At Boughton Monchelsea our aim is to promote high standards of English throughout the school through stimulating and engaging literacy lessons.
The 2014 National Curriculum aims to ensure that all pupils:
We put good quality children’s literature at the heart of English teaching, through the highly regarded ‘Power of Reading’ programme devised by ‘The Centre for Language in Primary Education’ which has supported schools in raising engagement and attainment in reading and writing for all pupils for thirteen years.
‘The Power of Reading’ programme suggests high quality texts for each year group to study and provides a selection of ideas to help teachers to develop a rich reading curriculum that enhances reading comprehension and provides meaningful contexts and purposes for writing.
We are keen to encourage a love of reading and each classroom has a well-resourced reading area with a range of literature for the children to enjoy. Book-themed displays can be seen around the school ensuring that literature is prominent. One of the highlights of the year is World Book Week when children dress up as favourite characters, and participate in a range of book-related activities.
Throughout their time in Key Stage One children are taught to develop their fluency and comprehension skills through group and individual reading. In Key Stage Two as children become more competent readers the focus is on teaching in ‘guided reading’ groups with others of a similar ability.
Phonics is taught using the Letters and Sounds programme. The children progress through Phase 1 to phase 5 throughout Reception and Year One, before moving on to our spelling programme in Year 2. All of the children take part in the National Phonics Screening Check at the end of Year One.
Support with the pronunciation of the letter sounds that children learn in school can be found in this short video clip.
Handwriting skills are taught regularly and systematically using the school’s agreed script and methods.
As children’s handwriting becomes more proficient, the importance of joined cursive handwriting and neat presentation is reinforced by staff and practised through publication of written work.
Our Handwriting Policy (below) sets out the expectations at each stage.
The teaching of writing is underpinned by regular sessions on grammar and punctuation. This is usually taught in the context of the genre of writing that is being undertaken so that newly learnt skills are practised. Children are also taught strategies for learning new spellings and encouraged to develop proof reading skills, both to correct errors and improve content, using a purple pen to amend their work.
At the beginning of each term, the children are given a list of spellings to practise. There are usually eight words to focus on each week which cover the spelling patterns and rules that the children need to learn to ensure consistency and progression across the school.
Every class has at least three short focused spelling lessons each week with a variety of interactive activities to help them learn these words and others. These include informal spelling tests and mini ‘dictation’ style assessments where children listen to a whole sentence and write it down, allowing them to really apply their knowledge. There is also be a focus on ensuring that the children spell these words correctly in their writing.
The spelling overview for each year group can be found below.