Our carefully designed English curriculum integrates the skills of reading, writing, listening and speaking. Lessons are taught to inspire children to read and write. Every lesson centres 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. Our cross-curricular approach to English is built to inspire the children's ideas and unravel their creativity to wonder.
Reading News Flash
Our unique phonics program promotes the use of phonics as a primary approach to early reading. Lessons are taught daily across Early Years Foundation Stage and Key stage One. Fundamental skills are taught to apply knowledge to read and write unknown words. Our program is progressive, building from simple to more complex phonics knowledge. Our pupils have sufficient time to practise reading and writing with the grapheme-phoneme correspondences they have been taught cumulatively. We incorporate effective resources throughout our program including well matched decodable reading materials from ‘Bug club Phonics’ and aids for lower-and upper case letter formation. Our program is enhanced by the use of ‘Jolly Phonics’ resources which engage children in a multi sensory approach to learning their first letters and sounds. Our program progresses from Reception through to the end of Year Two providing a structured route for pupils to met and exceed the expected standards in phonics and word reading by the end of key stage one.
Jolly Phonics Letter Formation
During our school closure, our teachers pre-recorded lessons for our families to access at home. Here are a few examples of our phonics lessons:
- Every child will be a reader, regardless of their background, needs or abilities.
- Ensure that the school’s phonics programme matches or exceeds the expectations of the English National Curriculum and early learning goals.
- Have clear expectations of pupils’ phonics progress term by term, from Reception to Year Two, and frequently adapt our school’s phonics planning to align with these expectations.
- Provide children with a sequence of reading books that shows a cumulative progression in phonics knowledge. Ensuring that our scheme is matched closely to our school's phonics programme and suits the needs of each individual child.
Our school’s core scheme is Oxford Reading Tree. The children read the six core books from each stage, enabling them to embed their phonics knowledge whilst developing their tricky word recognition. After this, the children progress to reading a wider range of texts within their reading stage to encourage breadth and depth. Throughout each stage, children will encounter additional books which provides them with exposure to both fiction and non-fiction texts.
At Willesborough Infant School, we thrive on ensuring children develop a love and passion for reading. Throughout the school week, children are provided with the opportunity to enjoy school book corners and libraries. Throughout our curriculum, children encounter a diverse range of literature such as sharing high quality non-fiction texts, fiction texts, kindle stories, iPads, big books and story sacks.
As part of children’s reading development, it is important that children can comprehend what they have read. At Willesborough Infant School we teach comprehension skills through ICLUE. ICLUE is a set of comprehension based reading symbols.
ICLUE stands for:
I - Inference and deduction
C - Choices
L - Locating and retrieving
U - Understanding
E - Empathy
ICLUE is embedded in all areas of our curriculum.
In order to ensure that our teaching of reading is as effective as possible we will:
- Access a wide variety of high quality factual, fictional, poetry and reference material to support all areas of the curriculum.
- Have focused, weekly guided reading sessions to support children with their reading development and their ability to comprehend what they have read.
- Teach ‘Letters and Sounds’ consistently and progressively across the school whilst ensuring that plans are uniquely adapted to the needs of each child.
- Have regular slots for ‘drop everything and read’ sessions where teachers read high quality texts that encourage and promote language opportunities.
All children, including those that struggle most, will make sufficient progress towards meeting age related expectations. Our children will enjoy listening to a rich and broad range of stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts.
We foster a love of writing from the earliest stages of learning. Children are taught to write in shared, guided and independent contexts across their daily English lessons and many other areas of the curriculum. Opportunities for writing are incorporated 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 uniquely planned 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 English by providing the children with regular enrichment opportunities such as: storytelling days, author visits, illustrator visits, drama workshops and enriching, real life experiences. Every year we celebrate 'Book Week'; the children enjoy a range of activities during this week.
During our school closure, our teachers pre-recorded lessons for our families to access at home. Here are a few examples of our English lessons:
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. 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. This word mat supports the children in linking their phonics knowledge to their writing and allows them to phonetically spell words that are unfamiliar to them.
You can see find a copy of this word mat below.
We encourage our children to learn how to spell tricky 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, hangman, creating the words in play-dough and finding them in word searches. Our children love to practise these spellings by using rainbow writing. You can have fun creating games to support your children in developing their spelling knowledge at home too!