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English

We aim to develop pupils’ skills within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing, extended through all areas of the curriculum.

Each half term the class teacher chooses a selection of high quality texts and then delivers lessons based around these. The children are exposed to many different genres of writing and skills are developed in order to write independently at length. Alongside this, basic skills lessons are taught every Monday which focus on the key skills for writing - Vocabulary, Conjunctions, Openers and Punctuation. Each week culminates in 'Wow Write' which is where the children have a chance to show off the skills learnt during the week. 'Wow Write' starts with a VCOP lesson and then the lights are dimmed and the music starts up whilst the children focus on their writing.

Cross-Curricular Literacy Opportunities

Reading

Foundation and Key Stage 1 classes enjoy and participate in story time sessions daily.  Teachers regularly share a range of narrative and non-narrative texts with the whole class. Each class has an engaging, organised book corner which they use throughout the week. 

Guided reading sessions take place for 20-30 minutes each day.  Pupils read with the teacher in a guided group session once a week.  The group will be given a follow up activity linked to the guided group text during the next couple of days.  Other activities the groups will take part in during a week include; silent, independent reading, phonics and comprehension.  Children who require additional support with reading will receive more regular opportunities to read with an adult.

As part of home reading, children should be selecting and reading a book appropriate to their level 3 times a week.  We encourage parents/carers to hear their child read unless they are at a level where the pupils can assess their own reading.  Feedback on home reading is made by parents/carers or pupils within the Home Reading Records. It is important that children are encouraged and supported with their reading and are choosing books that are age appropriate.

Drama and Role Play

At Chatsworth Infant School we strongly believe that the more experiences children have the better writers they become. We therefore place a strong emphasis on bringing drama and role play into our lessons, allowing the children to recreate those fantasy worlds that they so often read about.  Hotseating, teacher in role and freeze frames are just some examples of the types of activities your children will experience through our diverse English curriculum.

Phonics

Research shows that teaching Phonics in a structured and systematic way is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.  Almost all children who receive good teaching of Phonics will learn the skills they need to decifer new and unfamiliar words. At Chatsworth, Phonics is taught on a daily basis and follows the Letters and Sounds programme. Children are taught the skills for segmenting and blending words and are introduced to new phonemes as part of a systematic synthetic approach. The teaching of Phonics begins in Nursery and continues in Years 1 and 2 as children are introduced to alternative graphemes, letter known sounds and begin to learn some of the more complicated spelling rules. At the end of Year 1 children are required to sit the Phonics Screening Check to assess their ability to segment and blend words. Children are presented with 40 words – a mixture of real and pseudo words and they are expected to apply their Phonics knowledge to read the words. If children are unsuccessful in Year 1, they have the opportunity to retake the test in Year 2. Intervention groups are set up for those children requiring additional support with their Phonics learning and this additional support will continue in Key Stage 2 if necessary.

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