At St Minver School we intend to provide our pupils with opportunities to develop their spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary through teaching English as a subject in its own right but also as an integral part of the teaching of every subject.
We intend to provide our pupils with a high-quality education in English which will teach them to speak and write fluently in order to communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and to read and listen competently so that others can communicate with them. We aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for both enjoyment and learning.
Reading is given a high priority across our school, as it enables pupils to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually, and to acquire knowledge and build on what they already know.
It is our intent to embed all the skills of language throughout our curriculum, as these skills are essential to participating fully as a member of society.
Our planning for English is firmly rooted in The National Curriculum. We set out a progression of knowledge that our children will gain at each stage, and teach this in a cohesive sequence which allows each to apply and implement that knowledge as skills.
We will regularly measure the impact of our English provision, to ensure that we maintain the highest academic ambition for ALL children, with a commitment to ensure that our curriculum powerfully addresses social disadvantage.
Phonics is taught daily in EYFS and Key Stage 1, using the Letters and Sounds Framework set out by the DfE. From this framework we have devised a programme of sessions using the LCP planning tool, relevant to each phase, using a wealth of resources and activities devised to suit the needs of the children. We aim to teach phases 1, 2, 3 and 4 in EYFS, phase 5 in Year 1 and phase 6 in Year 2. Children are assessed regularly, and supported through extra intervention sessions should they need it.
Each session follows a similar format:
Children explore sounds and words and develop awareness of rhyme, rhythm and alliteration. They learn how to orally blend sounds and distinguish different sounds in words. This can be through conversation, nursery rhymes, stories and games.
Children continue with exploring rhymes and alliteration and are introduced to at least 19 letters and corresponding sounds. This is during daily direct teaching and supported with a variety of activities set up for continuous provision. They begin to read and spell simple CVC words as well as high frequency words.
Children learn one grapheme (written representation) for a further 25 phonemes (sounds). These include consonant and vowel digraphs (two letters making one sound, eg: ‘sh’) and trigraphs (three letters making one sound, eg: ‘igh’). They continue to build up their knowledge of high frequency words for reading and spelling. Throughout Phases 3, 4 and 5 children will also read ‘alien’ words (nonsense words), which is good practise for segmenting and blending sounds and will prepare Year 1 children for the phonics screening.
Children read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. Towards the end of Phase 4 they will also begin to work with compound words such as lunchbox, pondweed and handstand.
Children learn 18 new graphemes, as well as alternative pronunciations for these graphemes and graphemems they already know. For example, they already know ai as in rain, but now they will be introduced to ay as in day and a-e as in make. When spelling words they will learn to choose the appropriate graphemes to represent phonemes and begin to build knowledge of spelling rules and conventions.
Phase 6 - Children can apply their phonic skills and knowledge to recognise and spell an increasing number of words. They will investigate and learn to add suffixes (eg; ing, ed, er, ly, ness) to words and to spell words in the past, present and present continuous tense as well as the rules regarding regular and irregular verbs. They also look at superlative adjectives, comparative adjectives contracted words and plurals.