Reading in school
Children read regularly to the class teacher, 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 everyday. 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. Children also take part in group reading during which there is more of a focus on reading comprehension. 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. Reading Partners are volunteers who visit school a few times a week to hear a child read. It is really rewarding to see a child, who at first found reading difficult, make great progress because of your time and effort! For more information on our reading partnership scheme, contact Jill Finn or Katie O'Donnell at school. Alternatively, some of our parents come in one morning every week to list to a few children read. If this is something that interests you then 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. Why not join our library club which is after school every Thursday until 4.15pm or our Book Club every Thursday lunch?
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.
We individually assess the children weekly and set target graphemes in their home/school phonics book. ‘Phonics’ is also explicitly taught three times a week in 20 minutes sessions as well as being a continual focus in daily literacy 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 set them weekly target sounds/graphemes in their phonics books. We will also provide intervention teaching for these children to help them 'catch-up'.
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 (see resource list) and ‘tricky words’ will now become ‘ten times words’ in class and it is expected that they are spelt correctly in all pieces of work.
Children will be expected to use sound posters in classrooms to help when they are sounding out words they don’t yet know how to spell. 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 remembering 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. 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.
Teaching grammar and punctuation
We teach in line with National Curriculum requirements. Your child might come home saying that they have met Vicky Verb or Adam Adjective. These are the characters that we have introduced as a school to teach the children about different word classes in speech and writing. Please ask the class teacher if you would like to receive a handout of the characters and their jobs in sentences.
This year we are introducing the concepts of 'critique' to our children. We will be teaching the children how to look carefully at their own work, and the work of their peers, and give constructive feedback on how each draft can be improved. Children will become more comfortable at editing and redrafting their own work and helping their friends to do the same. We will use this throughout the curriculum but we are hoping that it will have a huge impact on our children's writing skills. If you would like to see critique in action, you may want to look at "Austin's Butterfly" on Youtube and see how a child's art work is improved by him listening to the advice of his friends.
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. Our school has had a big push on developing these skills in school over the last few years with great effects. We know that we have many wonderful parents in school who spent a lot of time interacting with their children at home. Our homework systems have recently been changed to take advantage of this one-to-one time at home and encourage quality conversation about learning whilst developing skills that have been taught in school.