English at Hartley
Nursery and Reception
We begin the process of learning to read in the Foundation Stage, where we believe that the daily, systematic teaching of phonics is the fastest and most effective way of getting young children to start reading. We use the Read Write Inc programme.
In Nursery, the children have daily 10 minute phonics sessions to introduce them to initial letter sounds. By the end of Reception, it is our expectation that all children can blend and that the vast majority will be reading simple books. In Foundation stage, the focus of writing is using phonics to write simple sentences with basic punctuation. Children write for a range of purposes and activities are creative and fun.
The teaching of synthetic phonics continues throughout Years 1 and 2. Our programme is structured in such a way as to ensure the teaching of phonics is systemically delivered and that progress is built on from year to year. Children are taught a series of sounds and then apply these to a series of graded books before moving on to the next set of sounds. By the end of Year 2, it is our expectation that the vast majority of children will be fluent readers and will no longer need explicit phonics teaching for reading. In Year 2, most pupils start RWI Literacy and Language Programme. This allows pupils to develop their comprehension and written work.
By Year 3, most children will be ready to begin the RWI Literacy and Language Programme. This programme is specifically designed to build on comprehension skills and to promote a more inferential level of thinking. Pupils are given the outline of a text to begin with to provide them with the 'bare bones' of a story. They then read and study the text in depth, focusing particularly on developing a thorough understanding of the text, characters, setting and events.
Once pupils have studied the text they then develop their writing through completing a linked writing task. Teachers model what is expected of the pupils in terms of their writing and then produce their own high quality writing.
Pupils also follow a rigorous spelling programme (RWI) from Year 2 - 6 which covers all aspects of the spelling curriculum set out in 2014. Grammar is also a focus for Years 3 - 6 in order to prepare pupils for the high standards of the end of key stage tests in Year 6.