Our Learning: Literacy

A daily literacy lesson takes place in every class in Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2. This provides children with a balance of teaching which focuses on:

  • children’s understanding of texts as readers
  • using quality texts to inspire and as models for writing
  • grammar and punctuation
  • phonics and spelling

Children need a range of skills which they can use as they progress through the school. This is achieved by using quality texts over a number of weeks in order to provide opportunities for:

  • shared reading to understand and explore texts
  • shared writing to model what writers do
  • storytelling to internalise text structures
  • speaking and listening activates to ensure children find a voice and have something to say
  • investigations to find out more about sentence construction, punctuation and spelling

Teachers use a range of strategies to make these whole class sessions interactive and interesting, including paired talk, story-making, use of whiteboards and drama. Children are given the opportunity to follow-up this explicit teaching so they can try out what they have learnt and make it their own in a variety of real reading and writing activities.

We believe that reading is an essential skill and that our children should learn to read not only for knowledge, but for pleasure. There is a whole school approach to the teaching of reading. The children are taught a range of strategies to support their progress. These include decoding words using phonics, developing a sight vocabulary of key words, using pictures, contextual cues and reading to the end of a sentence before going back and tackling an unfamiliar word. Equally important are the skills of comprehension and an awareness of style, text features and use of language.

Our class libraries are welcoming and well stocked with a range of quality texts; new titles are added regularly, to reflect the interests of our children.

In KS1, all our books are colour-coded and include Rigby Star and Oxford Reading Tree books reading schemes. In addition, all children have access to a an online library through Collins Big Cat library. These include phonetically decodable texts and cover a wide range of genres.

In KS2 books are organised by genres and all guided reading books are levelled.

Children read independently and in guided reading sessions led by an adult. Teachers discuss and share texts with children on a daily basis, through literacy lessons, story-times and through all curriculum areas. We ask all parents to read with their child at home each day.

Teaching Phonics

Children are taught according to the Letters and Sounds programme.

Daily phonics lessons last for 15-20 minutes and directly follow the phases and teaching programmes detailed in Letters and Sounds. All phonics lessons include revision of previous learning, teaching of new sounds/ tricky words, and application of new skills.

Each phonics lesson should include the key skills of blending for reading and segmenting for writing.

Children are taught how to read and write graphemes and develop their blending and segmenting skills. Some children will receive additional support in class, in addition to whole class phonic sessions.

More information on our reading and phonics can be found here: Reading and phonics