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English

 

Our English Lead is Mrs Fosten. 

At Belvedere Infant School, we  promote a love of reading, writing and drama, as well as equipping children with the phonetical, comprehension, spelling, grammar and punctuation skills needed to be adept and fluent readers and writers.Literacy is covered through all subjects due to a more thematic, child centred approach, which has been introduced through the International Primary Curriculum (IPC).

Writing

High quality,motivating texts are chosen by the class teachers as a basis for children's writing. 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  are taught which focus on the key skills for writing - Vocabulary, Conjunctions, Openers and Punctuation. Every Friday, in Key Stage 1, following five sessions of input and practice, the 'Big Write' takes place where the children have a chance to show off the skills learnt during the week. The school follows Ros Wilson’s ‘Big Write’ guidance to enable quality learning and teaching to take place.  The 'Big Write' is a special time where the the lights are dimmed and gentle music is played  whilst the children focus on their writing. In the Early Years, mark-making and writing opportunities form part of everyday provision, both indoors and outdoors and phonics is taught in multisensory ways in order to excite and motivate. 

 

Reading

Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1 classes enjoy and participate in story time sessions regularly.  

Each class has a book corner.  Foundation and Key Stage 1 have equipment for listening to a story and other texts.  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.

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 normally receive more regular opportunities with another adult

In the early stages of school, reading is taught primarily through phonics, using the programme ‘Letters and Sounds’. This is supported by regular guided reading sessions where children enjoy and discuss books in a group, as well as regular home reading.Once fluent, in Key Stage 2, pupils learn more about the comprehension and analytical aspects of reading, with continued guided reading sessions, as well as whole class book focuses during the English sessions.We have many exciting reading events throughout the year, for example trips to the local library and dressing up for World Book Day.

 

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 tackle new words. At Belvedere Infant School, phonics  is taught on a daily basis following the 'Letters and Sounds' scheme.  In Nursery this begins with Phase 1 of ‘Letters and Sounds’ which concentrates on developing children's speaking and listening skills and lays the foundations for the phonic work which starts in Phase 2. The emphasis during Phase 1 is to get children attuned to the sounds around them and ready to begin developing oral blending and segmenting skills.  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 continues in Years 1 and 2 as children are introduced to alternative graphemes, lesser known sounds and begin to learn some of the more complicated spelling rules.  

Intervention groups are set up across the year groups for those children struggling with their phonics learning.

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 do not meet the required level in Year 1 they then retake the test in Year 2. You will be informed of their result at the end of the academic year.

 

Glossary: 

Phoneme A phoneme is the smallest unit of sound in a word. It is generally accepted that most varieties of spoken English use about 44 phonemes. 

Grapheme A grapheme is a symbol of a phoneme. It is a letter or group of letters representing a sound. 

Segmenting and blending Segmenting consists of breaking words down into phonemes to spell. Blending consists of building words from phonemes to read. Both skills are important.  

 

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