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At Valley Invicta Primary School at Holborough Lakes, we believe that it is every child’s right to be able to access the world around them through the medium of language. As such, we promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, enabling them to listen, speak, read and write confidently for a wide range of purposes throughout their school years and beyond. We recognise that it is important to cultivate an enthusiasm and appreciation for literacy and aspire to do so by ensuring real-life and cross-curricular learning experiences.
You can also visit the Book Trust website for some great tips around reading with your child.
Phonics and Reading
Read Write Inc. Phonics (R.W.I.)
At Valley Invicta Primary School at Holborough Lakes we use Read, Write, Inc. an inclusive synthetic phonic programme to teach our children to read, to write and to spell. We have adopted this as our whole school approach as the programme facilitates a graduated and tailored approach to learning basic sounds and letter formation before advancing to more complex sounds and reading for comprehension. The programme moves with integrity from learning to read to reading to learn.
R.W.I. sessions occur each day as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of children’s reading development. This method of phonics teaching is both systematic and repetitive in order to embed learning; the programme also offers plenty of opportunities for fun based, interactive learning using drama, role play and props to engage with and to enjoy texts and stories. The children work in small groups according to their confidence and competence. These groups are reconfigured on a regular basis in order to match the pace and the progress of each child; this reconfiguration also allows Class Teachers to identify where 1:1 interventions may be required in order to meet the expectations of both the Phonics Check and the end of Key Stage 1.
Aims and Objectives
The overarching objectives of the RWI programme are to teach pupils to:
- apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words.
- segment words into their constituent phonemes in order to spell words.
- learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes.
- read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns.
- read texts and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible.
- decode texts effortlessly so that their focus can be used on reading to learn (comprehension)
- spell effortlessly so that their focus can be directed towards the composition of their writing
Teaching and Learning Style
The core principles of the programme are;
- Praise – Pupils learn quickly in a positive climate.
- Pace – Good pace is essential to the lesson.
- Purpose – Every part of the lesson has a specific purpose.
- Passion –It is the energy, enthusiasm and passion that teachers invest into lessons that bring the teaching and learning to life!
- Participation - A strong feature of R.W.I. lessons is partner work; partners ‘teaching’ each other (based on research which states that we learn 70% of what we talk about with our partner and 90% of what we teach).
Nonsense words (Alien words)
As well as learning to read and to blend real words, the children meet “Nonsense words.” These words present an opportunity to assess a child’s ability to decode using phonics. Children who can read non-words should have the skills to decode almost any unfamiliar word. Nonsense words will also feature in the Year One Phonics Screening check in the summer term.
What is the Phonics Screening Check?
The national Phonics Screening Check was introduced in 2012 to all Year 1 pupils. It is a short, statutory assessment to ensure that children are making sufficient progress in the phonics skills to read words and are on track to become fluent readers who can enjoy reading for pleasure and for learning.
Useful websites for Parents
Please find a list of websites that you may find useful in helping you and your child to learn about phonics. Games and fun activity websites are also included.
http://jollylearning.co.uk/ - Games and information for parents
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEzfpod5w_Q (how to blend)
For further information please visit the Read Write Inc website:
How to further support your child at home with reading
100 best books
Ideas for themed book activities
You can also visit the Book Trust website for some great tips around reading with your child.
It is our intent to build an English curriculum which develops learning and results in the acquisition of knowledge and skills so that all pupils know more, remember more and understand more.
We wanted to design a curriculum with appropriate subject knowledge, skills and understanding in Speech and Language, Reading and Writing as set out in the National Curriculum so that children can know more, remember more and understand more to help them reach and exceed their potential at Valley Invicta Primary School at Holborough Lakes and beyond.
Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. Please click on the link to review our Writing and grammar scheme.
With regards to writing, we intend for pupils to be able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. To be able to do this effectively, pupils will focus on developing effective transcription and effective composition. They will also develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We also intend for pupils to leave school being able to use fluent, legible and speedy handwriting.
Please click the link below for information about how we teach progression in writing, year by year.
Information for parents
Accelerated reader is a system used by the school to encourage the development of reading skills. Elements for reading success using Accelerated Reader
1. Determine reading level - Children take a short reading test, the result if which determines the current reading ability and suggests a range of book levels. This will provide children with books that will keep them challenged without causing frustration.
2. Book selection - Once the children know their reading range, they are able to choose books within the range that interest them from the books available in our library.
3. Taking the AR quiz - Once children have read their book and are fully comfortable with the content, they are able to take online comprehension quiz or vocabulary test. Once the quiz has been completed the children receive instant feedback on how they have done, including the opportunity to review inaccurate answers. To pass a test children need to achieve 60% accuracy?
4. Target setting - Each child is set a target to aim for. As these are achieved they receive online awards as well as physical certificates to show their progress.
Children's reading achievements are celebrated within the school in many ways, including classroom displays to track and show progress, to the issuing of Ready Reader certificates during weekly celebration assemblies.
For more information, please follow the link below:
What is Oracy?
Oracy is the ability to express yourself clearly and communicate with others effectively through spoken language.A key part of oracy is for children to think carefully about the language they’re using, and tailor it to their subject, purpose and audience. For example, a Year 6 pupil should understand that they need to use simpler words and sentence structures when explaining the rules of a game to a Reception child than they would if they were with their peers.
Oracy involves embracing different speaking skills, such as:
- Discussion: exchanging ideas with others
- Instruction: telling someone what to do, or explaining facts
- Dialogue: having a conversation with someone, listening and showing an interest in what they say
Oracy isn’t, however, just about being a good talker – or talking lots. It also includes listening to others, and responding appropriately. So much in life depends on being a good communicator, so it’s vital that children learn the importance of oracy from a young age.
‘Good communication and language skills support children’s ability to learn, think about and understand the world, and interact with others,’
Indeed, children who start school with limited communication skills are six times less likely than their peers to reach the expected standards in English at the end of Year 6. Good oracy also leads to improved performance in other curriculum areas, including maths and science.
Developing early oracy skills isn’t just important for children’s education, though. Children who communicate well are more likely to form good relationships with other children and adults, and may be less prone to behaviour sanctions as they can express their frustrations verbally rather than lashing out or losing their temper. Focusing on oracy in primary schools has a big impact on children well into the future.
Children who are good communicators are less likely to have mental health problems as adults, possibly because they’re more able to express their feelings.
Good oracy skills also help them secure employment later in life, with over two thirds of employers rating literacy as one of their three most important considerations when recruiting school leavers. At Holborough Lakes we believe that embedding oracy into the curriculum is key to improving children’s life chances.’
7 ways to promote oracy at home
Try these techniques to help your child become a more confident communicator, in school and at home.
1. Read aloud to your child
‘Reading aloud to your child, well beyond the age they can read for themselves, combines the benefits of talking, listening and storytelling within one activity that helps children build their vocabulary, learn to express their thoughts, and understand the structure of language,’
2. Record a video diary
Many kids aspire to being vloggers or YouTube stars, so encourage them to start a video diary, either to chart their everyday life or to record special occasions like birthdays and holidays. For safety’s sake, keep these within the family rather than broadcasting them online.
3. Play word games
Games like 20 Questions, Guess Who? and I Spy are great for helping children use descriptive language and think critically about what they’re saying.
4. Talk about their day
Ask your child, ‘What did you do today?’ and they’ll often claim they can’t remember, so find different ways to talk about what they’ve been up to. Eating your evening meal as a family is a good way to encourage conversation, while older kids are often more chatty in the car, where they feel less like they’re being interrogated. You could also try our tips for asking the right questions to elicit information.
5. Phone a friend (or relative)
Persuade your child to take a break from text and WhatsApp and develop their speaking skills by making an actual phone call. Encouraging them to speak to different family members on the phone or on a video call will build confidence.
6. Go on a nature walk
This is a great pre-phonics activity for young children, who can be encouraged to listen carefully to the sounds they hear – from traffic to birdsong – and describe them. They can also describe the natural sights they see, such as trees, animals and birds and the sky.
7. Sign them up for a club
Joining extracurricular clubs is a good opportunity for your child to converse with different people outside the home or school environment. Many of them also involve taking instructions (such as being coached in sporting techniques or to complete science or art projects), and introduce them to different vocabulary relating to their new hobby.
The National Literacy Trust’s Words for Life programme has lots of great tips and activity ideas to encourage speaking, reading and writing skills in children from birth to 11 years.