Menu
Home Page
  • Happiness
  • Respect
  • Creativity

English

English Overview

Picture 1

 Reading

 

Our aim is to inspire children to have a love of Reading! Reading can change lives and we are committed to ensuring that as well as mastering the basic skills of learning to read, children experience the rewards of reading and develop a lifelong love of books.

We always start the year by asking the children ‘who loves to read?’ Our mission is to find out which children do and do not enjoy reading and to unpick their reasons. Usually, the reason for not enjoying it is because something is too tricky for them (eg word recognition) as most children, if not all, enjoy having stories read to them. Assurance is then given, that finding something tricky is ok, it’s normal to feel this way when learning something new, but what we can work hard together to address this.

 

To motivate and develop a love reading, all children:

  • Have a reading book, which they can self select from a given ‘bookband’ colour

  • Visit the school library each week to borrow/exchange books

  • Are rewarded with a certificate in Assembly for finishing each book of keywords and for reaching a ‘number of reads’

  • Are encouraged to join in with our ‘Get Caught Reading!’ campaign. By choosing to read in class (or home!) in their free time, they get to wear “Reading Wings”, and also results in a raffle ticket, which is entered into a weekly draw with the prize being a book of their choice from the display in the hall

  • Have an opportunity to visit a book fair in school on numerous occasions, to see which new books are available

  • Experience a ‘Book Week’ each year

  • Have a daily guided reading session or reading activity

 

Reading in the EYFS (Year R)

In Year R, the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The development statements are:

30-50 months

• Enjoys rhyming and rhythmic activities.

•Shows awareness of rhyme and alliteration.

•Recognises rhythm in spoken words.

• Listens to and joins in with stories and poems, one-to-one and also in small groups.

• Joins in with repeated refrains and anticipates key events and phrases in rhymes and stories.

•Beginning to be aware of the way stories are structured.

•Suggests how the story might end.

• Listens to stories with increasing attention and recall.

•Describes main story settings, events and principal characters.

•Shows interest in illustrations and print in books and print in the environment.

•Recognises familiar words and signs such as own name and advertising logos.

• Looks at books independently.

• Handles books carefully.

•Knows information can be relayed in the form of print.

• Holds books the correct way up and turns pages.

•Knows that print carries meaning and, in English, is read from left to right and top to bottom.

 

40-60 months +

Continues a rhyming string.

• Hears and says the initial sound in words.

• Can segment the sounds in simple words and blend them together and knows which letters represent some of them.

• Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.

•Begins to read words and simple sentences.

•Uses vocabulary and forms of speech that are increasingly influenced by their experiences of books.

• Enjoys an increasing range of books.

•Knows that information can be retrieved from books and computers.

Early Learning Goal

Children read and understand simple sentences. They use phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately. They also read some common irregular words. They demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.

 

Reading at Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:

Word Reading

Comprehension (both listening and reading)

Skilled word reading involves both the speedy working out of the pronunciation of unfamiliar printed words (decoding) and the speedy recognition of familiar printed words. This is why phonics forms an important part of our curriculum.

Good comprehension draws from vocabulary and grammar knowledge and on knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils must be encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world they live in, to establish an appreciation and love of reading, and to gain knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds.

 

Word Reading in Year 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words

  • respond speedily with the correct sound to graphemes (letters or groups of letters) for all 40+ phonemes, including, where applicable, alternative sounds for graphemes

  • read accurately by blending sounds in unfamiliar words containing GPCs that have been taught

  • read common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word

  • read words containing taught GPCs and –s, –es, –ing, –ed, –er and –est endings

  • read other words of more than one syllable that contain taught GPCs

  • read words with contractions [for example, I’m, I’ll, we’ll], and understand that the apostrophe represents the omitted letter(s)

  • read books aloud, accurately, that are consistent with their developing phonic knowledge and that do not require them to use other strategies to work out words

  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading

 

 

Reading – Comprehension in Year 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:

  • listening to and discussing a wide range of poems, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently

  • being encouraged to link what they read or hear to their own experiences

  • becoming very familiar with key stories, fairy stories and traditional tales, retelling them and considering their particular characteristics

  • recognising and joining in with predictable phrases

  • learning to appreciate rhymes and poems, and to recite some by heart

  • discussing word meanings, linking new meanings to those already known

  • understand both the books they can already read accurately and fluently and those they listen to by:

  • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher

  • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading

  • discussing the significance of the title and events

  • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done

  • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far

  • participate in discussion about what is read to them, taking turns and listening to what others say

  • explain clearly their understanding of what is read to them

 

Word Reading in Year 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  • continue to apply phonic knowledge and skills as the route to decode words until automatic decoding has become embedded and reading is fluent

  • read accurately by blending the sounds in words that contain the graphemes taught so far, especially recognising alternative sounds for graphemes

  • read accurately words of two or more syllables that contain the same graphemes as above

  • read words containing common suffixes

  • read further common exception words, noting unusual correspondences between spelling and sound and where these occur in the word

  • read most words quickly and accurately, without overt sounding and blending, when they have been frequently encountered

  • read aloud books closely matched to their improving phonic knowledge, sounding out unfamiliar words accurately, automatically and without undue hesitation

  • reread these books to build up their fluency and confidence in word reading

 

Reading – Comprehension in Year 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop pleasure in reading, motivation to read, vocabulary and understanding by:

  • listening to, discussing and expressing views about a wide range of contemporary and classic poetry, stories and non-fiction at a level beyond that at which they can read independently

  • discussing the sequence of events in books and how items of information are related

  • becoming increasingly familiar with and retelling a wider range of stories, fairy stories and traditional tales

  • being introduced to non-fiction books that are structured in different ways

  • recognising simple recurring literary language in stories and poetry

  • discussing and clarifying the meanings of words, linking new meanings to known vocabulary

  • discussing their favourite words and phrases

  • continuing to build up a repertoire of poems learnt by heart, appreciating these and reciting some, with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear

  • understand both the books that they can already read accurately and fluently and those that they listen to by:

  • drawing on what they already know or on background information and vocabulary provided by the teacher

  • checking that the text makes sense to them as they read, and correcting inaccurate reading

  • making inferences on the basis of what is being said and done

  • answering and asking questions

  • predicting what might happen on the basis of what has been read so far

  • participate in discussion about books, poems and other works that are read to them and those that they can read for themselves, taking turns and listening to what others say

  • explain and discuss their understanding of books, poems and other material, both those that they listen to and those that they read for themselves

Picture 1
Picture 2

Writing

 

Our aim is to inspire children to have a love of writing! We always start the year by asking the children ‘who loves to write?’ Our mission is to find out which children do and do not enjoy writing and to unpick their reasons. Usually, the reason for not enjoying it is because something is too tricky for them (eg spelling, handwriting or getting their ideas onto paper). The children are then assured that finding something tricky is ok, its normal to feel this way when learning something new, but what we can do is work hard together to address this.

 

Writing in the EYFS (Year R)

In Year R, the children follow the Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum. The development statements are:

30-50 months

  • Sometimes gives meaning to marks as they draw and paint.

  • Ascribes meanings to marks that they see in different places.

40-60 months

Gives meaning to marks they make as they draw, write and paint.

•Begins to break the flow of speech into words.

•Continues a rhyming string.

•Hears and says the initial sound in words.

•Can segment the sounds in simple words and blend them together.

•Links sounds to letters, naming and sounding the letters of the alphabet.

•Uses some clearly identifiable letters to communicate meaning, representing some sounds correctly and in sequence.

•Writes own name and other things such as labels, captions.

•Attempts to write short sentences in meaningful contexts.

Early Learning Goal:

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt c

 

Writing at Key Stage 1

The programmes of study for writing at Key Stage 1 are split into 2 components:

transcription (spelling and handwriting)

composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing)

 

Writing – transcription Year 1:

The National Curriculum states that pupils in Year 1 should be taught to spell:

  • words containing each of the 40+ phonemes already taught

  • common exception words

  • the days of the week

  • name the letters of the alphabet:

  • naming the letters of the alphabet in order

  • using letter names to distinguish between alternative spellings of the same sound

  • adding prefixes and suffixes:

  • using the spelling rule for adding –s or –es as the plural marker for nouns and the third person singular marker for verbs

  • using the prefix un–

  • using –ing, –ed, –er and –est where no change is needed in the spelling of root words [for example, helping, helped, helper, eating, quicker, quickest]

  • applying simple spelling rules

  • writing from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs and common exception words taught so far

 

Writing – composition Year 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • write sentences

  • say out loud what they are going to write about

  • compose a sentence orally before writing it

  • sequence sentences to form short narratives

  • re-read what they have written to check that it makes sense

  • discuss what they have written with the teacher or other pupils

  • read their writing aloud, clearly enough to be heard by their peers and the teacher

 

Writing - vocabulary, grammar and punctuation Year 1

Pupils should be taught to:

  • leave spaces between words

  • join words and joining clauses using ‘and’

  • begin to punctuate sentences using a capital letter and a full stop, question mark or exclamation mark

  • use a capital letter for names of people, places, the days of the week, and the personal pronoun ‘I’

  • learn the grammar for year 1

  • use the grammatical terminology in English in discussing their writing

 

Writing – transcription Year 2

The National Curriculum states that pupils in Year 2 should be taught to

spell by:

  • segmenting spoken words into phonemes and representing these by graphemes, spelling many correctly

  • learning new ways of spelling phonemes for which 1 or more spellings are already known, and learn some words with each spelling, including a few common homophones

  • learning to spell common exception words

  • learning to spell more words with contracted forms

  • learning the possessive apostrophe (singular) [for example, the girl’s book]

  • distinguishing between homophones and near-homophones

  • adding suffixes to spell longer words including –ment, –ness, –ful, –less, –ly

  • applying spelling rules

  • writing from memory simple sentences dictated by the teacher that include words using the GPCs, common exception words and punctuation taught so far

 

Writing – composition Year 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  • develop positive attitudes towards and stamina for writing

  • write narratives about personal experiences and those of others (real and fictional)

  • write about real events

  • write poetry

  • write for different purposes

  • consider what they are going to write before beginning

  • plan or saying out loud what they are going to write about

  • write down ideas and/or key words, including new vocabulary

  • encapsulate what they want to say, sentence by sentence

  • make simple additions, revisions and corrections to their own writing by:

  • evaluate their writing with the teacher and other pupils

  • reread to check that their writing makes sense and that verbs to indicate time are used correctly and consistently, including verbs in the continuous form

  • proofread to check for errors in spelling, grammar and punctuation (for example, ends of sentences punctuated correctly)

  • read aloud what they have written with appropriate intonation to make the meaning clear

 

Writing - Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation in Year 2

Pupils should be taught to:

  • use both familiar and new punctuation correctly, including full stops, capital letters, exclamation marks, question marks, commas for lists and apostrophes for contracted forms and the possessive (singular)

  • use sentences with different forms: statement, question, exclamation, command

  • expanded noun phrases to describe and specify [for example, the blue butterfly]

  • use the present and past tenses correctly and consistently, including the progressive form

  • use subordination (using when, if, that, or because) and co-ordination (using or, and, or but)

  • understand the grammar for year 2

  • use some features of written Standard English

  • use and understand the grammatical terminology in discussing their writing

 

 

 Handwriting

 

At Wootey Infant School we have adopted the Penpal scheme for teaching handwriting. Combining the Penpal principles with the EYFS and National Curriculum aims, each year group has a handwriting ladder.

Handwriting ladder FS (Year R)

Handwriting ladder Year 1

Handwriting ladder Year 2

 

Handwriting in the EYFS (Year R)

 

Handwriting Year 1

The National Curriculum states that pupils in Key Stage 1 should be taught to:

  • sit correctly at a table, holding a pencil comfortably and correctly

  • begin to form lower-case letters in the correct direction, starting and finishing in the right place

  • form capital letters

  • form digits 0-9

  • understand which letters belong to which handwriting ‘families’ (ie letters that are formed in similar ways) and to practise these

Handwriting Year 2

The National Curriculum states that pupils in Key Stage 1 should be taught to:

  • form lower-case letters of the correct size relative to one another

  • start using some of the diagonal and horizontal strokes needed to join letters and understand which letters, when adjacent to one another, are best left unjoined

  • write capital letters and digits of the correct size, orientation and relationship to one another and to lower-case letters

  • use spacing between words that reflects the size of the letters

A full and comprehensive introduction to Penpals for handwriting can be seen by clicking on the following link.

https://vimeo.com/173046383

Phonics and Spelling

 

The importance of Phonics:

UK and international research shows overwhelmingly that systematic phonics is one of the most effective way of teaching reading to children. Children are taught the correspondences between sounds (phonemes) and letters. They identify and blend different letter sounds and letter combinations together to make a word - for example, pronouncing each phoneme in shop /sh/-/o/-/p/ and then blending those phonemes to produce the word. Through this, children take the first important steps in learning to read. They can also use this knowledge to begin to spell new words they hear. A systematic approach to teaching synthetic phonics means we take a planned, thorough approach, teaching children the simplest sounds first and progressing all the way through to the most complex combinations of letters. They soon move away from the mechanics of identifying and blending letter sounds (or ‘decoding’ words) and start reading fluently, even when they come across words they have never heard or seen before. Once the process of reading becomes automatic and easy, they can devote all their attention to understanding the meaning of what they have read.

The importance of Spelling:

Spelling is an integral part of the writing process. Pupils who spell with ease are able to concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. While it is important to remember that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling often has a profound effect on the writer’s self-image.

In Key Stage 1 the children are taught to spell the common exception words and also to apply the phonic sounds taught within their spelling. A weekly spelling test identifies which spellings will need to be practised over the following week. A copy will be sent home in the spelling diary, with the spellings to practise highlighted. All words are tested each week, to ensure no room to lose prior learning. The test is carried out at a reasonable pace, because our aim is for children to know the spelling of these words instantly, without having to take a lot of time over it.

Phonics in the EYFS (Year R)

In Phase 1 phonics, children are taught about:

  • Environmental sounds

  • Instrumental sounds

  • Body percussion (e.g. clapping and stamping)

  • Rhythm and rhyme

  • Alliteration

  • Voice sounds

  • Oral blending and segmenting (e.g. hearing that d-o-g makes ‘dog’)

     

    Typical activities for teaching Phase 1 phonics include 'listening' walks, playing and identifying instruments, action songs, learning rhymes and playing games like I Spy.

    This phase is intended to develop children’s listening, vocabulary and speaking skills.

    Phase 2:

    In Phase 2, children begin to learn the sounds that letters make (phonemes). There are 44 sounds in all. Some are made with two letters, but in Phase 2, children focus on learning the 19 most common single letter sounds.

    By the end of Phase 2 children should be able to read some vowel-consonant (VC) and consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC) words, and to spell them out. They also learn some high frequency ‘tricky words’ like ‘the’ and ‘go.’ This phase usually lasts about six weeks.

     

    Phase 3:

    Phase 3 introduces children to the remaining, more difficult and/or less commonly used phonemes. There are around 25 of these, mainly made up of two letters such as /ch/, /ar/, /ow/ and /ee/.

    Alongside this, children are taught to recognise more tricky words, including ‘me,’ ‘was,’ ‘my,’ ‘you’ and ‘they’. They learn the names of the letters, as well as the sounds they make.

     

    Phase 3 takes most children around 12 weeks. By the end, they should be able to say the sound made by most, or all, Phase 2 and 3 graphemes, blend and read CVC words made from these graphemes, read 12 new tricky words and write letters correctly when given an example to copy.

 

Phase 4: By now, children should be confident with each phoneme.

 

  • Practise reading and spelling CVCC words (‘such,’ ‘belt,’ ‘milk’ etc.)

  • Practise reading and spelling high frequency words

  • Practise reading and writing sentences

  • Learn more tricky words, including ‘have,’ ‘like,’ ‘some,’ ‘little’

     

    Children should now be blending confidently to work out new words. They should be starting to be able to read words straight off, rather than having to sound them out. They should also be able to write every letter, mostly correctly. This phase usually takes four to six weeks, and most children will complete it around the end of Year R.

     

    Phonics and Spelling in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 and 2)

    Year 1

    Phonics - Recap previous Phases and Phase 5

    Children learn new graphemes (different ways of spelling each sound) and alternative pronunciations for these: for example, learning that the grapheme ‘ow’ makes a different sound in ‘snow’ and ‘cow’.

     

    They should become quicker at blending, and start to do it silently.

     

    They learn about split digraphs (the ‘magic e’) such as the a-e in ‘name.’

    They’ll start to choose the right graphemes when spelling, and will learn more tricky words, including ‘people,’ ‘water’ and ‘friend’. They also learn one new phoneme: /zh/, as in ‘treasure.’

    Year 2

    Phonics - Recap previous Phases and Phase 6

    Phase 6 phonics takes place throughout Year 2, with the aim of children becoming fluent readers and accurate spellers.

    By Phase 6, children should be able to read hundreds of words using one of three strategies:

  • Reading them automatically

  • Decoding them quickly and silently

  • Decoding them aloud

     

    Children should now be spelling most words accurately (this is known as 'encoding'), although this usually lags behind reading.

     

    They will also learn:

  • Where to put the apostrophe in words like ‘I’m’

  • Spelling rules

  • Suffixes (eg –ed, -ness, -ment, -ful)

  • Homophones

     

    Phonic Screening

    Towards the end of Year 1, children will be given a national phonic screening check. This is a short assessment to confirm whether individual children have learnt phonic decoding to an appropriate standard. It will identify the children who require extra support in order to improve their reading skills. If the appropriate standard is not met in Year 1, the phonic screening will be repeated at the end of Year 2, to ensure children are on track.

Picture 1
Top