Our English curriculum aims to help pupils develop crucial, key skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. Pupils are taught through the nationally recognised ‘Read, Write, Inc’ programme in Early Years and Key Stage One. The approach teaches children to read fundamentally using synthetic phonics (pure sounds). With this as a foundation, children are then introduced to a wide range of texts by quality authors such as Michael Rosen, Roald Dahl and Michael Morpurgo to name but a few.
Writing is a key development area for our school. We aim to provide stimulating and engaging tasks covering both fiction and non-fiction writing genres. Where possible, teachers try to simulate an experience linked to the writing task e.g. a story about a ‘camping trip’ may be introduced as the pupils enter their classroom to find a tent set up with sleeping bag, torch etc inside. Drama-based activities would then help the pupils to explore and generate their ideas for writing. ‘Everybody Write’ days are organised termly where all children in school are invited to take part in a range of exciting writing-based activities which are then celebrated through whole school displays.
In Key Stage 1 we teach literacy skills using the Read Write Inc program. RWI is a synthetic phonic programme where our children learn sets of sounds and skills to build up their reading.
The use of Fred talk, blending and segmenting teaches children to build up and decode words as well as help children to spell accurately. We use homogenous small groups which enables children to learn quickly. Children have access to enjoyable stories which match the sounds they have learnt so all children can be a successful reader.
How can I help at home?
In Key Stage 2, all of our teachers adapt an outstanding scheme of work called Wordsmith (formerly named Literacy Evolve). This engaging scheme allows all of our pupils access to a wonderful variety of texts, including e-books which can be accessed at home – perfect for some light reading in the evening! Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling is also taught throughout the scheme with our teachers using many different interactive games and activities making these basic standards fun to engage with!
Here at Castlefort JMI we are very proud of our pupils' handwriting and take particular care in our cursive/joined-up handwriting style. We now use Letter-join as the basis of our handwriting policy that covers all the requirements of the 2014 National Curriculum.
Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. At the end of Key Stage 2 all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes. We aim to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking.
As a catalyst to speedy handwriting, we encourage parents and carers to use the Letter-join resources, which will become available soon to access at home. To download the current letter formation alphabet please click on the 'Handwriting formations' document below. Please also note the new handwriting policy which has come into effect in September 2016.