Reading is at the heart of our curriculum, a crucial part of our daily experience and is essential for developing educational and social progress. It is our vision to ensure every child achieves their full potential to become confident, enthusiastic readers and diverse, understanding members of society. As inspiring role models of literature, it is our intention to nurture a love of reading, to immerse children in high quality texts, and to develop a thirst for discovery. We strive to cultivate a community with strong abilities in both the spoken and written word, therefore the acquisition of language and vocabulary is of the utmost importance and underpins our regular meaningful discussions and explicit teaching of reading skills.
Read Write Inc Phonics Intent
We are passionate about ensuring all children become confident readers and writers by learning key phonetic knowledge and applying these to the segmenting and blending of words. Through small incremental steps we build phonetic knowledge systematically using validated synthetic phonics programmes. All children in Reception and Year 1 have daily, dedicated phonics lessons which are delivered through a consistent, effective teaching structure. It is our aim to continue phonics support for those after Year 1 who still require this specific teaching. All resources used to support the phonics learning journey are decodable and closely matched to the children’s needs, differentiated where required.
At Shipston-on-Stour Primary School we use Read Write Inc. (RWI) to teach Phonics, Reading and Writing in Reception and Key Stage 1.
How do we teach your children to read?
Every child deserves success right from the start. We know that the sooner children learn to read, the greater their success at school. This is why we put reading at the heart of what we do.
During daily RWI sessions, we group children by their phonics progress. We re-assess children every half-term so we can place them in the group where they’ll make the most progress. We provide extra daily one-to-one sessions for children who need a bit of a boost to keep up.
How do we make phonics easy for children to learn?
Read Write Inc. Phonics depends upon children learning to read and write sounds effortlessly, so we make it simple and fun.
The phonic knowledge is split into two parts:
First we teach them one way to read and write the 40+ sounds in English. We use pictures to help, for example we make ‘a’ into the shape of an apple, ‘f’ into the shape of a flower. These pictures help all children, especially slower-starters, to read the sounds easily. Children learn to read words by sound-blending using a frog called Fred. Fred says the sounds and children help him blend the sounds to read each word.
Then we teach children the different spellings of the same sounds, for example, they learn that the sound ‘ay’ is written ay, a-e and ai; the sound ‘ee’ is written ee, e and ea. We use phrases to help them remember each sound for example, ay, may I play, a-e – make a cake?
Each child receives quality reading lessons each week to develop specific reading skills, including fluency and confidence when reading aloud. This is delivered through our ‘Book Talk’, which links to Jane Considine's Reading Rainbow. Our sessions follow a two week process, where our children are exposed to a wide range of high-quality texts that are discussed and studied in depth.
How can you help at home?
First of all, come to our meetings. We hold these to give parents and carers practical advice about how you can help.
We appreciate you’re busy but here are two things that will make the biggest difference to your child’s progress.
1. Read a bedtime story to your child.
Your child will bring home lovely library books from school. Read bedtime stories to your child – don’t ask them to read the story themselves as this is beyond their current reading stage. There is some really good advice about how to make bedtime storytime fun on www.ruthmiskin.com/parents
2. Listen to your child read the book we send home.
Your child will bring home a book matched to their reading ability. They will be able to read this book confidently. Praise your child for how well they read it – celebrate what a great reader they are. There’s more good advice on how to listen to your child read on www.ruthmiskin.com/parents
To enable all children to find their voice by equipping them with the knowledge and skills needed to express themselves clearly and accurately through spoken and written language. We expose our learners to a variety of stimuli and experiences so that they can build confidence and showcase their imaginations and abilities through a range of writing styles. Children always start writing through the exploration of high-quality texts. This is underpinned by explicit vocabulary teaching, grammar, punctuation and sentence level work. From initial mark-making to precise text shaping, our children become authors by writing with both audience and purpose in mind.
The Writing Process
It is expected that children will be given as many opportunities as possible to use and apply their writing skills across all text types and across the whole curriculum. Teachers plan for this accordingly using The Stour Federation's Writing Process.
We teach handwriting, spelling and composition separately, gradually bringing each skill together step-by-step. We teach children to form letters with the correct pencil grip and in the correct sitting position from the very beginning. They practise handwriting daily in KS1 and 3 times a week in KS2 so they learn to write quickly and easily.
Vocabulary underpins our curriculum and it is at the heart of every subject we teach. Although we recognise that reading is invaluable for learning new language, we cannot assume that the more words you read, the more words you know. In The Stour Federation Partnership, we teach vocabulary explicitly and then revisit and revise words learned. This way, the children know the words in depth - meaning that they can use them in a variety of contexts, in writing, speaking and reading.
Every year, we subscribe to No More Marking, an online Comparative Judgement system, which allows our staff to collaborate with thousands of other schools in judging writing from years 1-6. By uploading and assessing our children's writing in six national judging windows, we are able to get whole-school and nationally benchmarked data, allowing us to save time, support progression and intervention planning and tailor feedback. With all our teachers and teaching assistants knowing what good quality writing looks like across the school, we have high expectations and a shared understanding of next steps.