English - Reading and Writing
Our Curriculum Intent - Reading
At Studfall Infant Academy, we believe that our children deserve the very best opportunities to develop the skills necessary to read, write and speak fluently. We offer an exciting and multi-sensory curriculum where we encourage our children to express their thoughts and ideas.
Reading at Studfall Infant Academy
At Studfall Infant Academy reading is highly valued. When children learn to read at an early age, they have greater general knowledge, a wider range of vocabulary, they are more fluent readers, and they have improved attention spans and better concentration.
Learning and activities are planned and based around carefully chosen books and stories. All children access a language and story rich environment, from Nursery to Year 2 with all classes having a cosy and inviting reading area with a variety of books that link in with their interests and the topic that is being taught.
We foster our children’s interests by providing access to books, story sacks and small world toys to act out a story as part of their first experiences of literacy. As they progress, links to role-play are also made, which helps to develop skills such as empathy, problem-solving, and morality.
We believe that reading opens the door to early academic success and imparts a love of learning. It ignites creativity, sparks curiosity, and stimulates the imagination in our young children.
Reading is at the very heart of our curriculum; it is proven to improve cognitive skills and help along the process of cognitive development. Reading aloud to our children provides them with background knowledge on their young world and helps them make sense of what they see, hear, and read.
The sooner our children learn to read, the more opportunities they will have to encounter the written word. More exposure leads to better spelling, grammar, writing, and oral communication and so enabling our children to achieve their full potential.
Reading at home
You can really help your child’s progress if you practise their reading with them at home and ensure that they bring their book bag to school every day.
Your child will have a home/school reading record book, please write a short comment when you have listened to your child read at home.
We use EPIC reading - which is an online library- in our taught sessions, where the interactivity of the books is valuable. This scheme also links up with National Geographic - meaning we have a wealth of access to non-fiction books too.
Miss Kerry Swan
Phonics and Spellings
The teaching and learning of phonics and spellings in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage One at Studfall Infant Academy is underpinned by the use of an effective, bespoke systematic phonics programme. This is taught alongside the National Curriculum requirements for spellings in years 1 and 2. The teaching of phonics will follow the teaching sequence set out in the Read, Write, Inc. programme where children are taught the grapheme-phoneme correspondence in a clearly defined sequence. The programme teaches the 44 main sounds in the English language and these are called ‘Speed Sounds’. We also use the Letters and Sounds Programme to enhance the approaches we use with teaching phonics. Throughout the school, the reading and spelling of common exception words will also be taught. These are words that cannot be spelt using phonic knowledge alone.
In the first phase of Phonics for our Nursery children we concentrate on developing speaking and listening skills, phonological awareness (identifying sound patterns in spoken words) and oral blending and segmenting skills. Their language skills are developed through carefully organised activities and a broad and rich language curriculum with speaking and listening at its centre.
We then move onto learning rhyming words and the letter sounds that words begin with. When the children are ready we move onto the Read, Write Inc. phonics scheme to start teaching the letters and sounds.
In Reception the children are taught all of their letter sounds and some 'digraphs' (which is where two letters join together to make one sound like 'sh') following the Read, Write, Inc. phonics scheme.
In Year One and Year Two, children are then taught a new set of digraphs and trigraphs, which focus on alternative spellings of sounds already introduced. Children also learn new sounds and spelling rules set out in the statutory National Curriculum Spelling scheme for Year One and Year Two.
Download the Year One and Year Two Spelling Schemes below
As a school we use a handwriting scheme called Kinetic Letters. The programme develops successful writers by improving shoulder and pelvic girdle strength ensuring children are ready to write. It then teaches families of letters using a multi-sensory approach which provides children with the skills to write with stamina, flow and fluency. The programme has four threads:
• Making bodies stronger
• Holding the pencil (for speed, comfort and legibility)
• Learning the letters
• Flow and fluency
In Nursery the children are encouraged to build up their core strength, gross and fine motor skills through exciting activities such as messy play, climbing apparatus, cutting, pegging, playing musical instruments and mark-making.
In Reception the children initially learn to form the letters through large body movements and gradually move onto smaller movements, until they are ready to write on paper, whiteboards and with materials like sand, shaving foam and corn flour. Children will be taught how to hold their pencil correctly and how to develop the correct posture when writing.
At Key Stage One, children continue to learn to write their letters correctly, linked by the moves made to form each letter. We encourage children to use the correct starting position for each letter and produce letters of a uniform size. When the children can form their letters correctly and sit them neatly on the line, they will be ready to learn how to join their handwriting.
Download the Kinetic Letters Booklet below