Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening is an essential part of Literacy. A child will struggle to read a word and make sense of a text if s/he has never heard that word before. Equally, a child will never develop the vocabulary choices in their writing if they do not use a varied vocabulary in their everyday life. Most importantly however, developing speaking and listening skills increases a child’s confidence in the essential life skill of communicating.
Reading in school
Children read regularly to the class teacher during guided reading sessions and will sometimes read to other members of staff and trained parent helpers. It really helps if you try to hear your child read a few pages of their book every day. Your child's book is changed once it has been read and fully understood. We carefully monitor progress and select appropriate books for your child's reading age. Within your child’s reading records you will find question which can be used to support your child with fully understanding the book they are reading. Please see the resource list for our reading schemes.
Every year, there are two Reading Meetings held for reception parents in September but our staff are always on hand if you want to ask questions about how to help your child with their reading at home. If you are interested in helping other children with their reading, we would be delighted if you became a reading partner.
We always like to welcome parents to volunteer to come in one morning or afternoon every week to listen to a few children read. If this is something you are interested in please speak to your child’s class teacher.
Access to our library
We have two well stocked libraries in school – one for the infants and one for the juniors. Children can visit the libraries at various times throughout the week and choose a book which they can take home on loan. We encourage the children wherever possible to use the libraries as a point of reference so that they can pursue their own learning desires.
Phonics and Spelling
Phonics and spelling – Reception and Year 1
We follow the Letters and Sounds progression through phases 1 to 5. We use a range of resources to help us do this, the main one being Jolly Phonics.
‘Phonics’ is explicitly taught daily as well as being a continual focus in daily English lessons.
Parents are encouraged to teach their children to look carefully at each word and develop ways of remembering how it is spelt. Please see the LOOK, COVER, WRITE, CHECK resource for ways of helping your child learn how to spell individual words.
All Year 1 children are screened at the end of Year 1 on their ability to sound out words. This is a national requirement introduced in 2012. The school will inform you of the results in your child’s end of year report.
Spelling programme – Years 2 and Key Stage 2
By the beginning of Year 2, all children should have been taught all of the different ways of writing the 44 sounds in the English language.
Naturally, there will be quite a few children who have either not retained these or are learning at a slower rate so are not quite there yet. We will continue to assess these children individually and focus on helping them to progress.
Once the recognition of the different ways of spelling the sound is there, we move onto the difficult job of teaching the children which one is used to spell individual words! With our bizarre English language, this is no small task!
Weekly word lists or spelling patterns will be sent home, these will vary in format depending on the class. High frequency and National Curriculum word lists (see resource list) are also taught throughout the year.
We teach children to write the word and see if it looks right – maybe writing it with different graphemes for the same sound. Children are then expected to check the spelling in the dictionary or ask the teacher to write it for them. ‘Having a go’ is very important but then the children must learnt to look closely at the correct spelling in order to learn how it is spelt. Children will only learn how to spell words by trying to remember how to spell the tricky parts of a word and by seeing and using that word many times.
Children begin to write letters and words in Reception. It is great that parents like to practise writing at home with their child. Please see the resource list for information of letter formation and pencil grip. As your child progresses through school they may be awarded with a ‘Pen License’ if their handwriting is consistently of a high standard.
There is a big focus in the infants on being able to write in sentences. As they progress through school, children learn how to write in a wide range of genres. At the end of each half term during our celebration assembly, certain children are granted the title 'Edgworth Author' for super work, where their work is displayed around various places within Edgworth village.