Our Aims for 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.
Please follow the links below which identify how the National Curriculum for English is covered for Year 1 – Year 6 and how we cover literacy in the Early Years.
We believe that success in reading opens doors to a world of knowledge and begin to instil a love of reading in the early years by immersing our youngest children in a range of stories and songs.
Reading at Home
At St.Peter’s, we expect our children to read daily 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 reading in school with our ‘Reader of the week’ certificate and celebrate weekly 'Scores on the Doors' to look at the word counts of classes throughout school.
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 regular sessions on IDL Literacy: a computer-based programme which promotes the use of reading and spelling.
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.
Guided Reading in Reception takes place in small groups twice a week and uses a simple version of the question stems in place throughout school to develop comprehension. Our Reception children take home books which are phonetically decodable meaning they are able to consistently practise sounding out and blending to read simple words.
Grammar and Punctuation
From Year 1 to Year 6, as part of the English cycle, we teach grammar skills on a daily basis at either the start of an English lesson or as an English lesson focus.
Each year group has a grammar glossary of terms that they need to know by the end of the school year (see below).
Reception Grammar Glossary
Y1 Grammar Glossary
Y2 Grammar Glossary
Y3 Grammar Glossary
Y4 Grammar Glossary
Y5 Grammar Glossary
Y6 Grammar Glossary
The aim of our Phonics teaching, is to equip our children with the skills they need to become fluent and competent readers. We have recently started using the AMAZING Supersonic Phonic Friends Programme to teach our Phonics from Nursery to Year 1 and use the No-Nonsense Spelling Programme to build on these skills in Year 2.
This programme is a fully systematic, synthetic phonic approach ranging from the simple to the complex spellings of the alphabetic code. Supported by their Supersonic Phonic friends, this approach allows our early readers to develop confidence and apply each skill to their own reading and writing.
Our Phonics teaching begins in Pre-nursery with the ‘Toddler Talk’ programme. This develops early language skills which are essential for children to begin the first phase of their Phonics teaching in Nursery.
This first phase of Phonics teaching 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.
Phonics teaching continues throughout school for lower ability children as needed, to help improve their reading.
Check out the link for Supersonic Phonic Friends below!
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 Screening Check parent meeting early 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.
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, 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:
- 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) and from the National Curriculum.
Children are given a weekly spelling test, which is made up of 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 2 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 Co-ordinator.