We are passionate about English at St. Teresa's and we frequently share the importance of this subject with our pupils. We enrich the children's learning by inviting Authors into school, exploring poetry outdoors, using talk for writing and writing workshops. Our focus is on developing vocabulary, and the key skills relating to becoming life long readers and writers.
High-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.
The overarching aim for English in the national curriculum is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
Phonics at St. Teresa's Catholic Primary School
At St. Teresa's we believe a systematic approach to phonics is the most effective means of teaching children the essential skills for reading and writing. We use 'Floppy Phonics' across the Early Years and Key Stage 1.
The aims of our planned programme are as follows;
· To equip the children to become readers and writers for life
· To encourage children to see learning to spell as part of the process of learning to write
· To understand word construction
· To develop vocabulary and the ability to explore words
· To apply phonic knowledge to reading and writing
Teaching and Learning
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
In our Reception class high quality phonic work is taught systematically. 'Floppy Phonics' is used as the bases for planning activities within the appropriate phase. The teacher also uses a range of other resources too. Within Reception the children will focus on Phase 2, 3 and begin to move onto Phase 4.
In KS1 the teachers continue to use 'Floppy's Phonics' supplemented with other high quality games and activities to enhance teaching and learning.
In Year 1 and 2 the children continue to work with the class teacher and teaching assistant to develop and apply their new and existing phonic knowledge.
Phonics is a planned session that takes place for 20 minutes every day within the Foundation class and Key Stage 1. During the sessions outlined above the children are taught:
· Grapheme- phoneme correspondence in a clearly defined sequence
· The skill of segmenting words into their constituent phonemes to spell
· That blending and segmenting are reversible skills.
The Six Phases
This phase is where the children will start in the Reception class and it supports the development of speaking and listening.
This is the start of the systematic phonic work. Grapheme- phoneme correspondence is introduced. The children learn to segment whole words and to select letters to represent the phonemes through either writing the letters or using magnetic letters to encode words.
This phase completes the teaching of the alphabet and then moves on to sounds represented by more than one letter, learning one representation for each of the 42 phonemes.
In this stage the children start to read and spell words containing adjacent consonants. There are no new phonemes taught within this phase.
Teaching and learning within phase 5 looks at alternative spellings for some of the phonemes.
This phase marks the transition between the end of Key Stage 1 and Lower Key Stage 2. The children look much more at specific spellings e.g. see/sea. They also learn to spell words with prefixes and suffixes. Words where letters are doubled such as dripped are learnt as are words where letters are dropped e.g. come/coming.
Throughout each of the phases the children will also be taught the tricky high frequency words.
The children are encouraged to use the knowledge they have acquired in their phonics sessions in their reading and writing activities.
The children are assessed regularly by staff, using weekly evaluations of learning and assessments of blending, segmenting and application skills. The children may be asked to read a range of words appropriate to the phase being taught and teachers will always be looking for evidence of phonics being applied in written work.
In June children in Year 1 take a statutory test in phonics. This test is conducted on a one to one basis with the class teacher. The children are asked to read a selection of real and non-sense words based on the Phases outlined above. The results of these tests are reported to parents in July.
For useful videos and explanations, please click on the Oxford Owl link below.