English at St Peter’s
Our fundamental aim at St. Peter’s is to develop a love of books and reading and provide our children with the opportunities to write creatively, coherently and confidently in a range of contexts and for a range of purposes and audiences.
We also aim:
- To develop reading strategies and skills: fluency, accuracy, understanding and response to different texts.
- To read and enjoy a variety of texts from a variety of sources.
- To create a strong, embedded reading culture through a rich language environment within classrooms and the wider school environment.
- To deliver a structured and consistent whole school approach to reading through the Accelerated Reader Programme.
- To recognise the value of parents / carers as essential components in supporting and developing children’s reading skills and love of reading.
- To rigorously monitor and assess children’s progress in reading, identify those who require extra support and intervene at an early stage.
- To ensure our children acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge needed for reading, writing and spoken language
The aim of our Phonics teaching, is to equip our children with the skills they need to become fluent and competent readers. We follow the Letters and Sounds Programme and use the Read Write Inc caption cards to support our sessions.
Our Phonics teaching begins in Pre-nursery with the ‘Toddler Talk’ programme. This develops early language skills which are required for children to begin the first phase of their Phonics teaching in Nursery.
This first phase of Letters and Sounds is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills. As children progress into Reception, they begin learning different sounds and how to blend them together to read simple words.
New sounds continue to be taught throughout Phase 5 in Year 1 and children are also taught alternative ways of representing the same sound.
In Year 2, our Phonics sessions focus on spelling, to secure the application of previously taught sounds alongside spelling rules from the National Curriculum.
Phonics teaching continues throughout school for lower ability children as needed, to help improve their reading.
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check
During the Summer term in Year 1, children will take part in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. This assesses children’s ability to read 40 real and alien words containing different sounds they have been taught throughout Reception and Year 1. The check is completed by a teacher, who is familiar to the children, on a one-to-one basis.
The pass mark for the check is released each year a few weeks after it has taken place and is reported to parents towards the end of the summer term.
We hold a Phonics Check parent meeting in the spring term to share resources with our parents and inform them how they can support their child with Phonics at home.
Children who do not meet the pass mark for the check will re-take it in Year 2 and there is a Phonics intervention in place for KS2 children that need further support.
Below is a link for some sound mats that we use to support the children in school. They have all the Read Write Inc images next to the sounds to help the child remember them.
Here are some useful links that will help your child with Phonics:
As reading is a complex skill with many components, St.Peter’s School has adopted a comprehensive and consistent approach to the teaching of these skills throughout the school through the Accelerate Reader Programme (See Accelerated Reader).
We believe that reading is a valuable and rewarding experience and that the importance of laying a firm foundation in this crucial area will allow children to access all areas of the curriculum successfully. We believe that success in reading opens doors to a world of knowledge.
Reading at Home
At St.Peter’s, we expect our children to read at least three times a week and have their home record signed. Research has shown that regular reading not only improves reading speed needed to complete tests in a given time, but also improves vocabulary and composition in writing. Staff monitor home reading records very closely to ensure children are reading regularly.
We celebrate children in school who have read regularly that week with our ‘Reader of the week’ certificate and celebrate our ‘Accelerate Reader’ of the week by praising children who have quizzed and are quickly increasing their word count.
Children are monitored within the Accelerated Reader Programme very closely in terms of the number of quizzes that are taken and passed and the books that are chosen.
Reading in School
Children take part in a whole-class Guided Reading session every day from Year 2 to Year 6. Sessions have a different focus each week, which is carefully modelled by the teacher before children practise applying the skill themselves. We use a range of question stems to ensure our children are accessing different types of questions in different formats.
- Year 1 children work towards whole-class Guided Reading in the spring term and work on a carousel up to that point completing a range of adult- led and independent reading and phonics activities.
- Children have the opportunity to read every morning in class and children who find reading more challenging are heard read by a teacher or teaching assistant regularly; these children also have daily sessions on IDL Literacy: a daily computer-based programme which promotes the use of reading and spelling.
place in small groups twice a week
and uses a simple version of the
question stems in place throughout
school to develop comprehension. In
Nursery, early reading skills are developed
through singing nursery rhymes and
sharing stories throughout the
day. Children are also given a book to take
home and share with Parents/Carers.
Grammar and Punctuation
From Year 1 to Year 6, as part of the English cycle, we devote one focussed day a week to the teaching of grammar. Children also get regular opportunities to practise various grammar skills throughout the week as a mental starter to the English lesson.
Each year group has a grammar glossary of terms that they need to know by the end of the school year (see below).
At St.Peter’s, we have identified that vocabulary is a strong indicator in reading success and recognise that research has proven that the size of a child’s vocabulary is the best predictor of success –not only in tests- but in the opportunities that become available to them beyond primary school.
Because of this, at St.Peter’s, we have adopted a number of strategies to provide children with new tier 1 and 2 vocabulary that is revisited throughout the whole curriculum. Tiered vocabulary is explained below:
Our strategies for teaching vocabulary include:
- Children from Nursery – Year 6 have a daily vocabulary session which identifies new words and their meanings linked to text(s) they are covering in class.
- New tier 2 and 3 words for a topic are identified as part of the pre-learning process in topic lessons.
- New tier 2 words which are transferable into different genres of writing are added to the class ‘magpie wall’ and revisited regularly.
- English texts are linked at least once a term to the topic so that children have the opportunity to apply new vocabulary in to their writing.
- Children use magpie stickers in books when they have used a new word.
- Vocabulary is very visible in classrooms around school linked to a variety of topics.
At St.Peter’s, we teach spelling regularly through either daily Phonics sessions or grammar sessions within the English teaching cycle.
Children practise spellings taken from their year group spelling list (see below).
Children are given a weekly spelling test, which is made up of spellings from the No Nonsense Spelling Programme, which identifies age-appropriate spelling rules, the Letters and Sounds programme and/or the year group’s spelling list.
As part of the English cycle, our children edit their own work with purple pen regularly and correct spelling as well as grammar errors.
Children in Key Stage Two are encouraged to use dictionaries to help with spelling as well as recalling taught spelling rules.
If you have any queries about English please contact Mrs Whiteside, Deputy Headteacher and English Leader.