Early Reading and Phonics
Our chosen systematic synthetic phonics programme is Little Wandle. This programme has been validated by the DFE and has been developed by Wandle and little Sutton English hubs in partnership with phonics and other early reading experts. Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised also draws on the latest research into how children learn best; how to ensure learning stays in children’s long term memory and how best to enable children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers.
Phonics sessions delivered to children include seven important key features that characterise highly successful phonics teaching, these are:
• direct teaching in frequent, short bursts
• consistency of approach
• secure, systematic progression in phonics learning
• maintaining pace of learning
• providing repeated practice
• application of phonics using matched decodable books
• early identification of children at risk of falling behind, linked to the provision of effective keep-up support.
Our phonic teaching sits hand in hand with the teaching of reading. Reading underpins children's access to the curriculum and impacts achievement. Children are taught an efficient way to decode words as well as developing comprehension skills and develop a wide vocabulary.
Children are taught phonics everyday, as well as completing regular reading practise sessions. In these sessions children apply the phonics they have learned to reading fully decodable books. The books are matched to every child's progression in phonics. Children complete three reading practice sessions each week that focus on three key reading skills:
• prosody - reading with meaning, stress and intonation
• comprehension - understanding the text
To find out more about Little Wandle and how you can support your child follow this link
At Wakefield Methodist Junior, Infant and Nursery School, English is a fundamental and integral part of the school curriculum and is taught both as a discreet subject and across the wider curriculum. In studying English, we want pupils to develop skills in speaking, listening, spelling, reading and writing that will enable them to express themselves creatively and imaginatively and to communicate with others effectively and independently. We want pupils to learn to become enthusiastic and critical readers of stories, poetry and drama, as well as non-fiction and media texts. Through the study of English, pupils should begin to understand how language works, looking at its patterns, structures and origins. Using this knowledge, pupils will learn to choose and adapt what they say and write in different situations.
We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge- base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in English skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
These aims are embedded across our English lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum and framework, that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. In each year group we use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study.
The National Curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferrable skills. With the implementation of the writing journey being well established and taught thoroughly in both key stages, children are becoming more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writing styles, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
Half termly assessment shows that most children at Wakefield Methodist School are achieving in English at age-related expectations. Each year we have children achieving at a greater depth in reading and writing at the end of KS1 and are working hard to emulate that at the end of KS2. As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives. We hope that as children move on from our school to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.