Mastery English: Phonics, Reading and Writing
We teach English through our Whole School Cornerstones scheme which outlines which National Curriculum objectives will be taught in each topic. These ensure that over the course of the year the objectives for each year group are covered, and where there is a mixed class we aim to cover all relevant objectives by the end of the Key Stage. We apply the principles of a mastery curriculum to our English lessons:
The Principles and Features Characterised in our English Curriculum:
- Teachers reinforce an expectation that all pupils are capable of achieving high standards in English.
- The large majority of pupils progress through the curriculum content at the same pace. Differentiation is achieved through additional support and encouraging children’s individual flair and fluency.
- Interventions focus on gaps in knowledge and developing a growth mindset in order to ensure all children achieve.
- Teaching is underpinned by using high quality texts and high quality examples from the teacher which focus on skills to be taught. These texts are then analysed in depth with the children in order for them to learn and apply those skills.
- Grammar and punctuation skills are practiced and consolidated until all children have a firm understanding of how to apply them in to their own work.
Read, Write, Inc. Phonics is our inclusive reading and phonics programme aimed at pupils reading at expected levels for end of Year 2 or below. It also teaches synthetic phonics. Pupils learn the 44 common sounds in the English language and how to blend them to read and spell. The scheme includes both a reading and a writing focus. RWI sessions are timetabled daily, as the continuity and pace of the programme is key to accelerating the progress of pupils’ reading development. The scheme aims to teach pupils to:
- apply the skill of blending phonemes in order to read words.
- segment words into their constituent phonemes in order to spell words.
- learn that blending and segmenting words are reversible processes.
- read high frequency words that do not conform to regular phonic patterns.
- read texts and words that are within their phonic capabilities as early as possible.
- decode texts effortlessly so all their resources can be used to comprehend what they read.
- spell effortlessly so that all their resources can be directed towards composing their writing.
Teacher generated planning is minimised as the planning is integrated into the teacher’s handbooks and follows set routines. Each group leader has a printed format for planning ditties or storybook lessons.
Reading for Pleasure
At Aureus Primary School, we are passionate about reading.
We are a group of adults who read for pleasure and want our children and wider community to acquire that love as well. We believe that reading unlocks the imagination, provides an escape to other worlds, improves wellbeing, fosters relationships and teaches empathy for others.
Research shows a direct correlation between reading for pleasure and higher educational outcomes.
In order for children to connect with their wider communities and relate to others, it is important for them to connect with what they read. We believe that by fostering a love of reading through free choice of literature, children will become more engaged with what they read.
Our goal is to ensure that children leave our care as literate citizens who have a wealth of experiences to enable them to share knowledge and opinions, but most importantly, pass on their love of reading to others.
We will achieve this through:
- Creating a book corner and a class library for each class
- Having a variety of good quality texts and genres available for children to access
- Listening to children’s interests and favourite stories
- Daily reading of books and stories at the end of the school day
- Incorporating regular book sharing times where children self select books to read to each other
- Holding informal book clubs after school and at lunchtimes
- Promoting which book each staff member is reading on email signatures and doors
- Developing an attractive and well-stocked library which caters to a wide range of interests
- Ensuring each classroom has a stock of books and has book suggestions displayed for the children to try
- Communicating with authors about their books
- Modelling a love and passion for reading and books
- Holding themed ‘book days’ and celebrating World Book Day
- Inviting parents into the classroom to share their favourite books
- Creating a Book Buddy opportunity for volunteers to read with children
- Allowing children to choose a story book to take home and share with their families
- Making reading visible around school
- Creating displays about reading in the libraries
- Regularly visiting our local and regional libraries