Phonics is the correspondence between the spoken sound (phoneme) and the written letter (grapheme). At Britannia, we teach phonics using Read Write Inc. This starts in Reception and continues in KS1. The majority of children finish the Read Write Inc programme in Year 2, but it is still used in KS2 to support small groups of children who need to continue to work on their decoding. Our children are taught in small groups and are assessed regularly to ensure that they are working in the correct group at an appropriate level. When the children reach the end of the programme, they work on Talk4Reading.
Reading is a fundamental part of a child’s journey and a life-long gift that we can nurture and help flourish. At Britannia, we believe that reading should be an enjoyable activity to be shared in class and across the wider school community. Our approach to reading begins with the systematic approach to learning phonics, supported by a mixture of phonically de-codable texts and ‘real’ books. Once these skills are embedded, we work in partnership with our parents to develop and extend each child’s skill at improving their reading and engaging with the text and author’s craft. As well as ample opportunities within the school environment and curriculum, staff dedicate four 30 minute sessions a week to guided reading activities focussed on moving learning forward through the Talk 4 Reading process. Our children also have the opportunity to visit the school’s well stocked library each week and share their reading experiences through talk, play and drama. We draw upon resources from a range of reading schemes, but have developed our own reading development records. We use Read Write Inc in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 to teach reading decoding. From Year 2 to Year 6 we use Accelerated Reader to help promote a love for reading.
Writing and communication remains a vital part of our school’s curriculum. We strive to give our children the best support we can in developing the skills they need to be able to communicate clearly with others, whether orally or through the written word.
In addition to English work being embedded into our foundation subject curriculum, we have daily English lessons, which focus on developing vocabulary, spelling, grammar, punctuation and structure in writing as well as covering the English curriculum requirements for each year group. Different stimuli, including texts, film, drama, art and music, are used to develop creativity. Selections of non-fiction and fiction genres are taught throughout the year inspired by our foundation subject learning or our pupils’ own interests. We follow the Talk 4 Writing approach throughout the school to engage pupils in a range of genres and develop their skills as storytellers. Spelling is taught using the Sounds and Syllables curriculum.