During the day pupils have opportunities for Handwriting practice to focus on accurate letter formation, letter placement and proportions, and a cursive joined style.
Children will have daily English lessons. These lessons follow a cycle. The cycle is a sequence of lessons driven towards an exciting purpose and of relevance to the children. Each stage of the cycle aims to develop confident, independent and creative writers who enjoy their craft. Drama, experiential learning, the building of success criteria, exposure to high quality examples, layered learning of grammatical features etc. all play their part in preparing the children to become empowered writers who have a clear sense of what it is they need to do to get better. The school ensure all pupils have the opportunity to utilise their writing skills across the curriculum. Opportunities are planned for pupils to use knowledge from other subjects for instance History within their written work in English lessons.
During the academic year 2018-19 the school introduced Pathways to Writing which further ensures pupils are challenged and exposed to high quality texts from different genres.
There is daily teaching of 'Guided Reading' in KS1. Teachers use their knowledge of the children to plan their next steps within comprehension skills called 'Assessment Focuses'. A text with an appropriate level of challenge is selected and the children digest the text for a week or more by undertaking a series of activities as guided by the teacher. Teachers plan a rich variety of activities that can, for example, vary from drama-based 'hot seating' to creating text messages from characters in the books, or maybe even plotting emotion graphs of characters at key points within a chapter - it all depends on the skill that the teacher is trying to develop in the reader. Adults will work with different groups throughout the week for focused teaching and assessment of reading skills.
In KS2 as well as regular reading opportunities throughout the day pupils have one longer designated reading lesson each week.
Children in KS1 are taught in year groups. Within each year group pupils are taught the Phase of the Letters and Sounds programme that is appropriate. Children focus on particular phonemes associated with the Phase and carry out very hands on activities to promote the learning of these sounds for reading and writing.
In Key Stage 2 - Years 3 and 4 - we aim to 'plug' any gaps following on from Key Stage 1 with a continuation of the later Phases of the Letters and Sounds programme, again by groups. Learners for whom the programme is no longer relevant progress to investigating more complex spelling patterns.
We use White Rose’s scheme of learning to provide our school with a yearly overview for each year group and termly overviews which show the objectives to be covered in each topic. However, this scheme is adapted continuously during the teaching and learning cycle to ensure it best fits the learning needs of our children. As well as having a strong emphasis on developing children who are fluent and confident in their use of number and arithmetic, we also strive to give our children the opportunity to develop their skills in reasoning and problem solving in each lesson to deepen their learning and to enable them to become resilient, critical thinkers.
Throughout the year many pupils benefit from extra small group interventions. These groups take place outside of the Maths and Literacy lessons often in the afternoons. These may focus on plugging the gaps in learning or further extension activities to ensure all pupils are making at least good progress. These interventions include Mop up Maths, Rapid Write, Rapid Maths, Phonics Counts and Better Reading supporting Partners.