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English

Our vision

At Elaine, we believe in a holistic approach to the teaching of English. Our vision is to provide children with opportunities to develop their passion and skillset for reading, writing and oracy in a cohesive way. Our English curriculum is carefully planned so that children become confident and creative communicators, who will be able to use these skills effectively in their future endeavours.

 

Reading

WHY READING IS IMPORTANT

At Elaine we believe reading underpins success across all aspects of the curriculum. We don’t just teach children to read, we create life-long learners.  Through developing oracy and book talk alongside the basic skills of decoding, children’s language acquisition effectively develops alongside their reading attainment. Through accessing carefully selected, rich texts that are both read and read aloud; our children have multiple exposures to vocabulary and second tier words.

Fluency, comprehension and pleasure are the core values in our approach to developing successful readers.

Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary and material. They are able to recommend books to their peers and enjoy reading a wide range of genres, including non-fiction. Children enjoy participating in book talk, including evaluating an author’s use of language and how this can affect the reader. We ensure the books we read as part of our reading curriculum and in our book corners build on children’s cultural capital and reflect the diversity of our children’s’ lived experiences. 

 

HOW WE TEACH PHONICS

  • In the Nursery, children follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised ‘Foundations for Phonics’ guidance. The focus is on daily oral blending and language development through high quality stories and rhymes.
  • In Reception and Y1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught for 25 min every day.
  • By the end of Reception, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 3.  If they are ready, children may start Phase 4.
  • By the end of Year 1, children will have been taught up to the end of Phase 5.
  • In Y2-Y3, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle but plugging specific gaps identified through assessment.
  • In Y2-Y6 there are planned catch-up sessions following a set model to address specific gaps. These are taking place at least three times a week.
  • All staff including support staff have regular CPD and are confident to deliver a quality first phonics session.

HOW WE ASSESS PHONIC KNOWLEDGE

  • In Reception and Year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment).
  • Children identified in Reception and Y1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.
  • In Reception and Year 1, the children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker.
  • Children from Reception to Yr 2 are monitored by book band level. This is especially helpful for transition to the next class, so rapid progress can continue.
  • The children in Y1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term.
  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2.
  • Children who are currently in KS2 who didn’t leave KS1 at the expected level are monitored by phonics knowledge and reading progress termly.
  • Children who are in Y2-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed through teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments.

HOW WE TEACH READING in EYFS and KS1

  • Reading is taught in tandem with phonics. After a phonics input children across Reception, Year 1 & Year 2 apply their phonics knowledge by using a fully matched decodable book.
  • These daily sessions are 30 minutes long.
  • There are approximately 6 children in a group and the teacher reads with one group daily. This is called conferencing.
  • Children have extra support where appropriate with a trained adult and reading volunteers. The focus is on ‘keep up not catch up’
  • The focus in Reception & KS1 is on reading strategies of fluency, decoding and blending.
  • Books selected by the teacher show cumulative progress according to the sounds the child has been taught that half term.
  • Books show fidelity to the Big Cat Phonics scheme to avoid a mismatch and muddle of a range of approaches.
  • The reading sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised.
  • In reception, reading sessions start almost immediately. For children who are not decoding, blending remains a focus.
  • Children in Year 1 take part in our Daily Supported Reading Programme, where all children read in a small group of 6 children with an adult every day.  This programme accelerates children’s fluency, decoding, blending and comprehension in Year 1 through daily adult support and input.
  • Children take home books matched to their ability from the same reading scheme used in class. Children are able to self - select books and can speak well about which books they choose and why.

HOW WE TEACH READING in KS2

  • A daily lesson dedicated to the teaching of reading through strategies such as inference, making connections and retrieval.
  • Daily scaffolded book talk, modelling the application of reading strategies.
  • A close up of new vocabulary to build children’s language and schemas.
  • Access to an inviting, purposeful book corner stocked with exciting recommended reads from the CLPE.
  • Regular opportunities to read 1:1 with a teacher, who will give live feedback on progress including next steps.
  • Weekly opportunities to capture ideas in a written comprehension task.
  • Opportunities to read a wide range of texts that build on cultural capital and compliment themes in our global curriculum.
  • Opportunities each week to read for pleasure.
  • If needed, some children receive regular phonics interventions to keep up not catch up.
  • A book to read that is matched to their ability.
  • Story time at least three times a week, with relevant texts carefully chosen from our reading canon.

 

READING FOR PLEASURE AT ELAINE

Every child at Elaine will have...    

Curriculum

  • Access to a global curriculum based on a core text approach, where topics are taught through high quality books with relatable themes and protagonists that excite and motivate them.
  • Dedicated time each day where an adult will read aloud to them from a carefully selected Reading Canon, aimed to build on their cultural capital.
  • Daily opportunities to read to an adult and other children in the classroom. These sessions are prioritised to the first lesson of the day.
  • Daily opportunities to engage in quality book talk.
  • An engaging, clearly labelled, tidy book corner in their classroom with a range of high-quality fiction and non-fiction texts.
  • An author focus box in their book corner – to develop a growing taste and preference for certain styles.
  • A ‘Parents in to Read’ session every Thursday morning to choose a book and read for pleasure with family members.
  • Some children have opportunity to participate in a book club, based in our library spaces – time dedicated to enjoy books and engage in book talk.

Enrichment

  • Participation in World Book Week dress up and enrichment events such as author visits and storytelling.
  • Regular author and storyteller visits where every child will access at least one author event per year, in addition to World Book Week
  • A book fair every term, where children are timetabled in for browsing sessions.  This is also a family participation event.
  • A visit to the local library every term, including termly book box deliveries from the Medway Libraries with focus and topic books to interest the children.
  • Exposure to a wide range of authors, genres and cultures through our Inspire Reading Canon, a selection of texts that can be read aloud to children across all year groups

Community

  • A termly reading open morning where parents will join their child in a phonics and reading modelled lesson.
  • A ‘Parents in to Read’ session every Thursday morning to choose a book and read for pleasure with family members.
  • Parent volunteer Reading Buddies to support individual children
  • Reading challenge cards & certificates to celebrate home reading
  • Some children have access to a trained reading volunteer.
Page Documents Date  
Inspire Reading Cannon List 01st Sep 2021 Download