Literacy

Nurturing a love of reading and writing.

At Eltham Church of England Primary School, we follow the programmes of study for English which are set out year-by-year for Key Stage 1 and two-yearly for Key Stage 2. The single year blocks at Key Stage 1 reflect the rapid pace of development in word reading during these two years.

Reading

At Eltham Church of England school, we strive to nurture a love of reading and recognise the importance of children becoming fluent and confident readers. Children access a wide range of texts throughout their time at school. Children enjoy hearing texts read to them through their English lessons, story time and reading workshops in Reception and Key Stage 1. Teachers help children acquire the tools to become confident readers through the rigorous teaching of phonics, vocabulary and key comprehension skills. Parents and carers are encouraged to read at home with their children regularly and record this in home contact books. We use a range of reading schemes, including Bug Club online books, Oxford Reading Tree and Collins Big Cat.

The programmes of study for reading at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of two dimensions:

  • Word reading
  • Comprehension (both listening and reading).

Guided Reading is taught every day from 9:00-9:30 am. In Key Stage 1 (until the Spring term of Year 2), Guided Reading is taught as part of a carousel of activities which include spelling/phonics, grammar and punctuation, pre reading/follow up tasks and topic research using the ‘Bug Club’ scheme to plan and teach targeted skills.

From the Spring term of Year 2, Guided Reading is based on a ‘whole class approach.’ Teachers carefully select texts from a range of genres before planning schemes of work in order to support the children’s progress in both word reading and comprehension. Children study new vocabulary and word meanings as well as practicing key comprehension skills such as inference and prediction.

At Eltham Church of England School, we also support the teaching of vocabulary through the ‘Word Aware’ scheme. Children learn a new word related to a curriculum area each week. The new word is learnt through a multi-sensory approach including a rap and action!

Writing

The programmes of study for writing at Key Stages 1 and 2 consist of

  • transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

Writing has a well-developed profile at Eltham Church of England Primary School. In order to make good progression in writing, children need to:

  • Enjoy writing and recognise its value,
  • Write with confidence, clarity and imagination,
  • Write grammatically correct sentences that are punctuated accurately,
  • Understand the features of and how to write in a range of genres and non-fiction texts,
  • Plan, draft, revise and edit their own writing,
  • Develop an adventurous and broad vocabulary,
  • Know their next steps and how they can make their writing better,
  • Develop fine motor skills to ensure consistent mark making with increasing dexterity,  to produce recognisable letters, developing into a continuous cursive style of handwriting,
  • Use phonological knowledge and spelling rules to spell accurately.

At Eltham Church of England Primary School we use a whole-text approach to teaching literacy which is then linked to a curriculum topic. We use Development Matters, the Power of Reading texts and the New English Curriculum to plan and design exciting and imaginative opportunities for learning.

Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar, Punctuation and Glossary

There are two statutory appendices in the New Curriculum on Spelling and on Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation. Spellings are taught weekly and form part of the Guided Reading carousel of activities. Spellings are sent home in children’s Spelling and Reading Journal for them to learn and at the end of the week there is a weekly spelling test. Grammar and punctuation is taught as part of the literacy lesson. Grammar and Punctuation is also taught through shared and Guided Reading and writing sessions. Teachers display the correct terminology expected for each Year group in classrooms and expect the children to use and understand it.

Phonics

In a separate session outside of English lessons, children in Foundation Stage and KS1 are taught the principles and practice of phonics following the guidance of Letters and Sounds supported by LCP Phonics Planning. The Foundation Stage starts in Nursery with Phase 1; Reception continues with Phase 2 to Phase 4; Year 1 continues with Phase 4 up to Phase 5 and Year 2 continues with Phase 6. The teaching of phonics is essential in helping children to develop their reading. When children have completed the phonics phase teaching they then progress to the statutory spellings as out lined in the Year 2 Programme of Study. Weekly spelling lists are sent home linked to phonics/Spelling patterns being taught. To help parents and carers support their children, we run a phonics workshop for Nursery and reception parents each September. Please also see the links below to some helpful articles.

Phonics Policy

https://www.theschoolrun.com/what-are-phonics-phases

https://www.theschoolrun.com/year-1-phonics-screening-check

https://resources.theschoolrun.com/SATs/Y1_Phonics_Screening_Check_guide_for_parents-2019.pdf

Literacy Development in Early Years Foundation Stage

In Early Years Foundation Stage Literacy development involves encouraging children to read and write, both through listening to others reading, and being encouraged to begin to read and write themselves. Children are given access to a wide range of reading materials – for example books, poems, and other materials to ignite their interest.

In reading children are taught to read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate an understanding when talking with others about what they have read. In writing children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.

Handwriting

We teach the continuous cursive style of handwriting.   Joins should be taught and cursive handwriting should be expected in every piece of writing.