English

The teaching of phonics begins in the Early Years Foundation Stage and is guided by ‘Letters and Sounds’. Pupils are gradually introduced to initial sounds through modelling, repetition and playing games involving the sounds that are being focused upon. Carefully planned activities are set up to consolidate phonic learning. Once children reach Year One phonics is taught in phases with the pupils being split into smaller groups to ensure each child’s needs are met. Pupils across Year One and Two participate in a phonics session each day, which allows for rigorous coverage of Phase Three to Phase Six phonics. At the end of Year One each child’s phonic knowledge is tested in a phonics screening test carried out on a one to one basis with the class teacher.

Reading

In The Early Years Foundation Stage children are gradually introduced to reading through modelling and sharing books. They are given an individual reading book when the teacher feels they are ready. Throughout the school books are put into a book banded system. Key skills and techniques are modelled and taught throughout Key Stage One and Key Stage Two. Parents and carers are encouraged to share books, read to, and listen to, their child read at home on a daily basis. Our aim is to develop a love of reading for every child.

We teach English skills folllowing the National Curriculum, although much of our English links with other areas of the curriculum and to our topic choices.  Reading is the beginning point for our children in English, starting in EYFS with learning phonics. This continues through to Year 3 and if necessary into Key Stage 2 with intervention. See the phonics page for more details.

In EYFS and Key Stage 1 children take part in daily guided reading sessions. Once fluency is developed, children begin to improve their comprehension and inference skills through 'Reading for inference' lessons. Have a look at the reading page for more information.

Experiences, 'Wow' moments and high quality texts provide our children with the stimulus to write for. We always aim to provide a purpose for writing and children have experience publishing their work. Grammar is taught as part of the English sequence.

 Writing

We believe good handwriting is the result of regular, focused and high quality teaching sessions combined with consistent high expectations across all writing.

• We use the Nelson handwriting scheme across the school.

• We celebrate success and improvement in handwriting through celebrating weekly Handwriting Heroes and displaying Wow! Work to inspire all pupils.

• In Year One and Two children who are consistently joining their handwriting are given a sparkly pencil.  In KS2 children work towards earning their handwriting pen licences.

• Talk 4 Writing - The school is developing a ‘Talk 4 Writing’ approach to our teaching of writing. This supports children to internalise a ‘living library’ of texts which they can draw upon in their own writing. The teaching sequence follows a pattern of; imitation where children learn a text, are immersed in it through role play, music, and concrete experiences, and engage with the written text on the page; innovation where children are supported to develop their own version of the text using carefully scaffolded innovations; and invention where children utilise all of their experience of our broad and rich language curriculum to invent their own texts.

 Spelling

• Spelling is taught regularly and consistently from Early Years to Year Six.

• Early Years and Year 1 begin by learning to spell common exception words correctly (words which cannot be phonetically encoded).

• From Year One, children begin to learn how to apply spelling rules and patterns, including exceptions to those rules. These patterns and exceptions follow the expectations of the National Curriculum 2014.

• Success and progress in spelling is celebrated through weekly spelling tests in KS2 and spelling assessments across the school.

• Appropriate interventions are put in place to support children who are identified in pupil progress meetings as not making the progress they are capable of.

T. 01799540302
E. admin@debden.essex.sch.uk