We build upon the structure given by the National Curriculum. We aim to provide a rich and stimulating environment where language is used in a variety of forms. We recognise that language is the foundation for all learning and we aim to develop children who are confident and competent in its use. Children are encouraged to listen and respond thoughtfully to others. We have additional support throughout the school which enables us to develop suitable programmes of work should a child be finding certain aspects of English difficult.
At Charsfield and Dennington Schools reading is given high priority with all children. Children are taught to read using a variety of approaches using an extensive range of fiction and non-fiction material as well as opportunities for independent research via the school’s library. We aim to encourage enjoyment of reading and to develop independence. Reading is regarded as a tool for learning. Positive home/school links are greatly valued and are fundamental to successful reading development.
We teach children to write for a range of purposes and audiences. Children are taught a cursive style of handwriting, and due emphasis is given to the development of accurate spelling. Children are encouraged to draft work and to produce well-considered and presented work for publication. Attention is drawn to the richness of language, enabling them to consider the similarities and differences between Standard and Non Standard English and the features of writing from different cultures.
Phonics teaches children to decode words by their component sounds. The emphasis in early years teaching is on learning the smallest units of sound (phonemes). Children are taught the letters that represent these sounds (graphemes) and how to blend these sounds to make whole words. Children will learn around 40 phonic sounds and the different combinations of letters used to represent these. Most sounds can be spelt a number of different ways and children in year one will begin to learn alternative spellings in the Spring term.
Phonics is taught daily in reception and year one through discrete sessions lasting around twenty minutes. We follow 'Letters and Sounds' by the DfES which systematically details which phonic sounds should be taught through a number of phases beginning with phase 1 which is taught in pre-school up to phase 6 which is taught at the end of year one or in the beginning of year two.
A phonics session will be delivered every morning following 'Letters and Sounds' scheme of work. This is a fast pace programme, which involves teaching your child the skills to segment (seperate) and blend (put together) the phonemes (sounds) within the spoken and written language. The Letters and Sounds Scheme of work starts at Phase 1 and goes to Phase 6. Various activities and media are used to teach the children each phase. All children can access 'PhonicsPlay.co.uk' at home using a username and password provided by the class teacher.
All children undergo a phonics screening check at the end of year one which involves a short test conducted by the class teacher on a one-to-one basis. For more information about this please either see your child's class teacher or use the link below.
We hold a phonics information session for parents/carers of children learning phonics in the Autumn term each year. In this session we will show you how we teach phonics and some of the strategies we use in school plus how you can help your child at home.
Please also refer to the information attached by the DfES which includes a link to a useful website about phonics teaching.