Our subject leader is Mrs Nicola Moorhouse
At Thornton-in-Craven we aim to develop a love of writing and reading through providing rich and meaningful literature experiences. We believe that a quality English curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. This starts with reading and the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics. We know that to access all the curriculum, children need to read widely and fluently. From the second week in reception, we start teaching sounds through a daily phonics session using our chosen phonics scheme 'essential letters and sounds'
We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. Through choosing quality texts, we intend to develop a love of reading and allow children to recognise the pleasure they can get from their reading, as well as an understanding that reading allows them to discover new knowledge, revisit prior knowledge and understand more about what they learn, fuelling their imagination for ideas to use in their own work.
Children are exposed to writing with purpose to engage children in the process of writing. Children write in the style of different genres, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Where possible, cross-curricular links are encouraged to facilitate links between English work and other areas of the curriculum. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum.
English is planned for, following the EYFS Framework and KS1 and KS2 national curriculum. English is planned for following the schools Literacy LTP which includes a wide range of high-quality selected texts.
Children are provided with a broad range of books through classroom libraries and chosen class novels which have all been chosen to inspire and provide high quality text choices to demonstrate a wide variety of writing styles, topics and rich vocabulary. All classrooms have class reading areas with subject specific books and other age-appropriate reading for pleasure, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.
All children will have a range of non-fiction, fiction and poetry texts read to them in all year groups. Reading books are closely matached to children's phonics level until they know the phonics sounds and can read with increasing fluency and comprehension.
Guided Reading – all children from yr2-6 take part in weekly Guided Reading. Guided Reading Sessions are planned by all teachers to teach a range of skills and techniques which enable children to comprehend the meaning of what they read and develop their understanding of the vocabulary used by authors.
Home Reading – all children are expected to read at home and take home ‘home’ reading books. All children in Reception and Year 1 take home a reading book. This is read three times in order to develop decoding, fluency and comprehension.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Phonics is taught daily to all children in Foundation Stage and Year 1.
Writing planning is linked to quality reading texts recommended by CLPE The Power of Reading, and literacy shed. Opportunities for children to apply their writing are planned and links to the wider curriculum are made when doing this. Writing is assessed at appropriate times when key skills can be applied in a meaningful way and next steps identified by the teacher and through self and peer assessment.
At Thornton-in-Craven Community Primary and Nursery School we teach 'Systematic Synthetic Phonics' using the Essential Letters and Sounds (ELS) programme published by Oxford reading Tree. Our reading books are carefully matched to the phonic sounds that the children are being taught in each stage of ELS.
The children are introduced to this in our Nursery and Reception Classes and children progress through the phases during Key Stage 1. They learn how to read and spell words using their phonic knowledge.
We use a wide range of teaching techniques and resources in our daily phonics sessions.
ELS has been taught in school since the Spring term and we have seen an increase in our phonics screening scores in Y1. ELS teaches children to read using a systematic synthetic phonics approach. It is designed to be used as part of an early learning environment that is rich in talk and story, where children experience the joy of books and language whilst rapidly acquiring the skills to become fluent independent readers and writers.
ELS teaches children to:
• decode by identifying each sound within a word and blending them together to read fluently
• encode by segmenting each sound to write words accurately.
Teachers follow the spelling objectives for their year group outlined in the National Curriculum. In addition to these spellings, children work through the high frequency words for their year group. Children are encouraged to use different strategies to help them spell correctly, including phonics, use of word lists or mats and dictionaries.
Pupils from Year 2 upwards are taught Spelling 3 times weekly where key spelling rules and patterns are explored and effective strategies for learning, remembering, understanding and applying are taught.
Speaking and Listening
All children are encouraged to develop their speaking and listening skills throughout their school journey with opportunities to public speak in assemblies, nativity and summer shows. Children are given a wide range of opportunities to use and develop their Speaking and Listening skills to help them with the writing process across all areas of the curriculum
As a result we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas. Our phonics screening scores improved in 2022.