At Lynch Hill School Primary Academy, we place great emphasis on the teaching the basic skills of reading and writing so that children can access learning across the curriculum and become independent.
Literacy, or English, as it is more commonly referred to, involves key areas:
- Speaking and Listening
At Lynch Hill we are passionate about reading and we endeavour to make sure that all our children develop a love of reading and that every child leaves us as a reader.
In the Early Years, pupils are taught primarily through focused play activities. During the Reception year, pupils are gradually introduced to aspects of English and are introduced to Read Write Inc Phonics, a complete literacy programme for 3 to 7 year-olds, learning to read and write.
Although reading is taught using synthetic phonics, the programme is so much more than that. It covers all of the new National Curriculum requirements for language and literacy. All children in Key Stage 1 have daily phonics sessions, beginning with simple sounds and building up to more complex sound combinations. This means that they learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading but it also helps children to learn to spell. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. The children also practice reading (and spelling) words such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. We call these ‘red words’ because they cannot be sounded out phonetically. In these sessions, the children practice their reading with books that match the phonics and the ‘red words’ they know. They start to believe they can read, and approach the reading with a “can do” attitude and improves their confidence. The teachers read to the children, too, so that they are exposed to a range of texts such as stories, poetry and information books, building their vocabulary in order to help their writing.
As children move through the school, they are given more choice and take a greater responsibility for their reading. The children read in small groups, as well as individually on a weekly basis. By the time the children leave Key Stage 2, we aim for the children to become fluent and reflective readers, able to tackle a wide variety of reading materials and to make good choices for their reading.
At Lynch Hill, we operate a home-school reading system so that children can take books home to read with an adult. We have two well-stocked libraries, which ensure that children have access to a wide range of material. The pupils in Key Stage 2 also have access to our e-library where the pupils can select eBooks from home.
Supporting your child with their daily reading is one of the best ways you can help them. Here are some tips to encourage and support your child at home:
- Talk about the story and the characters as you go along.
- Visit the library and borrow books you enjoy reading together.
- Choose subjects your child prefers - factual books or stories.
- Look for words in everyday life, not just books. Read newspaper headlines, shop signs or menus in cafes.
- Make reading fun.
Writing is an important tool for learning and plays a vital role in all areas of the curriculum.
At Lynch Hill, children are given many opportunities to write for different purposes and audiences. We aim for a high standard of presentation, and the children follow a cursive style of handwriting throughout the school. Through our teaching we also provide time for planning, editing and revising and encouraging pupils, throughout the process, to read as a writer and write as a reader.
At Lynch Hill, we want to make sure that every child learns to be a competent and confident speller so we dedicate time each day for specific spelling lessons. We take a structured approach and the children learn and practice not only spelling patterns, but also how they relate to the sounds, thereby giving them the building blocks to be able to spell almost any word.
When the children have completed our reading programme (Read, Write, Inc.) and enter KS2, they continue to focus on a sound and its graphemes over a one to two week period. The child not only learns how to spell the related words, but also how to adapt it, for example by making it into a plural or adding ‘ed’.
Speaking and Listening
Pupils are encouraged and helped to talk clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate their ideas and feelings. They are taught that, to become effective listeners, they need to be attentive and concentrate. Opportunities to develop these skills include presenting to an audience, class discussions, role play and following instructions.
We believe in the importance of children mastering spoken and written literacy skills. Learning to understand the structure of the language is seen as integral to the development of reading and writing skills.
How to help your child: We teach the Grammar curriculum throughout Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 and have been asked by several parents how they can help their children with this aspect of English. One way of achieving this is to become familiar with the terminology used in the curriculum and to use this with children whenever an opportunity arises. With this in mind, we have discovered a fantastic 'Jargon Buster' which gives explanations of all of the terms used together with examples. If you would like to read more please go to the Oxford University Press or click on the link below: