Each child in FS2 and KS1 receives a daily differentiated phonics and spelling programme for at least 20 minutes each day. We use No Nonsense Phonics which is based on the DfE Letters and Sounds Programme (2007). The scheme is grouped into phases and pupils progress from Phase 1 to Phase 6. Sessions often follow the revisit/review, teach, practise and apply model and they are often planned to include opportunities for development of speaking and listening, reading and writing. The children are also given the opportunity to practise and apply the reading and spelling rules that they have been taught within all subject areas using a cross curricular approach.
Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and 20 pseudo words) which all children will be asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words using phonic strategies.
Our reading curriculum in school aims to equip children with the skills and strategies needed to understand text so that they can develop into confident, competent readers. Through our curriculum we expose children to a range of high-quality texts in a range of genres and give them a chance to interact with them in a range of contexts all while supporting the development of vocabulary. We use the language of reciprocal reading, coupled with our own four-step process of teaching to give our children a chance discuss and interact with texts in all genres while developing their speaking and listening skills. We are a school that value reading and all our children are encouraged to share their enjoyment of books at home and at school so that we can foster a community of children who love to read.
We believe that synthetic phonics is an integral part of developing the skills of early reading and we use letters and sounds supported with the use of phonetically decodable books, which are closely matched to the children’s current phase, to ensure that our children develop the skills to become fluent readers.
Across Foundation Stage and Key stage one, our readers access age-appropriate phonics matched to year group expectations. Alongside this, those who are found to have gaps in their phonetic knowledge (identified during our regular screenings) access interventions which support them in plugging these gaps as quickly as possible so that these do not hinder their development readers. In Key Stage two, reading supports all that we do and is used throughout Topic sessions where children are encouraged to research and retrieve information independently equipping them with skills for later life. As well as this, our daily reading sessions focus around enjoying text as well as practicing the key skills needed for comprehension.
Readers will leave St. Augustine's with the skills, knowledge and adaptability to read and understand texts, a love of books and a high-quality vocabulary which will support their continuation in education and in later life.
Our writing curriculum aims to support our children into becoming confident writers capable of expressing their thoughts and feelings through writing in a range of genres. Through a combination of modelled writing, composition lessons and focused grammar and punctuation work we aim to give our children the ability to apply all the skills outlined in the national curriculum to the work that they produce. At St Augustine's, writing links closely with the development of pupils speaking and listening and we regularly provide opportunities for children to perform and read their work aloud enabling our children to become confident speakers as well as being proud of their written work.
In school, we feel that it is important that our children have as many opportunities as possible to write throughout the day and begin each day with a morning task: an open-ended question or task which children can answer however they choose. We feel strongly that children should be given opportunities to write in a way and about subjects that inspire them, so we regularly give children a chance to write independently choosing their own genre and subject. As well as this, as a school, we believe that it is important that children feel that their writing has a purpose and expect high quality written work in all subjects with their audience and the purpose of the writing in mind.
We maintain that, through our writing curriculum, pupils will leave us with a set of skills which has them fully prepared for the continuation of their journey in education as well as an understanding of how to adapt their writing style to suit many purposes, an appreciation of how a writer can craft language to impact their reader, and an enjoyment of writing creatively.