English

Teaching Phonics, Reading & Writing at Parklands Community Primary School

Phonics

At Parklands we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their phonics and literacy. The scheme begins in Nursery, where children are taught to tune into the sounds around them in the environment. In Reception, children are taught the sounds and corresponding letters so that they can begin to blend sounds together to make words. This continues into Year 1 with most children hopefully finishing the scheme in Year 2. The programme has a high success rate and helps children to develop their reading and writing skills. Staff in EYFS and KS1 have recently undergone refresher training so that they have the most up to date information and skills to work with your children.

During Year 1, all children take part in a National Phonics Screening Check. This takes place in the Summer Term in all schools across the country. Children are given a list of real and nonsense words to read which check their knowledge of what they have been taught. They complete this with a familiar adult in school and the results are shared with parents.

Reading opens the door to learning. It is the gateway to the rest of the curriculum and this is why we value it so much. Children have a daily session of phonics which lasts between 30-40 minutes. In addition to this, some children have one to one sessions with a teacher to help them to make more progress and keep up with the programme.

When using RWI to read the children will:

  • learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple picture prompts
  • learn to read words using Fred Talk
  • read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
  • show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions.
  • bring home books to read and share with you at home

When using RWI to write the children will:

  • learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent 44 sounds.
  • learn to write words by saying the sounds in Fred Talk
  • write simple sentences

For more information on how to support your child with phonics at home please click on the link www.ruthmiskin.com/en/find-out-more/parents/

Below is further information on how you can support your child. Please contact Mrs Posner or Miss Edge who are our Read Write Inc Reading Leaders if you require further information about this programme.

Reading

Reading is at the heart of our curriculum at Parklands. Alongside our phonics scheme, we aim to encourage a love of reading and a passion for knowledge and books. Children across school, are encouraged to bring home books to read for pleasure, as well as using them to practise their reading skills.

All children read to an adult at least once a week and as part of this session they are given an opportunity to talk about the book and answer questions. We use a reading scheme called Accelerated Reader, which ensures that children are reading books that will help them to continue to develop their skills. At times, children read as part of a whole class session; as well as in small groups. This is called shared and guided reading. In these sessions there is lots of group discussion which helps children to understand what is happening in books and to look at the author’s word choices.

A love of reading is promoted in the classrooms in a range of ways. We read and explore a range of high quality texts that are recommended by Literacy Counts English Consultants. These texts are the basis for English lessons. Classes have an ‘Author of the Term’ who they focus on to promote and celebrate literature.

Writing

In Nursery & Reception, children are supported via a range of activities to develop the motor skills required to be efficient writers. Activities include Dough Gym and Funky Fingers sessions. Children are encouraged to mark make using a variety of materials both in the classroom and beyond, including in the outdoor environment. As children progress through Foundation Stage, they receive guidance on letter formation. Displays, prompts, resources and examples of writing can be found throughout the indoor and outdoor classroom environments to promote these skills and motivate pupils.

Writing is taught using a variety of strategies based on concepts of imitation, innovation and invention. When children begin work on a particular genre, they are provided with opportunities to become familiar with the features of the genre by examining samples of writing. They gain an understanding of the language and structural features which, for example, make a story a story!

Children begin to apply the key features they have identified with activities including Talk for Writing, where children may be involved in re-telling a story or, for example, presenting a persuasive argument verbally.

When children progress to producing their own pieces, they have an awareness of the key features of the genre. This enables them to assess their own writing to check that they have included key features.

Children are encouraged to apply their writing skills in other areas of the curriculum, including in subjects such as History, Geography and Science.