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St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School – English Curriculum Statement

 

At St Filumena’s Catholic Primary School we want every child to be happy and enthusiastic learners of English, and to be eager to achieve their very best in order to fulfill their God-given talents. We firmly believe that the recipe for success is high-quality first-wave teaching in English, which is central to the life of our happy, caring school.

 

           

Learning to read is the most important thing your child will learn at our school. Everything else depends on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. 

 

We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we put our efforts into making sure they develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.

 

 

 

'All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure-house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.'

National Curriculum 2014

 

 

 

 

 

Making a Strong Start using Read Write Inc.

 

Right from the beginning of Reception, we use Read Write Inc. Phonics which is a highly successful English programme created by Ruth Miskin. All Reading Teachers at St. Filumena's have received training and support from Ruth Miskin Training, rated Outstanding by the Department for Education, to ensure we meet our aim for all children to become confident and enthusiastic readers which is further quality assured by the Reading Lead. 

 

The Read Write Inc. Phonics programme is carefully matched to the curriculum, giving every child at St. Filumena's Catholic Primary the best chance of success. Reception to Year 2 children are taught using Read Write Inc. Phonics as the main EYFS and KS1 early reading programme but it is also taught as an intervention for children in Years 3 and 4.

 

In addition to this, Read Write Inc.  programme with more age-appropriate resources for older children is used with RWInc  Spellings as and when required in Years 5 and 6.

 

 

Read Write Inc. Progression Grid

Please see the table below for expected progress term-by-term for Read Write Inc. Phonics in EYFS and KS1.

    

Year Group

Term

Expected Progress in RWI. Groups

Reception

Autumn

October: know most Set 1 sounds and blend orally (Set 1 B)

December: know Set 1 sounds and read words by blending (Set 1 C)

Spring

February: Ditties

April: Red

Summer

May: Green

July: Green/Purple

Year 1

Autumn

October: Purple

December: Pink (know Set 2 sounds)

Spring

February: Orange

April: Yellow

Summer

May: Yellow (know Set 3 sounds)

July: Blue

Year 2

Autumn

Baseline: Blue

October: Blue

December: Grey

Spring

February: Grey

April: RWI Spelling and Comprehension

 

How can you support your child?

During the academic year, we will hold regular parent workshops for early reading. We also have more information on the individual class pages.

 For further information and tutorials on how to support your child learning to read from Ruth Miskin, go to http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/

 

Guided Reading

Our guided reading approach is informed by extensive research into comprehension strategy instruction, as recommended by the EEF. 

The aims of the sessions are to engage with texts, respond to them, talk about them and developing deeper understanding (comprehension).

Once children have completed RWI Phonics, they take part in daily guided reading sessions. During the sessions, we focus on developing key comprehension strategies through careful modelling and supported practice.

The sessions utilise a wide variety of texts and seek to: 

  • Encourage critical and evaluative thinking through use of open prompts, questions and invitations
  • Encourage reference to the text to support their thinking
  • Build towards group dialogue
  • Encourage personal responses from the children
  • Enable children to support their opinions with evidence from the text and to change and adapt their ideas in response to others

We use VIPERS in KS1 and KS2 for Guided reading. VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the UK’s reading curriculum.  They are the key areas that we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.

 

Home Reading

 

“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”

― Emilie Buchwald

 

Evidence strongly suggests that parents and the home environment are essential to the early teaching of reading and fostering a love of reading.

 

Key findings from the evidence include:

• Parental involvement in a child’s literacy has been reported as a more powerful force than other family background variables, such as social class, family size and level of parental education (Flouri and Buchanan, 2004 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);

• Children whose home experiences promote the view that reading is a source of entertainment are likely to become intrinsically motivated to read (Baker, Serpell and Sonnenschein, 1995 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006);

• Children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued (Baker and Scher, 2002 – cited in Clark and Rumbold, 2006).

 

Reading Books Coming Home

 

EYFS and KS1

Read Write Inc. Book Bag Book – This book will be changed by their teacher and is matched to your child’s RWI group. Please have this book in school every day.

Colour Banded Book (Collins Big Cat, Oxford Reading Tree…) – This book is to share with your child and is an enrichment text designed to widen their reading experience. This book will be changed by their class teacher. Please have this book in school every day.

NB. In addition, your child in EYFS or KS1 may also have a school library book that they have selected.

 

KS2

We use Accelerated reader... 

At its heart, Renaissance Accelerated Reader is simple. Children take the Star reading test which gives the teacher a precise assessment of which book a child needs to read. Children choose books within this score to read and take further quizzes to improve their scores. 

 

Your child reads a book, takes an online quiz, and gets immediate feedback. Children respond to regular feedback and are motivated to make progress with their reading skills. With Star Reading, it forms a complete reading practice and assessment solution for children in KS2.

At St Filumena's we motivate, monitor, and manage children’s independent reading practice with Accelerated Reader and watch our children develop a true love for reading.

 

 

Our Approach to Spelling

We use Read Write Inc. Spelling for Years 2-6 to meet the demanding spelling requirements of the National Curriculum and to build on the fantastic start our children make with Read Write Inc. Phonics. Reasons why we use this programme:

  • Puts the complex requirements of the curriculum into snappy 15-minute lessons
  • Makes spelling fun! Aliens from an exciting online spelling planet clearly introduce spelling rules and concepts
  • Read Write Inc. Spelling Online includes an Extra Practice Zone including over 1,000 new activity screens for whole-class practice, focusing on the areas children often find challenging. A class login also enables or children to do the practice activities at home: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/
  • Provides plenty of  writing practice with a clear record of progress
  • The emphasis is on teaching spelling, not simply testing spelling
  • Although the teaching of phoneme-grapheme correspondence underpins this programme, it also develops children’s knowledge of word families, how suffixes impact upon root words and provide mnemonics to remember the trickiest spellings.
  • The teaching revolves around instruction (with the help of online alien characters), partner and group practice, and competitive group challenges that help children commit new words to memory.

 

How are children assessed?

Half-termly practice tests assess children’s spelling progress using the same format as the statutory assessments in England. Online tracking spreadsheets enable us to record and track individual children’s progress and identify units or concepts pupils might need to be retaught.

 

During the teaching activities each week, a number of assessment opportunities are also planned into the programme. The emphasis is on the importance of learning to spell, rather than being tested on spelling.

 

Our Approach to Handwriting

There are regular timetabled slots for handwriting to ensure that children build up their handwriting skills every day. We make the physical process of writing – handwriting – enjoyable from the start, so children see themselves as ‘writers’. We use mnemonics – memory pictures – to help children visualise the letter or join before they write it down. Children need to practise handwriting under the guidance of a teacher so they do not develop habits that will be difficult to undo later so we make sure that handwriting is always a guided activity.

 

We link handwriting to our Read Write Inc. Phonics in KS1 and there are three handwriting stages.

Stage 1

These lessons are taught while children read the Red, Green, Purple, Pink, and Orange Storybooks. 

Stage 1a: Children practise correct letter formation.

Stage 1b: Children learn where to place the letters on the writing line.

Stage 2

These lessons are taught while children read the Yellow, Blue and Grey Storybooks. At this stage, children learn a mature style of writing that will lead to joined-up writing.

Stage 3

These lessons are also taught while children read the Yellow, Blue and Grey Storybooks. At this stage, children learn the two basic joins: the arm join (diagonal) and the washing line join (horizontal) and the two variables for each join.

There are also memorable phrases that support the children to develop correct letter formation:

Time is prioritised to focus on developing the writing process with children as they move through the school. The key elements of the writing process are planning, drafting, editing and revising, proofread and then publishing or sharing. 

 

Modelling is a key element in the teaching of the writing process, with teachers using 'think out loud' to guide children through how to craft a piece of writing. By modelling, the expert writer lets less experienced writers in on the big secret … What is going on in the head of a more experienced writer? By modelling, we demonstrate options for planning, strategic problem solving, self-monitoring, reviewing, revising and proofreading. We also show how techniques can be used or applied; we work through challenges and teach good grammar. And we do it all within the context of authentic writing!

 

At St Filumena's we recognise the importance of the relationship between reading and writing because we know that when reading and writing are taught together, the benefits are greater than when they are taught separately. 

 

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