English touches every part of our daily lives, it is not just a subject within our schools but it's a life skill. We understand that to communicate effectively in Britain today, children must master English. Here at Lewis Street and Christ Church, English develops the critical skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening.
At Lewis Street, we value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts.
It is our intention to immerse pupils in the wonders of quality texts (from a range of authors and across the
curriculum) to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination through our Book-Led curriculum. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking, listening and discussion and be secure in their knowledge of reading, using this all to support them in their writing.
Our intent is to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will develop pupils' ability to speak, read and write with great fluency, master the mechanics of both reading and writing and develop a love and true interest for English so that they can communicate their thoughts, ideas and emotions effectively. This means, that by the end, children will have the phonetic knowledge and spelling rules to be able to write. They will have an awareness of the different sentence types and language for effect. Children will know about different genres and text types which will be reflected in their own writing. They will also be clear on the purpose of their writing which is to inform, entertain of persuade.
In September 2020, Lewis Street Primary School have selected to use the new early learning goals, which will be fully rolled out to all schools in September 2021. While the EYFS Statutory Framework and early learning goals set in place the expectations and levels of attainment for children by the end of their Reception year, they do not set a mandatory path to those goals, recognising the individual nature of development, especially in Early Years children.
What are the Early Learning Goals?
Within the new ELGS for early adopters, the Goals are divided up into seven areas of learning and within those, there are also specific aspects of learning that the area prioritises:
ELG 4: Literacy
Demonstrate understanding of what has been read to them by retelling stories and narratives using their own words and recently introduced vocabulary.
Anticipate (where appropriate) key events in stories.
Use and understand recently introduced vocabulary during discussions about stories, non-fiction, rhymes and poems and during role play
- Word Reading
Say a sound for each letter in the alphabet and at least 10 digraphs.
Read words consistent with their phonic knowledge by sound-blending.
Read aloud simple sentences and books that are consistent with their phonic knowledge, including some common exception words.
Write recognisable letters, most of which are correctly formed.
Spell words by identifying sounds in them and representing the sounds with a letter or letters.
Write simple phrases and sentences that can be read by others.
In Nursery, pupils regularly practise fine and gross motor skills through play; using big sheets of paper, paintbrushes and paint to create large-scale paintings. Pupils also have challenges in the indoor and outdoor classroom: using tweezers, bouncing and catching balls; painting, using the large brushes outdoors; and mark making in coloured sand.
In Reception, pupils continue to work on using their phonics knowledge to segment and blend words together, remembering letter formation. Pupils use "Fred in our head" and look at how they can hold a sentence using "Fred Fingers". Pupils participate in "Super Sentence" interventions in small groups, concentrating on letter formation and building up sentences.
PHONICS - READ WRITE INC
At Lewis Street we use a systematic synthetic approach to teaching phonics through the Read Write Inc programme - a programme that creates fluent readers, confident speakers and willing writers by the end of Key Stage 1.
Children begin phonics in Nursery which focuses on growing children’s vocabulary through role-play, discussion, building sentences and using productive questioning. It places huge emphasis on developing children’s love of reading through enticing story and poetry times. By the last term of Nursery, children participate in speed sound sessions, where children are taught to say the sounds of letters with the help of mnemonics, to blend the sounds into words and read simple word blending books. This gives them a flying start before going into the Reception class.
In Reception children will continue where they left off from nursery and new starters will be assessed. In reception and Year 1, children are grouped based on ability to ensure that they make rapid progress in accuracy and fluency of reading. Children are assessed at the end of each half term to ensure accurate groupings and to make sure that children making slower progress are identified. In the Early Years and Year 1, phonics is embedded in to the environment, giving children the opportunity to apply their phonics skills during independent learning time. Children will continue on the RWI phonics programme until they are confident and fluent readers: most children are off the programme at the end of Year 1.
In year 2, some children will continue to access the Read Write Inc phonics (if they did not pass the phonics screening assessment). These children will be assessed half-termly and be moved off the programme when they are ready to. Once children have completed the Read Write Inc phonics, they then move onto the Read Write Inc Spelling.
We expose our children to a wide range of texts and genres which means that they are able to read for a range of purposes and expand their interests and passions. The skills that our children learn from EYFS to Year 6 are carefully mapped out, to ensure clear progression; these are in line with current National Curriculum expectations.
We focus on different strands of reading in both word reading and comprehension. In comprehension, we begin with retrieval, explanation and comparison. In EYFS, re-reading books to build confidence and understanding; progressing to discussing, comparing and evaluating in depth across a wide range of genres in Year 6. We begin in Year 1 by making simple inferences about texts such as what has happened, and progress to comparing and analysing different accounts of the same event. From Year 3 upwards, there is a focus on developing a knowledge of root words, prefixes and suffixes and their relationship in texts when reading aloud which allows us to develop our fluency.
During the course of the week, children will listen to a teacher reading, take part in paired reading, do some independent reading and complete reading tasks. Throughout the week, the focus of reading sessions change. The skills that are being practised daily could be; inference, retrieval, explanation, comparison, sequencing, summarising or predicting. One day per week we have a vocabulary focus
where children are exposed to a wide range of vocabulary that links to their topic and they are expected to use it in a variety of ways.
Throughout the year, we choose texts to ensure that we cover a range of genres and topics. In Early Years we use picture books such as The Gruffalo, look at classics like Beauty and the Beast and study poetry and non-fiction texts about Africa and animals.
When we enter Key Stage 1, we study texts by the same author, look at recounts and non-fiction articles about historical events and read adventure fiction.
In Key Stage 2, we study historical texts, enjoy mysteries and delve into the world of plays. We use a wide range of mediums to study reading, including videos, images, song lyrics and graphic novels, amongst others.
Reading for pleasure is integrated through the provision so that children always have access to books in addition to their English and phonics lessons. This is a mix of both the adult reading and independent reading from the children.
All children are listened to read on a half termly basis (by their class teacher) and additional weekly
support is given by LSAs. This is monitored closely to track progress. Please remember that your child's reading record is in school each day and that it is signed 5 times per week as per our home-school agreement.
Writing is linked to our half termly class novel which has been matched to each year group through our recommended reading diet we encourage and develop writing across a range of genres. Using the class novel to guide writing opportunities encourages creativity and sustains interest and enthusiasm for writing.
Handwriting is developed right from nursery following the ISHA 'Achieving Excellence in Handwriting' programme which promotes excellent handwriting and high quality presentation skills.
To view any additional information, please find the download links within the 'Writing, Spelling & Grammar' tab below.
Partnerships with parents, carers and families are critical in developing literacy skills. We expect children and adults at home to engage in reading at least 5 times per week. Each time a child reads at home please complete their reading record.