We will reach our full potential with the help of God
The skills of reading, writing, speaking and listening are vitally important, and will have a direct influence and impact on a child’s progress in all other areas of the curriculum. By giving children these skills we are unlocking future academic success and also positive mental well-being. At St Andrew’s C.E. First School our aim is to develop a love of reading and writing which will continue well into a child’s future.
Children access writing opportunities from our youngest children in Reception right through to Year 4. Daily English lessons explore quality texts and give the children chance to develop their writing and reading skills. We follow the approach of writing for a purpose and children are encouraged to write independently in a variety of forms on a regular basis. For example, these may be imaginative stories, retelling of a well known story, a recount of an event, an information text, a letter or instructions. Children are encouraged to use word banks and word books to help with spellings and later on they may use dictionaries.
Many opportunities are made for our children to become confident speakers and careful listeners. They are encouraged to discuss problems and ideas in pairs or groups and to feed this back to the class. We also use role-play activities, drama and assemblies to give children confidence to speak in larger groups. Children who require more support with speaking and listening skills are given this within class.
From the beginning of Reception children are taught to form each letter of the alphabet correctly, whilst learning the letter name and its sound. From Year 1 onwards children are taught to write in a cursive style. Children in Year 1 begin by learning joins for digraphs and trigraphs, moving on to practising these joins in other words. By the end of Year 2 children are using a cursive style. By the time children leave us in Year 4 children use a legible, cursive style.
Children at St Andrew’s are taught phonics from their first full day in Reception. We want to start them off on the best possible journey in reading. We use Phonics Bug to teach phonics to the end of Year 1, with the actions and songs from Jolly Phonics. We find this blended approach complements Quality First Teaching. Any children who still need further phonics input after Year 1 access intervention sessions. Following on from phonics, children access Spelling Shed to support the teaching of spelling across the rest of school.
Children are immersed in language and story in our school. Teaching in Early Years is based on texts every week,both fiction and fact books. Daily story time is a strong part of the routine and children enjoy accessing books in Continuous Provision. Story time continues through the school and children love to share their favourite texts with each other. Children are able to access the school library with their class to enjoy a story or to borrow texts. We also have Reading Champions who open up the library during lunchtimes. They share stories with younger children and guide them to books they might enjoy. Children take home reading books closely matched to their phonetic ability. Once they have cracked the phonic code children are guided through the choice of reading book within book bands. Adults in school also listen to the children read these books. A reading diary is used to liaise with family and friends. Children also enjoy Hooked on Books sessions with their class teacher three times a week, where they develop their reading and comprehension skills with texts closely matched to their reading ability. These sessions also provide teachers with the opportunities to challenge and progress children’s reading skills further.
At St Andrew's there is a 2 year rolling programme that takes account of the children being taught in mixed age classes in Key Stage 1 (Years 1 & 2) and Key Stage 2 (Years 3 & 4).
Sept 2023 to July 2024 is Year B; Sept 2024 to July 2025 will be Year A