The Development Matters statement, updated in 2021, specifies what children should be able to do in terms of reading, writing, speaking and listening by the time they leave Reception.
The National Curriculum specifies the English content that should be taught for KS1 and 2.
'Learning to decode words using phonics is an essential element of early reading instruction.'
Hulme, C. & Snowling, M.J
Phonics is an approach to teaching reading, and some aspects of writing, by developing learners’ phonemic awareness. This involves the skills of hearing, identifying and using phonemes or sound patterns in English. The aim is to systematically teach learners the relationship between these sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Phonics emphasises the skills of decoding new words by sounding them out and combining or ‘blending’ the sound-spelling patterns.
How we teach Phonics
In school, we teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme, supplemented with other resources such as Jolly Phonics and Phonics Play.
Children are taught Phase 2 phonics from when they start in Reception. This is taught in small groups according to their phase by teachers and teaching assistants. All staff teaching phonics are trained in the teaching of synthetic phonics. Phonic workshops are held for EYFS parents in the Autumn term. Children are assessed regularly at the end of each half term to ensure they are on track. Children who fall behind are quickly identified and extra support is put in place for them to catch up.
In Year 1 and 2, children are taught the phonics according to their year group from the progression document and assessed half termly to ensure they are on track. Children who need extra support, work in small groups for part of their phonic lessons to target their specific gaps.In the summer term of Year 1, children take a Phonics Screening check. This is a statutory test, set by the Government, to assess children's ability to decode words using phonics.
For more information about this, please click the links below.
"There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot on Treasure Island." – Walt Disney
How we teach Reading
We use a range of strategies to teach reading. These include:
Resources for Home Reading
Foundation and Key Stage 1
Twice a week, children take home a book that matched their current phonic phase. This is to be read with their parent/carer and home and should be read independently by the child. Children also take home a 'reading for pleasure' to share with their adult at home.
We use a range of different schemes. These include:
Dandelion Books, Collins Big Cat Phonics, Project X Reading, Oxford Reading Tree and PM Books
Children in Year 2, who are secure with Phase 5 phonics, take home colour banded books.
Key stage 2
Children continue to use the colour banded book schemes as necessary and then move onto a range of free reading books. These are categorised according to the AR scheme used in school.
High interest/low level books are used for struggling readers.
Reading Plus, an online reading programme, is used for specifically identified children in KS2. They complete 1 hour and 30 minutes of this each week.
In Reception children are given a book that matches their current phonics phase and sounds they have been taught and are secure in. Children are assessed using the PM Benchmark Kit which looks at accuracy, fluency, retelling, comprehension and analysis of children’s reading strategies in order to diagnose next steps in reading.
In Key Stage 2, children continue to use a structured colour band programme or move onto the Accelerated Reader programme. This is a software programme used in school, designed to assess a student's reading level, suggest titles of books at that level, and then assess whether a student has completed reading the book by asking a series of questions. From the quizzes, the class teacher will be able to monitor progress, and target next steps.
Assessment for reading is ongoing throughout the year as part of formative assessment. Assessment is completed by teachers for reading and children are tracked on online assessment grids at regular points throughout the year.
Formal summative assessments are carried out at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2 as well as NFER tests which take place during assessment week each term.
100 Read Challenge at Round House
All children from Year 1 to Year 6 are invited to take part in the '100 Read Challenge'.
This challenge consists of 3 lists : Year 1 and 2, Year 3 and 4, Year 5 and 6. Within these lists are book titles which support and extend reading taught in school and promote a love of reading through favourite and well known books for children. The books were carefully chosen using resources and information from places like the CLPE (Centre for Literacy in Primary Education).
If a child manages to complete 100 titles from the list before they leave a key stage, they will receive a special award from the school, as well as having significantly improved their reading and overall academic performance.
There are regular opportunities for children to review the books and these are then displayed for people to read. Each half term teacher's also read and review books from the 100 read selection.
We were able to purchase many books for this through our 'Fun and Fit' Read'a'thon and also through donations from local businesses.
The book lists are attached below.
‘When I read great literature, great drama, speeches, or sermons, I feel that the
human mind has not achieved anything greater than the ability to share
feelings and thoughts through language.’
James Earl Jones
How we Teach Writing
In the EYFS, children are given daily opportunities to develop their fine motor skills, pencil control and letter formation. Different genres of writing are introduced and modeled and the children are both supported and encouraged to write in these forms during their independent play. A variety of opportunities are provided for the children to engage in writing activities in both the indoor and outdoor areas. These include: whole class teaching every morning, adult-led focus activities and child initiated learning (for example at the writing table, in the construction area and in the role-play area).
In Year 1, a ‘Writing Recovery’ approach is used to teach writing in guided groups. This approach teaches children how to orally construct and then write a sentence, with focus on using phonics, key words and basic punctuation.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, the teaching of writing forms a large part of the English lesson and within weekly planning there are opportunities for teaching transcription, composition, handwriting and vocabulary, grammar and punctuation. Children also have opportunities in the ICE Zones, and in topic lessons in Year 5 and 6, for extended writing and cross curricular writing.
The school uses an amalgamation of the CLPE Power of Reading and the Write Stuff approaches, culminating in a bespoke writing structure to support the development of writing. The focus of this is the use of carefully chosen, high quality text to raise attainment in writing.
Children also have the opportunity to write at length at the end of each topic. Although the ‘essay’ is used to assess their knowledge and understanding of the relevant foundation subject, it provides them with additional opportunity to write for a purpose.
We use a cursive style of handwriting, across the whole school, starting from Reception.
We follow the Letter-join scheme.
Assessment of pupil progress is on-going by the class teacher. All children write in their Exciting Writing books every two weeks. The books are used to indicate pupil progress over time and will be used by the children as they go through the school. Teachers use a variety of evidence including Exciting Writing books, English books and cross curricular writing, to make attainment judgements about a child’s writing.
Formative and summative assessments are carried out at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2. In Foundation Stage, ongoing observations take place which inform the completion of individual profiles.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation
How we teach Spelling
Children are taught to spell high frequency words from Reception. In each phonic phase, high frequency words are identified that children need to be able to spell. Once children move into Year 2, daily phonics is replaced with daily spelling sessions. Children in Year 2, who still need support with phonics, are taught spelling but also have extra catch up sessions for
From Y2, spelling lessons are taught for 20 minutes 4 times a week. We follow the Jane Considine 'The Spelling Book' programme for our teaching of spelling. The programme is linked to the 2014 National Curriculum guidelines and statutory spellings and ensures all elements of spelling, grammar and punctuation are taught, as well as the ability to spell accurately within their everyday writing. Pupils are taught in year groups ,with smaller, more targeted groups, where appropriate.
Spelling practice is included in Home Learning activities, using Spelling Shed (an online spelling programme) which is set weekly.
Throughout school, grammar and punctuation is taught in English lessons, either as the focus of the lesson, or discretely as part of the writing process .
Assessment of pupil progress is, in the first instance, on-going by the class teacher as part of formative assessment. Half termly phonic assessments are completed in Reception and Y1, based on words that children have been taught that term. Children are expected to apply their phonic knowledge in their reading and writing. This is monitored through guided writing.
Formal summative assessments are carried out each term from Year 1 to Year 6, alongside SATs tests at the end of Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. Assessments from 'The Spelling Book' programme and carried out at the beginning of the Autumn term, as a baseline, and at the end of the Summer term.
Oracy is the ability to articulate ideas, develop understanding and engage with others through spoken language. In school, oracy is a powerful tool for learning; by teaching students to become more effective speakers and listeners we empower them to better understand themselves, each other
and the world around them.
How we teach Oracy
From the first days in school, speaking and listening play a large part in a child’s progress in all curriculum areas and teachers plan to develop these skills in a wide variety of ways. We aim to develop and encourage fluent speakers, who are confident to operate in a wide range of situations.
Pupils have a range of planned oracy experiences (this is not an exhaustive list), which include:
drama; circle time; talking partners; listening to stories; preparation for writing; visiting speakers; giving and receiving instructions; paired/collaborative work; problem solving in maths; presentation of learning and also use current working walls to develop vocabulary for oracy.
At The Round House Primary we use the Oracy Framework that was developed by The University of Cambridge and Voice 21. This framework breaks oracy into four strands.
This framework allows both staff and pupils to understand what makes good spoken communication. The four strands enable successful discussion, inspiring speech and effective communication. The framework is used by staff to give feedback and assess progress. Pupils use the framework to self-assess, peer-assess and talk about talk.
How can you help at home?
• Encourage your child to speak in full sentences.
• Encourage your child to give reasons for their choices.
• Encourage your child to explain something to you as accurately as possible (the rules for a game, how to make a sandwich, how to solve a sum)
• Encourage your child to read out loud using a confident voice and volume.
• Encourage your child to make eye contact when they are talking.
School Closure- Remote Learning Opportunities
Below are a range of different links to a range of different learning opportunities to use during the school closures. Explore and enjoy!
The Oak National Academy have started a virtual library. Every week a popular children's author or illustrator will provide you with free books, exclusive videos and their top three recommended reads.
This author this week is Jacqueline Wilson.
You can access the library through the link below.
https://www.thenational.academy/online-classroom - daily lessons for every year group.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/dailylessons - daily lessons for every year group.
https://radioblogging.net/ - Pie Corbett delivers live English lessons from 9.30-10.30 each day.
https://learnliveuk.com/learn-live-read-channel/ - this page will feature one LIVE Read every weekday at 10:00am. You can use this chat facility to ask questions and make suggestions for other books you would like to see on the Learn LIVE Read Channel!
https://www.worldofdavidwalliams.com/elevenses/ - daily reading at 11.00 each day by David Walliams.
James Mayhew (links posted daily on his Twitter that link to Youtube) for a 3pm storytime every day.
https://www.oliverjeffers.com/abookaday/ - daily book reading.
https://www.youtube.com/theshowsmustgoon - full length West End shows available to stream for 48 hour windows.
https://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/help-during-school-closure/ - available from Monday 20th April. Films of well-loved stories read by Nick Cannon.
http://www.pobble365.com/ - a daily stimulus picture with questions, story starters and sentence challenges.
https://www.spag.com - Year 6 have personal logins for this site.
https://www.twinkl.co.uk/ - a range of resources for all subjects (presentations, worksheets, etc.)- they are offering free logins to parents.
https://plprimarystars.com/resources?filter%5Bsubject%5D%5B%5D=English&viewSample=SamplePack - resources linked to the Premier League.
https://app.senecalearning.com/courses?Price=Free&Subject=English&Subject=English+Language&Subject=English+Literature&Subject=English+Literature+-+Quotations&Age+Group=Primary - several 'courses' of lessons.
https://www.discoveryeducation.co.uk/ - children can use the school login for this to access a range of activities, videos, etc.
http://www.lexonik.co.uk/home-study/ - looking at word level work.
https://authorfy.com/ - free author videos and writing resources.
https://www.literacyshedplus.com/browse/free-resources/key-stage-2-activity-packs -downloadable resource packs with tasks based on video clips.
https://subscribe.firstnews.co.uk/free-downloadable-issue/ - free children's downloadable newspaper.
https://stories.audible.com/start-listen- free stories to listen to during school closure
https://www.booktrust.org.uk/books-and-reading/bookfinder/ - a site with recommended booklists, categorised by age, range and topic.
https://theday.co.uk/subscriptions/the-day-home -a daily newsletter for parents and carers at home with children, helping to enrich learning with real-world knowledge and skills.
https://www.teachyourmonstertoread.com/ - games to support children's reading skills.
http://www.lexonik.co.uk/home-study/ - looking into 'chunks' of words to help with spelling and reading- this links to some of the small group work that we do in school.
https://www.spellingshed.com/ - children have their own individual logins for this.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episodes/b01cz0p1/alphablocks - play along with the fun and friendly letters of the alphabet as they work together to make words and tell stories using phonics.
https://2simple.com/purple-mash/ - free during school closure. Daily activities on comprehension and grammar.
http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/ - activities and resources for all phases of phonics.