Creating and inspiring a love of English is extremely important to us at Knights Enham. We do this by giving our children as many opportunities as possible to read, write and spell words for themselves and to explore new words and challenging vocabulary. Across school our children are given the chance to experience individual sounds and words and a range of texts, including stories, poems, non-fiction texts and video clips.
In our English curriculum we want to expose children to a range of texts and give them chances to explore poetry in an accessible way. We have introduced poems for children to learn throughout their time at the infant school - these will be shared with classes with regular chances to practise and even a chance to perform as a class during an assembly each half term. Reception children will learn one poem a term that they will aim to be able to recite by heart. Key Stage 1 children will have a poem each half term. We encourage families to share these at home and even find other poems that they enjoy and can send into school to share with the teachers. Poems can be a fun way to explore new vocabulary together and share opinions about which ones you enjoy most!
We think it is important for children to develop a love of reading and to enjoy a range of books. We have a well resourced school library, which each class can visit each week and children can take a book to share at home. We have a coloured book-band system for home reading which children will progress through as their reading becomes more fluent. Although reading speed is important, fluent reading means to be able to understand the text and talk accurately about what has been read. Sometimes books need to be re-read to aid this understanding. Children read individually each day during ‘Reading Routine’ and this is sometimes on their own or with an adult. We also use Guided Reading sessions each week to enable children to access a more challenging book than they would read on their own, with the support of an adult. We celebrate children’s love of reading and their hard work practising at home, by giving out reading rewards.
Phonics and Spelling
We use the Essential Letters and Sounds programme throughout the school in our Phonics teaching. Our youngest learners in Owlets and Owls are taught to recognise environmental sounds and to discriminate between different sounds. This is further developed in Puffins and Robins, where children are taught to recognise the sounds that letters make (phonemes) and to write these sounds (graphemes). Children are then taught to blend sounds together to read words. By the time children get to Year One, they have a good grasp of blending sounds for reading, segmenting sounds for spelling and they are ready to learn about alternative spellings for the same sound. In Kingfishers and Jays (Year 2), children can spell many words independently and their phonics teaching has more of a focus on spelling patterns and grammar. In Year 2 children also have daily spelling lessons which focus on aspects such as homophones and suffixes. Parents and carers are encouraged to help children practise their spellings at home.
In EYFS children are given lots of opportunities to develop their mark-making and handwriting skills using a range of media. We take the writing outside with us and encourage mark-making in all areas of learning. Children are given lots of opportunities to write for a range of purposes, practising their letter formation and writing about real experiences.
In Key Stage One, children are expected to form their letters correctly, cursive school style, then as soon as they are ready, children will join letters using horizontal and diagonal joins. We have daily handwriting practice and this is also encouraged at home. Children who are correctly joining their letters will be awarded a Pen License.
We celebrate children’s writing throughout the school on display boards, and our children take great pride in their written work. In EYFS children learn to make marks and form letters on a large scale, using anything from paintbrushes, to chunky chalk, to mud on a stick! We want our children to be confident in picking up any implement and writing with it. This soon progresses into writing letters and words, and small pieces of writing like their names, or labelling a picture. In Puffins and Robins, children are taught to write in sentences so they are ready for year one. In Key Stage One, writing is taught through an exciting text, as part of the topic the classes are learning about. Inspiration for writing is taken from drama, retelling stories, ideas from books and from adults modelling good quality writing. There are lots of opportunities for children to write whole stories, poems, newspaper articles and lots of other things! We also have lessons in which we focus on specific skills, which children can use to improve thier writing. We celebrate our work in Friday assemblies, when each class has a turn at presenting something they are proud of.
We believe that all our children have the right to
Powerful learning experiences – Feel safe and be happy – Be treated as individuals
We work together to respect
Everyone in our community regardless of difference
We realise that we all have a responsiblity to
Make the best contribution we can