Hatherley Infant School

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English
At Hatherley Infant School, English is at the forefront of all our teaching and learning. We have designed our curriculum to promote children’s intellectual, social, spiritual, cultural, and physical development whilst preparing them for the opportunities, responsibilities and experiences of later life. We teach pupils to speak and write fluently, so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening others can communicate to them. We seek to ensure that all children reach their full potential by providing a happy, safe, secure and inclusive learning environment. Our aim is for children to be self-motivated, enthusiastic learners who are supported and challenged to be successful in their learning.

Reading
Creating a love of reading is one of the most powerful ways of improving children’s chances in school and creating a passport to the wider world.

Phonics
The main way in which we teach reading is through synthetic phonics. At Hatherley we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI teaches children how to read sounds and the letter that represents each of these sounds (phonemes and graphemes). It then teaches children how to blend these sounds together in order to read a word. These are known as ‘green’ words. Some words cannot be sounded out, these are known as ‘red’ words which are tricky words that we just have to learn by sight.

Children are assessed according to their reading ability every half term and grouped so they can be taught in a group,learning at the same level. RWI takes place every Monday to Thursday from 10.00am till 10.40am. A new sound is taught every day followed by a range of reading activities to build confidence with a text over time and increase fluency and expression. Children also develop the ability to answer comprehension questions from a text and work in pairs so they are all joining in. Children thoroughly enjoy the RWI sessions.

A series of information and tutorial videos explaining the basics of RWI can be found at www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/

You can find out more about RWI on the official website www.oup.com/oxed/primary/rwi/ which provides all the information you need to support your child through the programme.

Guided reading
Children read a variety of texts in small groups to their teacher on a weekly basis. Children are grouped according to ability and read books at an appropriate level. Records are kept for each group, in which a learning focus and progress notes are kept. Children are assessed regularly so that groupings can be changed when necessary.

Shared reading
Shared reading takes place throughout the week. This is an interactive reading experience that allows children to share the reading of a book or other text while guided and supported by a teacher.

Independent reading
Children are encouraged to read independently to build fluency and become self-reliant readers. Our main reading scheme is ORT, which is complemented by Project X and Traditional Tales.

We know that parents and carers are very busy people but there are ways in which you can support your child at home.

• Little and often is better than quantity when learning to read. Fun short bursts of reading every day will make a bigger difference to fluency than reading for long periods once a week.

• Read a variety of stories and books to your child to foster ‘reading for pleasure’. This will provide opportunities for modelling reading strategies whilst developing a wider vocabulary that can be applied in writing.

• We would also ask you to share your child’s reading book with them on a frequent basis. This is a good opportunity for your child to practice some of the skills and strategies that they have learnt at school. We would also ask you to spend time discussing the book. Prompts for discussion can be found inside the book covers. These are invaluable in developing your child’s comprehension.

• Don’t feel that children should only be reading the material we send home. Encourage them to read a range of texts as well as the print that surrounds them in their everyday environment.

Writing
At Hatherley, we use the ‘talk for writing’ approach as developed by Pie Corbett. This enables the children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.

Writing is taught through daily English lessons. Further links are made through the teaching of other subjects, to ensure knowledge and skills are firmly embedded.

At Hatherley, we use the ‘talk for writing’ approach as developed by Pie Corbett. This enables the children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version.

Writing is taught through daily English lessons. Further links are made through the teaching of other subjects, to ensure knowledge and skills are firmly embedded.


Spelling
English has the most complex alphabetic language in the world due to our inheritance of other languages such as: Latin, French, Greek and German. It has many more ways of writing one sound. For example the long vowel ‘a' sound can be spelt ay, ai and a-e. We use RWI to support our teaching of spelling. Children in Key Stage 1 also have a weekly spelling focus. Spelling books containing activities connected to the spelling focus are sent home on a weekly basis. Activities include games, word searches, cross words, comprehensions and writing activities.


Handwriting
We recognise that handwriting is an important skill and children’s ability to write fluently for the rest of their lives depends on a good foundation of taught handwriting in the early years of their education.

We believe that children should be introduced as early as possible to the making of letters through pattern and then discover letter shapes and movements in these forms. The shapes and movements should then be developed into making letters in connected forms. We use a cursive script, copies of which are displayed in every classroom.

Literacy overview

Year 1 English overview

Year 1 Curriculum overview

Year 2 English overview

Year 2 Curriculum overview