularly assessed throughout the year and any children who are not meeting age-related expectations are identified early and are given targeted phonics support in order to bridge any gaps in learning. These include Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondence (GPC) recognition, and blending and segmenting support, through small group or 1:1 focussed interventions. These children are closely monitored to ensure that the interventions have an impact on the children’s attainment and progression.
Quality, age-appropriate texts are provided in classroom reading areas and the school library and are supplemented by use of the school library service. In all years, strategies are used to encourage children to love reading and children leave our school with a lifelong love of books.
Writing and Spoken language:
We follow a Mastery approach to English through the programme ‘Pathways to Write.’ Units of work focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry and are delivered using high quality texts to give children in all year groups varied and enticing opportunities for writing. Writing development, grammar, spoken language and handwriting are embedded into lessons and skills are built up through repetition within the units. Lesson sequences build progressively towards an extended piece of writing. Many opportunities for widening children’s vocabulary are given through the Pathways to Write approach. Spelling knowledge is developed by using Pathways to Spell. Assessment for Learning is embedded in English lessons and children contribute to reviewing the successes in their work and identifying, with support from their teacher, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work.
The English curriculum has realised a community of enthusiastic and competent readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing English knowledge and skills. Children are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Outcomes of work in both literacy and topic books evidence the high quality of writing and the variety of writing opportunities.
Children achieve highly in the phonics screening check, and at the end of the EYFS. Attainment at the end of KS2 is above the National Average.