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Croft School

English

At The Croft our aim is for all children to leave us with the knowledge and skills ready to start their next phase of learning.

In addition, we endeavour to instil a love of reading and writing in our children which will stay with them through all phases of their lives. We do this by following the National Curriculum for English – speaking and listening, reading and writing - through a creative enquiry based approach which is underpinned by experiences and purpose. 
 

For skills progression in reading and writing from Y1 – Y6 we follow the National Curriculum. We teach writing skills as specified by the National Curriculum and follow the guidelines for age-related content. Our outcomes for writing are purpose-led, and where possible linked our enquiries. We see English as the golden thread that runs through all that we do. Spelling and grammar skills are threaded through following our own year group-specific programmes of study, using the scheme No Nonsense Spelling.

Reading

We believe that reading is a vital life skill, one that is high on our priority list at The Croft. In our school we passionately believe that ‘Every Child Will Be A Reader’ and we make this happen through excellent early phonics teaching, using a wide range of levelled home / school reading books, children reading to adults in school, with fantastic book corners full of brilliant texts and our much loved school library that stimulates young minds and nurtures a real love of reading. We firmly believe that good readers are good writers.

At The Croft, early readers will be taught:

  • grapheme–phoneme correspondences in a clearly defined, incremental sequence

  • to apply the skill of blending (synthesising) phonemes in order to read words

  • to apply the skills of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes in order to develop spelling skills

  • that blending and segmenting are reversible processes.

Phonics

The teaching of phonics at The Croft is multisensory; the children use all of their senses to learn each new sound e.g. by singing, dancing, acting, making shapes in the air, using computers, playing games and using tactile manipulatives. This ensures all learning styles are catered for and the children enjoy their phonics lessons.

The six-phases of the Letters and Sounds document provides a structure for teachers from which teachers plan for children’s progression with support of the LCP scheme. The boundaries between the phases are not fixed, allowing teachers to plan across the phases depending on the individual class needs. Teachers’ assessment of individual children will inform the rate at which their children are able to progress through the phases. The children in Reception and Year 1 and

Year 2 will have discrete phonics teaching input daily by teachers and practitioners. The sessions last from fifteen to twenty-five minutes. The classroom environments facilitate opportunities for the children to independently explore, practise and consolidate their phonics learning throughout the school day.
In Reception the children learn the 44 main sounds heard in the English language as well as learning tricky words. They use these sounds to read and write simple words and sentences.

In Year 1 the children revisit the 44 main sounds and learn different ways to spell these. The children also continue to learn many more tricky words and develop a more adventurous vocabulary. Through the carefully selected ‘sticky vocabulary’. At the end of Year 1 all children are screened using the national phonics screening check.

Year 2 consists mainly of learning to spell and read more complex words and write extended sentences. Children are taught using No Nonsense Spelling.

In KS2 We use the Year Group Spelling Lists provided in the National Curriculum. Children are taught using No Nonsense Spelling. 

Pupils are encouraged to continually apply their phonic knowledge in their writing across all subjects.

Speaking and Listening

Across the school we are consistently trying to develop the children’s speaking and listening skills. Learning to take turns and listen to different people is a lifelong skill.

Taking part in plays, productions and presentations helps children to develop their confidence for speaking in front of a group / audience. This is part of their work readiness preparing them for sophisticated events by the end of year 6.

Writing

Children start making marks on paper at an early age and from these early mark makers we aim to develop confident and fluent writers. Across the school children are encouraged to write for different purposes and we constantly look to develop their vocabulary and sentence structure skills. This year we have had a focus on developing marks through building strength in their hands through games and then carefully and correctly forming single letters.

Teachers select high quality core texts, which enables them to choose adventurous ‘sticky vocabulary’ to focus on.Teaching sequences are planned for using the structure of I do, we do and you do. This is supported by high quality modelling, flexible groupings and appropriate scaffolds.

In KS1 and KS2 the focus is on writing confidently and at length with attention being paid to spelling, punctuation and grammar and being able to write in a range of styles and genres. All classes follow the National Curriculum carefully. Writing opportunities are capitalised on during enquiry sessions which encourages the children to ensure that they can produce substantial amounts of quality writing across the curriculum and therefore begin to fully understand its purpose.