Phonics is given a high priority with daily phonic sessions taking place throughout the Academy, following the Letters and Sounds approach. A wide range of activities embeds children's learning as they move through the six phases. Teaching staff use a wide range of stimuli, including interactive activities such as Phonics Play. In Year 1 the children complete the statutory phonic screening check and those who do not pass at this stage are supported through additional interventions in Year 2 ready to take the check again.
Pupils' interest and pleasure in reading is developed as they learn to read confidently and independently. Children are exposed to a wide range of reading material throughout the school day, story time takes place in the classroom at the end of every school day and children are also read to at regular intervals throughout the day; such as assembly time, snack time and where appropriate links within curriculum lessons. Reception and Year 1 children make regular visits to the local library to extend the importance of reading for pleasure. In Reception, parents are invited to attend monthly reading sessions in their child's classroom, where they can share stories together. The Academy has a large school library and all classes have weekly opportunities to visit the library to share texts and begin to understand the structure of a library. KS1 children also have the opportunity to participate in the lending Library initiative which allows children to choose their own book to take home, enjoy, return and discuss with their peers and teachers.
All children have a home-school reading diary for effective communication regarding each child's reading progress. The Academy values parents comments and encourages all parents to hear their child read regularly every week. Children in KS1 will participate in two reading sessions a week which focus on phonics, blending and fluency skills and an additional reading session which focuses on comprehension and reading skills (VIPERS).
The Academy follows the National curriculum programme of study through the 'Talk for Writing' approach. This starts by enjoying and sharing stories which children learn to re-tell with expression and actions; our story maps are sent home so children can share their stories with their families. This stage is called imitation - by developing sentence structures orally, the principle idea is that they will then apply these structures to their writing. The next stage is Innovation, where children adapt a story structure and make changes in a supportive and structured approach. Finally, the Invention stage is where children use all the skills they have learnt to write an independent piece. There is freedom to draw upon new ideas or 'hug closely' to the shared text they know. The Fiction and Non-Fiction units are detailed on the overview document below.
Writing opportunities are planned for across the curriculum and not just in an English lesson, so that children can put their English skills into action via a wide range of opportunities.
Children in Year 1 complete two handwriting lessons a week in the Autumn Term and one a week for the remainder of the year. In Year 2 , one handwriting lesson takes place every week; the session is usually linked to spelling, grammar or phonic teaching points. The Academy encourages all children to join their handwriting in a cursive style
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