Our carefully designed English curriculum integrates the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Lessons are taught to inspire children to read and write. Differentiation is at the heart of every lesson to ensure that work is well matched for each child. The core of the lessons centre around the reading and writing skills, balanced with exciting and engaging contexts. Pupils are given the opportunity to share and develop a love for traditional stories that their families will have enjoyed for years, alongside the opportunity to explore a range of modern literature from a variety of genres. These high-quality texts form the basis of our English lessons and inspire children to write for a range of purposes. We focus on exposing the children to high-quality language and ensure that children fully understand the meaning of any new vocabulary. Our cross-curricular approach to English is built to inspire the children's ideas and unravel their creativity to wonder.
At Willesborough Infant School we aim to:
- Develop a love of reading in our children
- Teach children to read accurately, fluently and independently
- Support children to understand the meaning of what is read to them
- Develop children’s understanding of, and response to, the texts they read
- Provide a wide variety of genres and stimuli
- Enable children to use reading skills to access all areas of the curriculum
- Develop the understanding that reading allows us to make connections with others
- Stimulate and enhance children’s writing through their reading experience
- Develop the ability to use reading to access the past, the future, and other worlds, both real and imagined
Our core scheme is The Oxford Reading Tree. Additional schemes and core texts provide breadth and depth for readers.
Children enjoy school book corners and libraries. They have access to fiction, non fiction, kindles, Ipads, big books and story sacks.
Our year two children use the Junior School library.
In order to ensure that our teaching of reading is as effective as possible we will:
- Access a wide variety of factual, fictional, poetry and reference material to support our class topics
- Have daily regular reading sessions where the teacher models the reading process and the children are involved through listening, following the text, joining in, and contributing to discussion and response
- Have regular guided reading sessions to help children to understand and interpret texts, encouraging them to engage and respond to text
- Teach “Letters and Sounds” consistently and progressively across the school
- Have regular slots for quiet reading in each class
- Provide a guided free choice of reading materials in the class
- Promote book corners and a vibrant school library which help to foster a love of books and reading
We use the 'Letters and Sounds' document across Foundation Stage and Key Stage One. Every child takes part in a daily phonics lesson. Our phonics lessons are fun, interactive and pacey. The teaching of phonics is carefully differentiated within classes to match the varying needs of children. In the early stages of learning, Jolly Phonics resources are used to teach phonics.
We foster a love of writing from the earliest stages of learning. Children are taught to write in shared, guided and independent contexts within their daily LIteracy lessons. Opportunities for writing are incorprated into the children's learning environments and we aim to inspire them to write in their own time as well as in directed time. The application of writing for a range of purposes is incorporated into other areas of children's learning through topics. We are very proud of our 'Write What You Like!' strategy which was devised and developed by WIS and has now been cascaded to many other schools.
We celebrate Literacy by providing the children with regular enrichment opportunities such as: storytelling days, author visits, illustrator visits, drama workshops. Every year we celebrate 'Book Week'; the children enjoy a range of activities during this week.
In Reception we teach the children to print the letters of the alphabet, ensuring that they begin and end in the correct place. When children are ready to progress on to writing cursively they use the supported cursive document as a reference. We refer to the green dots and arrows to support the children in correctly forming the letters. Please support your children with this at home.
Spelling is an integral part of our curriculum. We encourage our children to learn how to spell tricky words and common exception words correctly, using the mats below to support them. The tricky words can't be sounded out using phonics, the children have to learn how to spell them by using their alphabet names and by creating photographic pictures of these words in their heads. We give the children opportunities to practise these words by playing a range of spelling games such as, hang man, creating the words in playdough, finding them in wordsearches etc. Our children love to practise these spelling by using rainbow writing. This is where the children change the colour of their pen each time they have written the word. Have fun creating games to support your children in developing their spelling knowledge!