We aim to bring language alive for our children so that they develop a love of reading and writing to take with them into later life.
At Alverton School we use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme to teach children to read and write. Phase 1 phonics sessions begin in the nursery where children are taught how to be good speakers and listeners and to make and differentiate between sounds. In the EYFS and KS1 (and into LKS2 as appropriate) children continue with daily phonics lessons, using the synthetic phonics approach which teaches them the pure sounds that individual and groups of letters make. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised resources consistently across all key stages. At the same time as learning sounds, children are taught how to blend them together for reading and to segment them for spelling. These skills are practised in the Little Wandle reading scheme we use which fully supports our chosen phonics scheme. Pupils read and re-read books which are closely matched to their current phonic attainment, giving them plenty of opportunities to practise decoding, prosody, comprehension and fluency with familiar texts.
Whilst we maintain a clear focus on giving all children the skills to read effectively, we are also committed to inspiring a love of reading in our pupils and empowering them to read widely and often. Books, stories and poems are shared daily and our teachers make use of a variety of engaging texts across the curriculum. Topics are often linked to carefully chosen and inspiring texts, such as an environmental topic based on Dr Seuss’ “The Lorax". Children can take home books from our Woodland themed library so that parents can help by listening to, and reading with, their children. At Alverton School our aim is for pupils to become confident readers who engage with, and enjoy, the widest possible range of books.
Spoken language forms an integral part of our English curriculum. The children enjoy role-play and drama activities, culminating in Class Assemblies, Christmas productions and our fabulous annual show by the older children. Our very impressive Parliament and School Council help the children develop their confidence in public speaking and we take part each year in the Youth Speaks competition.
Learning the skills which enable the children to express themselves in writing is a priority in all year groups and children learn to write a wide range of texts, from labels and lists to newspaper reports and explanations. We set the highest possible expectations for pupils’ English work by sharing high-quality exemplars of work which help to unpick the particular features needed for different genres and we take every opportunity for the children to practise their skills, in English and across the wider curriculum.
Please also have a look at the Reading and Phonics section under the Learning heading which provides more information on our teaching and learning in English.