At Woodbury C of E Primary School we believe that English skills are vital to the development of our children to be prepared for their future life.
We intend to deliver an English Curriculum designed to enable and empower children’s written and oral communication. Literacy skills are explicitly taught in a way to inspire, excite and enthuse young readers and writers. Children are actively encouraged to develop a love of reading and writing through the use of quality texts and inspiring topics, where they are exposed to new language which they can use in their own learning.
From the moment children start school in our Foundation Stage class we provide a range of opportunities to make marks, understand the process of writing and understand the importance of writing as a means of communication.
As a school we have adopted an approach to teaching writing called “The Write Stuff” by Jane Constantine, the aim of which is to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing. “The Write Stuff” follows a method called “Sentence Stacking” which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together to create a piece of extended writing, and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. We have extended the use of this approach to our younger children, where our friendly puppet “Grandma Fantastic” supports the introduction of exciting words and language which children can start to include in their writing. High quality texts are used to support “The Write Stuff” teaching, introducing children to a range of genres, cultures and writing styles.
Grammar and punctuation are taught within English lessons and as separate lesson, where the children are taught to develop their grammatical understanding of the English language, which includes sentence construction and the use of punctuation.
Handwriting is taught discretely with an emphasis on correct letter formation, developing the skills to join writing effectively, and pride in presentation.
Learning to read and developing a love of reading is a priority at Woodbury School. We provide a systematic approach to the teaching of reading skills from the beginning of Foundation within our phonics (see separate section) and Guided Reading sessions. Guided reading is taught throughout our school daily, with a focus on applying the phonetic skills learned throughout the Foundation Stage and into Key Stage 1, and detailed exploration of reading content domains in Key Stage 2.
All children are encouraged to read regularly at home. In our Foundation Stage and Year 1 classes we use FFT Success for All Phonics, which provides phonetically decodable books matching children’s reading levels. Children can also access these reading books online at home and school via the portal. This scheme continues into Year 2 to support children where necessary, alongside. Once a child can demonstrate that they read with a good level of understanding, they have opportunity to choose a range of free reading or short chapter books from the class or school library. Across Key Stage 2 we use Accelerated Reader (AR) to support children’s independent reading. AR is an online system which can be used to monitor reading habits and comprehension. Children who need support with reading as they move through the school access “The Lightning Squad” programme, a catch up phonics reading programme.
In order to foster a love of reading we provide our children with many other opportunities to engage in individual reading with warm, inviting reading areas in each classroom and around the school, and a welcoming library.
We teach phonics daily to our Foundation and Year 1 children, continuing into Year 2 where necessary. We use the approved systematic synthetic phonics scheme FFT "Success For All" phonics. We use additional phonetically decodable reading books to reinforce the learning from our phonics lessons, matched carefully to each child’s reading level. Where necessary, we extend the teaching of phonics into Key Stage 2 where children need additional support to secure their phonic knowledge, through our catch up “Lightning Squad” programme.