Reception and KS1
At Ascot Road we use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their Literacy. RWI is a method of learning centred round letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing. RWI begins in Reception, with most children off the scheme by Year 2.
Once children are off the scheme, they are able to access a rich, text based English Curriculum linked to their Topics in Cornerstones.
This year, we have revamped our approach to English and have begun our journey to following the Talk For Writing philosophy. This is based upon three stages: imitate, innovate and invent. Children are taught to follow a writing structure to allow success in all areas of writing. Each term children will learn about and write their own piece of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Within these units the key grammar and punctuation skills are taught in context to give children modelled examples and a clear understanding of how they are used to improve writing. The imitate stage focuses on unpicking the features and structures of a model text and using story maps to learn a text by heart (KS1) and 'boxing up' (KS2). Children then innovate their own writing in short bursts based on the model text and start to plan their own version of the text they are studying. Finally, the invention stage, where children create independent pieces of writing showcasing the skills they have learnt throughout the unit. We believe our new approach will equip children with the skills and confidence to become successful independent writers by the end of KS2 as they transition to their secondary education.
In KS2, Children read a range of high quality text linked to their topic in English. Children take part in Whole-class reading sessions which mean that children of all attainment bands are immersed in the same high-quality literature and the discussions that these texts promote. More time can be given to modelling skills rather than just assessing ability.
We use the programme No Nonsense Spelling. The focus of the programme is on the teaching of spelling, which embraces knowledge of spelling conventions – patterns and rules; but integral to the teaching is the opportunity to promote the learning of spellings, including statutory words, common exceptions and personal spellings. The teaching of Punctuation and Grammar is weaved through our Cornerstones Curriculum and taught through our English lessons.
In Early Years, Children begin their handwriting journey by practising fine motor skills. They use a range of strategies to strengthen their hands such as using scissors to cut, activities that encourage a pincer grip and other fun resources that allows children to practice using their hands and fingers. Once children are confident with this, they begin to move onto letter formation using pens and pencils. In Read Write Inc, children are used letter rhymes to support them to form their letters correctly. Once children have perfected this, they are then taught to use cursive writing to join their letters correctly and consistently.