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Phonics (reading and spelling)
At New Silksworth Academy we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Nursery with a focus on listening, environmental sounds, rhymes and alliteration and orally blending and segmenting.  We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.
As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. We also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 1

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Phase 2 sounds taught in Reception Autumn 2

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Phase 3 sounds taught in Reception Spring 1

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How to say Phase 5 sounds

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Teacher Led Blending

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Comprehension
We value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.
In nursery we provide a balance of child-led and adult-led experiences for all children that meet the curriculum expectations for ‘Communication and language’ and ‘Literacy’. These include: sharing high-quality stories and poems, learning a range of nursery rhymes and action rhymes, activities that develop focused listening and attention, including oral blending and attention to high-quality language.
We ensure Nursery children are well prepared to begin learning grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) and blending in Reception.
In Reception we teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. We build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. 
Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.
Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy.

 

We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These sessions are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children. We ensure the books used are matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge. The sessions are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.
Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills: decoding, prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression and comprehension: teaching children to understand the text. 

A decodable reading practice book is allocated to each child on Collins Ebooks to support reading at home and to ensure success is shared with the family. 
Reading for pleasure books, which the children choose from the library also go home for parents to share and read to children. 

 

 ‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)
‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)

 

We value reading for pleasure highly and enjoy sharing books with the children.  
We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at New Silksworth Academy and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures.
Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books. 
In Nursery/Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed. 

 

Reading 
Here at New Silksworth Academy we believe that reading for pleasure should be a fundamental part of childhood and lifelong learning whatever the child’s ability, background or culture. We believe that every one of our children deserves a rich curriculum which encourages extensive reading of, and exposure to, a wide range of texts. This in turn will make a huge contribution to pupils’ educational achievement. All staff will endeavour to foster a love of reading and make links to planning for reading for pleasure across the whole curriculum to ensure we are an outstanding reading school.
Reading is a multi -strategy approach to understanding the written word. It is not simply the decoding of black marks on the page but involves the ability to read with understanding a wide range of different texts, including fiction, non-fiction, real world texts such as labels, captions, lists and environmental print. Pupils should access newspapers, comics and e-books. Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and therefore the teaching of reading is given a high priority by all staff. Success in reading has a direct effect on progress in all areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-esteem, confidence and motivation.
The National Curriculum 2014 for English at Key Stages 1 and 2 places reading for pleasure at the heart of the English curriculum. Alongside the expectation that every school teaches children to read well, schools will be expected to develop a love of reading in every child.

It is our aim to develop enthusiastic and confident readers who can understand a wide range of texts. Children will read for interest, information and most of all, pleasure.
Our curriculum is designed to ensure pupils at New Silksworth Academy:
•    Develop the ability to read aloud fluently and with expression;
•    Develop the ability to read for meaning;
•    Develop the skills required for the critical reading of texts;
•    Read a wide range of fiction, poetry and non-fiction materials;
•    Are taught strategies for reading including:

Phonic (sounding the letters and blending them together);
Visual (whole word recognition and analogy with known words);
Contextual (use of picture and background knowledge);
Grammatical (which words make sense);

•    Can listen attentively;
•    Gain awareness of the close links between reading and writing activities.

 

Shared Reading
In shared reading the teacher’s role is to make overt what good readers do. During shared reading the children access a text which may be challenging to them individually. Reading skills and strategies are clearly modelled, and discussion help children to develop a deeper understanding of the text. Shared reading has a specific focus and all children are included in discussions by use of differentiated questions.
Shared reading take place within the English lesson and also through the reading of information texts related to other curriculum areas. Class novels are also used to demonstrate reading expectations.
Across school, children are taught reading skills and strategies in a weekly, whole class reading lesson that use high quality class novels as a stimulus. These novels are linked to year group themes where possible and introduce the children to a wide range of authors and genres. Years 5 and 6 also add a dedicated weekly comprehension session that allows the older children to develop the specific skills required to answer the styles of questions that they will encounter in the end of KS2 SATs test.

 

Reciprocal Reading
Reciprocal Reading is a powerful strategy to developing comprehension skills. Here at New Silksworth Academy, this strategy is used as an intervention for those children who are considered to need a boost to their learning in this area. Key staff have been trained by FFT providers on behalf of the DfE and are timetabled to deliver Reciprocal Reading sessions to small groups of children.
In a Reciprocal Reading session the children are taught the key roles:
•    The Leader (usually the adult who facilitates the session). 
•    The Clarifier
•    The Questioner
•    The Summariser
•    The Predictor

The children work through these skills in this order after independently reading a section/paragraph. Through the discussion that follows, the adult assess how the children are able to work though these skills and begin to ascertain who has understood what they have read by their responses.

 

Independent Reading
Children need to be given the opportunity and encouragement to read independently in order to build confidence, stamina and fluency, as well as develop their experience of a range of books and authors. There are timetabled opportunities for pupils to read.

 
Children in KS2 are encouraged to take home a book from the school library. This will be in addition to the ‘levelled’ book which they are reading. Pupils making their own choice of texts are an important part of developing independence. Selecting texts motivates readers and helps children to develop and discuss their reading preferences.
Across all year groups, children are given an appropriately pitched reading book to take home. Children’s individual reading will be monitored and supported by staff. 
Reading should not be seen as just a ‘school activity’. Wider family involvement supports reading and ensures children have access to reading materials at home. Every effort is made to involve parents in the teaching of reading process.

 

E Reading/Use of technology
New Silksworth Academy uses Little Wandle Letters and Sounds as its Phonics Scheme. All children in Key Stage 1 have decodable books matched to the Phase they are working at and have access to these book in the form of eBooks too. This allows the children to practise at home as well as at school.
We use Reading Plus resource in KS2 (and Year 2 when they are ready) to encourage and motivate readers who enjoy reading using technology. Following an initial assessment on the programme, books are allocated according to the ability of the child and they are used for pupils to practise reading at home and in school. Each class is timetabled to allow 3x 30-minute Reading Plus sessions per week in school time in order to maximise potential progress. 
Pupils use the internet to carry out research on a regular basis in a range of subjects using laptops and I pads.

 

Hearing Books Read Aloud
This builds enthusiasm and enjoyment. It influences independent reading and tunes children in to book language. Teachers of all age groups read aloud to their class on a regular basis. Teachers read aloud to ensure literary language is accessible and to provide a model of expressive reading. This is also an opportunity to model reading for sheer pleasure.

 

Children Reading Aloud
This is modelled during reading and hearing books read aloud. Children have the opportunity to read aloud to a variety of audiences, including their own age group, younger children and class assemblies.

 

Reading Environment
Classrooms and all school areas provide a print rich environment. Reading displays form a part of that environment – library corners, favourite books, book reviews, book of the week, author displays and collections of books on a similar theme help to develop enthusiasm.

 

The School Libraries
At New Silksworth Academy we value the school library. We have two libraries across the academies; one in each Key Stage. The library in KS1 has ‘Author of the Month’ displays and this is mirrored in a prominent display in the main KS2 corridor. These are primarily to introduce the children to a wider range of authors and genre and encourage the children to broaden their reading repertoire. We have a team of pupil Reading Ambassadors who have training in how to listen to children read; how to support those who struggle with specific words and how to question the children to develop comprehension skills. 
Our Ambassadors also help the English Lead in the school to develop a love of reading for pleasure: they distribute awards; record short stories for other children to listen to at home or school and help deliver initiatives that promote a love of Reading.

 

Foundation Stage
Reading opportunities are given on a daily basis. A wide range of approaches are used to provide first hand experiences for the children. The children are taught in a stimulating environment that is rich in written print. There are focussed periods within the day when small groups of children share books in a more structured way, following the Phonics programme. Class teachers share big books with the class and regularly read stories and rhymes.
Little Wandle Letters and Sounds phonic scheme is taught daily. It covers all the pre-requisite skills for reading such as sound identification, sequencing, reproduction and discrimination.

 

Key Stage 1
Daily phonics work takes place in every classroom. Phonics activities are practical and fun, to encourage learning and faithfully follow the Little Wandle programme.
English lessons cover a wide range of text types. Writing activities follow on from shared reading with a balance of reading and writing over a period of one or two weeks.


Key Stage 2
Careful study of the reading genre over several days leads to children attempting writing in that same genre. This is usually during a unit of work lasting several weeks. Over the unit there will be a balance of shared reading and writing activities. Many teachers now base learning around a particular text which must be by a significant author. Lists of suggested texts and authors have been shared with every teacher in every year group and chosen novels/texts are identified on curriculum plans.

 

Extra Support
Intervention programmes such Reciprocal Reading or Phonics ‘Keep Up’ sessions are accessed by targeted pupils (these pupils are identified as the lowest 20% using in-school and nationally standardised data).
Where further support is needed individual teachers consult with the SENDCO and pupils with a PSP may have specific targets relating to reading.
Adult volunteers hear pupils reading to offer additional opportunities to read aloud and discuss text.
All staff and volunteers have received appropriate training from Little Wandle to ensure consistency of approaches when hearing children read.

 

Assessment and Recording
A whole school approach to assessment and record keeping is used. All teachers use POS for their year group and gather evidence from a range of sources. Year group, phase and cross phase moderation occurs termly to share the range of evidence, moderate judgements and agree whether pupils are working at below, at or above Age Related Expectations. Evidence is sought from cross curricular areas and not just from reading sessions.

 

Parental Involvement
Co-operation and support from parents is paramount if a child is to become a successful and competent reader. At New Silksworth Academy we strive to develop and encourage a strong partnership between home and school. It is our policy to send reading books home regularly and to encourage parents and carers to contribute to their child’s reading development.
Parents are invited to attend Reading Workshops and Phonics meetings throughout the year. The Early Reading Lead and English Lead ensure that advice and appropriate resources to help parent support their child’s reading are signposted on our Class Dojo.


Writing
At New Silksworth Academy we believe that every child has the right to achieve their full potential in all areas of English and that literacy and communication are key life skills. Through the English curriculum, we help children develop the skills and knowledge that enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language and equip them with the skills to become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety. Literacy is at the heart of all children’s learning.
Through our Curriculum mapping, careful links are made across the curriculum to ensure that children’s English learning is relevant and meaningful: where possible linking high quality class texts, writing and the topic that are being covered in History, Geography or Science. We ensure that children develop an understanding of how widely writing is used in everyday life and, therefore, how important and useful the skills are that they are learning.

We aim to develop excellence and enjoyment in English within an integrated programme of Speaking, Listening, Reading, Writing and Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation. 
Pupils are given opportunities to develop their use, knowledge and understanding of spoken and written English within a broad and balanced curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.

At New Silksworth Academy we strive to ensure all pupils are writers in all areas of the curriculum. Pupils who leave Year 6 will:

•    Have an interest in words and their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms;
•    Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
•    Understand a range of text types, media types and genres and use them as models for writing
•    Be able to write clearly, accurately and coherently in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation;

•    Use their developing imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness;
•    Have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses.
•    Use discussion in order to learn –explain clearly their understanding and ideas
•    Write for a range of purposes and audiences


Approaches to Writing 
We aim to develop children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the audience, purpose and form is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. 

 

Early Years

Pupils are involved in planning their own learning e.g. planning the curriculum and related practical areas using their interests as a starting point.

Communication, Language and Literacy activities are planned to reflect different ways children learn.
Effective lessons give opportunities for children to:
•    Investigate and experience arrange of texts
•    Actively learn by giving children opportunities to encounter difficulties and enjoy achievements
•    Create opportunities to develop their own literacy ideas and think critically about their own and others’ work

In the Foundation Stage children are given opportunities to:
•    Speak and listen and represent ideas in their activities;
•    Use communication, language and literacy in every part of the curriculum;
•    Become immersed in an environment rich in print and opportunities to communicate.
•    Ignite their interests of reading and writing by accessing a wide range of reading materials
•    Become emergent writers with self confidence in their “abilities” as writers.
•    Read to others
•    Develop self confidence

 

Key Stages One and Two
Long term writing plans have been developed and are updated regularly to ensure progression of each genre that is taught from Year 1-Year 6. High quality class texts are used as the driver through which genres are taught. Whole school writing projects are also undertaken at specific points in the year which link to either a subject area or a theme, e.g. Christmas, World Book Day.

Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions. 
The children are given frequent opportunities in school to write in different contexts using quality texts as a model and for a variety of purposes and audiences. 


Punctuation and Grammar
Teachers follow the Trust Punctuation and Grammar (PAG) document to ensure all elements of the National Curriculum are covered. Relevant areas of the Grammar and Punctuation expectations are linked to specific genre on our long-term writing plans. 
Daily retrieval sessions are taught to reinforce and consolidate learning from previous years.

 

Handwriting 
The National Curriculum specifies that primary school children should work towards mastering handwriting that is fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy.
Handwriting is a skill which, like reading and spelling, affects written communication across the curriculum. Children must be able to write with ease, speed and legibility. Cursive handwriting teaches pupils to join letters and words as a series of flowing movements and patterns. At New Silksworth Academy, handwriting skills are taught regularly and systematically using the Letterjoin Handwriting scheme.
Our aim is that all children achieve a neat, legible handwriting style with correctly formed letters in accordance with the cursive font. Through frequent handwriting practise, we aim that our children develop flow and speed and produce the letters automatically in their independent writing. 
The focus on handwriting begins as soon as a child enters our setting and continues throughout their time at school. In Early Years, children take part in activities to develop their fine and gross motor-skills and recognition of patterns, for example, to form letters using their index finger in sand or using paint. They are given time to practise a correct pencil grip and taught the correct start and exit points for each letter.
By then end of Year 2 we expected our children to form lower case letters of the correct size, relative to one another. Start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters, and understand which letters are best left unjoined. Write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another. Use spacing between words that is appropriate for the size of the letters.
By the end of Year 6, we expect our children to use joined-up handwriting, write with increasing legibility, fluency and speed, choose which shape of a letter to use, and decide whether or not to join specific letters and choose the writing implement that is best suited for a task.

 

 

Approaches to Spoken Language

Pupils are taught to listen and respond to adults and their peers, to ask relevant questions and use relevant strategies to build their vocabulary. Pupils are encouraged to speak audibly and fluently at a level appropriate to the age of the pupil. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.

Opportunities to develop these skills include: School Council, debating, class assemblies, talk partners, drama and school performances.
We recognise the need for all pupils to speak, read and write Standard English fluently and accurately, while acknowledging that a pupil's own dialect, or other language is of prime importance. It is our school policy to promote the use of Standard English. 


Cross curricular Opportunities for Writing
Teachers seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross -curricular links. They plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum.

 

The Use of ICT
We recognise the important role ICT has to play in our school in the development of Literacy skills. ICT is used on a regular basis to enhance the teaching of literacy and to give all children the opportunity to experience, read and write multimodal texts and develop visual literacy. I Pads are used frequently to support pupils’ research in English and other areas of the curriculum.

 

Assessment and Target Setting
We have developed Assessment guidelines and KPI’s, based on the demands of the curriculum, to assess progress in writing. Moderation of writing and teacher judgements takes place termly. Assessment for Learning is ongoing and is used to ensure every pupil reaches their potential. Rigorous and focused marking ensures relevant feedback is given to pupils and new areas for development are targeted. Teachers highlight aspects of written work (transcriptional skills) which pupils have to correct, and comments are added by the teacher to encourage the children to improve the compositional aspects of their writing. Dedicated time is given to this at the start of lessons. Pupils are encouraged to use self -assessment; peer assessment is also valued and encouraged.

EYFS Assessment of Literacy and Communication of Language is based on ongoing observation and assessment. Assessments are based primarily on observations of daily Literacy in which staff particularly note the learning the children demonstrate spontaneously, independently and consistently in a range of contexts.