At The Oaks Infant School we aim to develop the abilities of all children to communicate effectively in speech and in writing; to listen with understanding and to become enthusiastic and responsive readers so that they can cope with the language demands in adult life. We aim to use a wide range of multi-cultural literature and reference materials, to develop the self-esteem of all children and an understanding and respect for all cultures alongside their own.
We follow the principles set out in the National Curriculum. Language and English skills are taught on a daily basis in Reception and Key Stage 1 through phonics. These skills are applied during ChilL time (child led learning) in Early Years and throughout their language rich environments. Within KS1 we teach an English lesson twice a week for the whole morning.
We immerse the children in exciting texts, advanced vocabulary and specific writing skills. These skills are then applied in cross curricular learning opportunities. Language and literacy specific teaching and learning takes place within a whole class setting (shared/modelled reading and writing) and within ability-led guided reading and writing groups. Within guided groups good practice is shared and modelled and the children also work independently or with a partner on set tasks. Teachers use a variety of interactive teaching methods to deliver the curriculum and achieve set learning objectives. These learning objectives are then assessed with this assessment feeding into planning for the next English session.
All classes have an exciting and relevant role-play area with an attached writing area. These allow adults to model extended vocabulary and encourages writing through purposeful, meaningful contexts.
In the Foundation Stage, emphasis is on teaching English through role play, objective led planning, stories, storytelling, big books, guided reading, phonics and home reading.
Over the year in KS1 each year group will cover a balance of narrative, non-fiction and poetry text types. A clear set of end of year expectations are followed by each year group and incorporated into planning and assessment.
Teaching Early Reading
We strongly believe that reading is the key to accessing all other subjects within the curriculum and is a basis for having a sound education. We strive to teach the children the key skills to be able to read, as well as a passion and love for books and reading. We provide an environment conducive to this by ensuring children are exposed to a rich variety of texts, opportunities to share and enjoy books and the role models they need to experience why reading is so great!
Phonics is taught in every class across the whole school, including the Nursery. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme, supplemented with Jolly Phonics actions and resources from other sources as appropriate. The children are streamed in Year R, 1 and 2 and within each group lessons are differentiated to ensure all children are accessing high quality teaching at the level appropriate for their learning at that time. Groups are fluid to ensure children can move between them depending on the rate of their progress, fully maximising learning.
Guided Reading is a dedicated, accurately planned session during which children are taught the skills to become confident, independent and motivated readers. Skills we teach include; application of phonics to decode words, self-correction, self-monitoring, omission to work out unknown words, reading for meaning and inference.
We are very proud to be a school which offers the Better Reading Partnerships (BRP) programme. BRP is a one to one reading intervention which is hugely successful in supporting children to make rapid progress with their reading ability. Currently, Teaching Assistants deliver the programme in the afternoons to children whom teachers have identified as having a sound grasp of the reading process and would benefit from additional teaching to progress swiftly. The programme consists of three fifteen minute sessions a week, over a ten week period. The outcomes for pupils have been fantastic. On average, pupils have made almost 11 months progress in their reading age in the ten weeks they are on the programme!
We have collated some tips and suggestions to help parents' effectively support their children when reading at home. This Parents' Guide explains the key skills and strategies we use with children to enable them to become independent and confident readers.