Grazeley Parochial CE (Aided) Primary School

'Be courageous; Be strong; Do everything in love'

English

At  Grazeley Primary School, 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 members of society.

English

AtGrazeleyPrimary School, 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 members of society.  

We teach a quality English curriculum that engages and enthuses learners and develops children’s love of reading, writing and discussion.  We foster a positive attitude towards communication ensuring that our children can independently express their emotions and ideas.  

Children become avid readers, reading fluently and widely. They read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors, and make informed opinions about their favourites, as well as developing the reading resilience necessary to confidently approach the more difficult texts they will meet in the future. 

Children write with confidence and accuracy for a variety of purposes and audiences.  We ensure they have the skills and knowledge necessary to write with grammatical accuracy and apply spelling patterns correctly using neat handwriting, whilst developing their own individual writing style and flair. 

Through our concept-based curriculum, we expose our children to a wide range of vocabulary. They develop an understanding of etymology so that they able to decipher new words and then use them appropriately in both formal and informal situations. With this context to their learning, children are able to understand the value of English to them now, and in their futures. 

“No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” Tom Schulman

Phonics

Grazeley Primary School teaches a synthetic phonics approach using the phonics part of the “Read Write Inc” scheme.

Children are taught in small groups across the school by both teachers and trained teaching assistants to ensure children are able to build on previous learning and progress at the appropriate rate.

Please watch the video opposite to see how each phoneme should be pronounced.

Handwriting Formation

In EYFS, children explore the patterns relating to letter formations using a variety of tools and multi-sensory methods. which develops free flowing hand movements and muscle strength. Printed letter formation is taught as part of the Read Write Inc phonics programme and reinforced using a variety of multi-sensory approaches.

Continuous cursive handwriting individual letter formation is introduced in Year 1 enabling children to join their letters more easily as they become more confident writers.  We teach a simple continuous cursive style as it is faster to write than the stop and start strokes of printing and increases continuity and fluidity in writing. In addition, some printed letters look similar and are easily reversed, like the ‘b’ and  ‘d’, which is often confusing to children. This makes a cursive style of particular value to children with learning challenges like Dyslexia and A.D.H.D.

Although this can initially seem challenging to younger children as they learn to read and write letters and words, they reap huge benefits later. The link opposite shows how the continuous cursive letters are formed.

Reading

“He that loves reading has everything within his reach.” William Godwin

“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate’s loot on Treasure Island” Walt Disney

At Grazeley Primary School we want all our children to become fluent readers with a life-long love of reading. Reading forms the basis for learning in all subjects as well as transporting us into other worlds, places and times that inspire creativity and imagination. We aim to foster that love of reading in all our children and develop a reading community where books are shared, talked about and loved.

Reading consists of two dimensions:  word reading and language comprehension.

Skilled word reading, involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words.

In Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, we use the synthetic phonics programme Read Write Inc as developed by Ruth Miskin. The programme enables children to develop decoding (reading) and encoding (spelling) skills.

Language comprehension (necessary for both reading and writing) starts from birth. It only develops when adults talk with children about the world around them and the books (stories and non-fiction) they read with them, and enjoy rhymes, poems and songs together.

At Grazeley school we continue this development of language comprehension through our oracy work, and through giving children access to a variety of high-quality texts which engage, enthuse and challenge their experience of the world.

Through reading children are able to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development.

Our Reading Spine (see link below) is the selection of books and poetry that form the core of our English curriculum. They have been carefully chosen for their interest and variety as well as to challenge our children with archaic language, complex plots and characters, and different forms of narration.  They link closely with the concepts and questions taught each term in The Grazeley Curriculum, encouraging children to think deeply, as well as developing reading resilience and comprehension skills.

Children take part in whole class and group guided reading sessions that are selected to meet the specific needs of each group. Comprehension skills are developed through use of the acronym VIPERS – Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explaining, Retrieval and Summarising. The powerpoint (see link below) gives more information about this.

Practise means progress, and partnership with parents is key to children developing as readers. Children take home books to read and share. At first these are scheme books closely matched to their understanding of the phonics. Once children have mastered the phonic code, they move onto core reading scheme books that have a structured progression of content and decoding skills. Our core scheme is Oxford Reading Tree. Once in Key Stage 2, if they have developed a good level of reading fluency, children move onto the accelerated reader scheme, choosing from a range of books within a reading range that matches their assessed level of reading skill and comprehension. They enjoy challenging themselves by doing quizzes related to the books they have read.

We encourage children to read for pleasure, sharing books from both our class libraries and our Key Stage One, Key Stage Two and Non-Fiction libraries. Mr Driver and two children from the school recommend books fortnightly in our newsletter. Every year we purchase new prize-winning children’s titles to ensure the range of books available is kept up to date, asking children to read, review and recommend them to the school community. Book Week is a popular event in the school calendar where the whole school engages in book related activities, Each year, we invite an author into school, something that is inspiring and engaging for the children.

Useful Websites

Children are taught to read using a combination of phonics development, learning to recognise sight vocabulary (tricky words such as the, is, to etc) and strategies to help children to understand what they are reading and discuss meaning.  This is mainly taught through “guided reading” where children work in small groups with an adult developing their reading skills with children at a similar developmental level, guided by the adult.

A range of books from different schemes are used to ensure the children experience a variety of genres and authors.

Parental support is vital in helping your child learn to read. Please look out for Reading workshops or download the resources from our workshops section of the website. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask your child’s class teacher.