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The Grove Infant and Nursery School

Achieving our potential in our creative learning community

English

This year we are building on the work of the last two years to embed and enhance our refreshed English curriculum to reflect current good practice.  We continuously update the genres that we explore and the texts that we use as we enhance our Talk4Writing approach.  You will find the final genre maps for the last two years below, these reflect this excellent provision.  The genre maps for this year now reflect autumn and spring provision.

 

Whilst we had planned our overview in KS1 for 2020 -2021 the two lockdowns of the pandemic meant we continued to reflect and update our provision to ensure we focused on key skills as time progressed.  We are mindful of any learning that needs adapting as a result of pupils disrupted learning and the final maps for last academic year reflected updated coverage. 

This sharp focus has continued into this academic year as we are pro-active in responding to the needs of our pupils as we move forward in managing the impact of Covid 19 and 2 lockdowns on our pupils.

 

The EYFS genre maps are added to half termly reflecting planning good practice that meets the needs and interests of different cohorts.

 

Please note, over this year we have begun to link high quality texts to our maths curriculum delivery in Reception.

Reading - What to Expect

Reading, reading, reading all day long

Children are surrounded by print at school, and this rich environment provides plenty of opportunities for reading throughout the day.  There are some very specific approaches that teachers use to teach and practice decoding print and developing comprehension skills - the summary here should give parents a picture of the many ways children learn.

We have a well stocked library that children are encouraged to borrow from weekly.  We also have supplementary topic books and fiction packs for each class delivered termly to ensure access to new, high quality texts throughout the year is always refreshed and renewed.

Classes have boxes of special books chosen as key texts for each year group, including poetry and fiction, that the children read again and again.  

All of this is on top of the well stocked reading corners in each room!  We love books!

 

Shared Reading

This happens daily.  The teacher will model reading skills by sharing sentences or longer texts with the class.  She/he will emphasise how we always start on the left and at the top of a page, and how we go back to the left after each line of print.

The teacher will have specific skills in mind as she/he chooses the book or text to be shared - highlighting specific elements, decoding, looking at tricky words, using punctuation and discussing vocabulary choice. 

 

Guided Reading

This happens twice weekly in KS1 and introduced in Reception in the Spring term.  The teacher and/or teaching assistant works with a small group of children who are all reading at the same level.  They all have a copy of the same book, which is usually slightly more difficult than the reading books that the children are taking home.  The teacher focuses on a skill that the children need to develop and teaches them in the small group.

Once children can decode easily, they move on to developing their comprehension skills.  Children learn to discuss more complex aspects of the books they are reading, and notice different writing styles and vocabulary choices.   Experience of a wide range of high quality texts is important. 

There is also a focus on using punctuation and expression to bring texts to life.  Children learn to think about how different characters would sound and reflect on what might happen next.   

 

Phonics

During daily phonics sessions, children are taught reading skills appropriate to their development using Bug Club Phonics, a rigorous systematic, synthetic phonics programme (SSP) validated by the DfES.

 

In Reception, children enjoy phonics sessions daily.  They are taught 4 new sounds a week and have language sessions which focus on the reading and spelling of tricky (irregular) words. After the first term the school currently streams across the 3 classes, ensuring that the teaching is at a pace relevant to the child’s needs.  This allows children to develop the skills to identify sounds, blend and segment them.  Next year when children begin Bug Club Phonics at the beginning of the academic year, the teaching structure will be reviewed.

 

In Year 1, phonics is taught daily in class groups.  The programme introduces 3 new phonemes a week, but children are also taught to read and spell tricky (irregular) words.  In the final lesson of the week the there is a language session when children consolidate and apply their phonic knowledge and skills through reading carefully matched decodable texts and through dictated sentence writing.

 

The majority of children master decoding skills in Year 1, learning the 44 phonemes of Phases 2, 3, 4 and 5.

The expectation is that all children have the skills and knowledge to pass the annual Phonics Screening Check.  The Phonics Screening check is a statutory assessment of a child’s decoding and of 40 real and ‘nonsense’ words.

At the Grove outcomes in early reading are very strong, with an average of 94% of children achieving the appropriate standard.  For those children who have a specific identified barrier to their learning phonics lessons continue into Year 2.

 

Phonics provision is adapted in Year 2 to reflect the ongoing assessment of need for those who are yet to secure the expected age related reading skills. Any children who did not met the expected standard in Year 1 revisit the Phonics Screening Check in Year 2.

 

As outlined above, children are taught to decode and apply the wider reading skills by reading in guided group sessions. Teaching staff may read with children individually, in addition to group reading, to support children’s progress.  This is particularly important if a child has an identified barrier to learning.  Individual reading often takes place with members of our fantastic team of volunteers.   

 

Children have fully decodable Bug Club Phonics eBooks uploaded to their personal Bug Club accounts so that they have the opportunity to practise the phonemes they have been taught in class.  In addition to this, children can access their Bug Club Independent bookshelves in order to access a wider range of texts. 

 

Children can also choose a book from a broadly appropriate ‘colour band’ to take home to share with an adult.  These books may contain a few words which contain phonemes that have yet to come up in class, and therefore they require adult help to read.  They are available to provide for challenge and variety.

 

We would always encourage children to read every day at home with parents. Little and often is best. The Reading Records provide day to day communication between home and the teaching staff to comment on a child’s engagement and reading skill.

 

 

Any further questions, do not hesitate to ask!

 

Reading Scheme level descriptors have been added for your information.

 

At Parents Forum we discussed publishing the Reading Scheme Bands, so that parents are clear about the skill progression.  The Level Descriptors have been updated to enable parents to fully understand the skills children need to have mastered in order to move onto the next level. 

The most important thing to bear in mind is that learning to read is a marathon not a sprint.  It is not a competition - children learn at different speeds! 

Children are practising their reading at home, not learning to read: they should be able to read the books relatively fluently.  Books used for teaching in school will be more difficult for them - the next level up. 

The teaching staff use their professional judgement when it comes to moving the children onto the next level.  Parents must bear in mind that what they see at home in terms of their child's reading ability, may not be reflected in class, and although we are always interested in parental views, we will move children on when we see they are ready.

Tips for Parents

Some ideas about how you can help your child at home.

Spellings!

We have made a booklet of games you can play at home to practise spellings.  We hope it is really useful.  Feedback welcome!

Handwriting at The Grove

 

At The Grove Infant and Nursery School we follow the PenPals handwriting scheme. The children are introduced to four main characters which help them to memorise the sequence for writing each letter correctly. The key thing to remember is that all letters start from the top
(apart from d and e).

 

Pattern practice and ‘play’ writing are an important part of handwriting development. Your child will be practicing letter formation in a number of exciting ways: in sand, using paint, in the air, on the interactive television screens and iPads, as well as on paper with a pencil!

 

Numeral formation guide

Click on the links below to find out more about the handwriting scheme we use:

A Summary of English in Year 1

A Summary of English in Year 2

 

Phonics

Phonics are the building blocks of reading and writing, and a fundamental part of the English curriculum. 

We follow a programme called 'Letters and Sounds', which breaks the learning down into 6 phases.  Information on each phase can be found below. 

A link to a video of clear enunciation of sounds is also below: parents can support teachers by watching this to clarify how sounds should be pronounced!

 

We hope all those who were able to attend the curriculum evening found it useful - whether you came or not you may find it useful to look through the slides and if you have any questions please ask.

For the academic year 2020 - 2021 we delivered year group information evening to parents using voiceovers as we were unable to invite parents into school.

English Curriculum Evening - 29th September 2021

Slides from English Curriculum Evening 18th September 2019

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