At St.Mary’s, we aim for all children to become confident critical readers and writers with the capacity to express themselves through a variety of different literacy activities. Our main task is to foster and develop English consistently through all curriculum areas so that children can use their literacy skills in real contexts.
We are delighted to present some of our pupils’ written work based on the topics they have thoroughly enjoyed so far: ‘The Victorians’ and ‘The Ancient Greeks’. The children have read fiction and non-fiction books, studied good examples of various writing styles, looking closely at the layout and the language features of these texts and used their knowledge of Grammar and Punctuation to produce these masterpieces!
Please read the pupils’ reports with highly sophisticated, extended and compound sentences and amazing subject knowledge; their myths with advanced descriptive vocabulary. We hope you will also appreciate the children’s skilful effort at creating suspense and atmosphere to engage the reader and make us experience powerful emotions, such as sympathy and empathy.
At St Mary’s we follow a phonic programme called “Letters and Sounds” in which children in Reception and KS1 receive discrete daily phonic lessons delivered in both whole class and small groups. Letters and Sounds is a synthetic phonic programme in which all the letters of the alphabet are first taught by the sound that they make. As children are consolidating identifying the sound of each letter, they are taught how to blend them together in order to read and segment words apart in order to write. We start with simple cvc words and when children can confidently identify the beginning, middle and ends of words then are then encouraged to blend and decode complex words with more sounds in the middle. Once children can confidently identify all single phoneme they then move on to reading and writing digraphs and trigraphs, which are two and three letters that make one sound. Throughout the programme children are also exposed to words that cannot be sounded out - we call these 'tricky words'.
It is during these daily phonic sessions that children learn the specific phonic knowledge for reading and writing, but it doesn’t stop there. Throughout the day children then take part in many literacy activities in which the skills of reading and writing are modelled to them and allow them to practise and apply what they have learnt. These activities include individual reading with an adult, guided reading that takes part in a small group, whole class reading and writing and a wide range of independent reading and writing activities.
We believe that the daily phonics programme working along side the extensive range of literacy based activities provided encourages and supports children to be confident, motivated, well rounded readers and writers.
The programme begins in Nursery where children explore phase 1 which focuses on the discrimination of sounds in their environment. When the children move in to Reception they work through the content of phases 2-4 which introduces one way to record all the phonemes they will hear, and encourages them to apply these graphemes in their reading and writing. When children move to KS1, in Year 1 they revise phases 2 and 3, and then focus on learning phases 4 and 5; in Year 2 they revise phase 5 and learn phase 6. It is during these phases that children explore the many alternative graphemes for the phonemes they are hearing in their reading and writing.
Below are the targets for Reading and Writing that your children will be working towards in their work. Using these targets will enable us to track your child's progress in all the relevant areas of learning.