We follow the Letters and Sounds Phonics Scheme to aid children in acquiring the knowledge of letter sounds and their shapes as well as the skills of segmenting and blending sounds to create words.
We practise and develop our reading skills through quiet reading time, guided reading sessions and whole class story time, all of which are timetabled on a daily basis throughout the Infants and Junior school. St Ethelbert’s has recently purchased the Accelerated Reader programme is used to support children with their reading both in school and at home, as from September.
Through the teaching of Letters and Sounds the children learn to associate a sound with a grapheme (the shape of the sound on the page). From Reception upwards, we teach the cursive handwriting style which enable the children to progress to a joined-up style as and when they are ready. Handwriting pens are available for the children to use in the Juniors only when they have a clear and concise, cursive handwriting style.
The children learn to spell words using the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. Spellings of High Frequency words, Common Exception words found in the National Curriculum and any key topic related vocabulary are used for spelling checks, completed on a weekly basis as homework.
In the early stages and beyond, the children apply skills of segmenting and blending sounds to help them identify and record sounds in a word and to record graphemes on the page. They learn to build words and then create sentences. They add punctuation and begin to check their work makes sense. As the children progress through the year groups, a variety of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation is learnt and applied according to different genres taught. Our expectation is that all writing across the curriculum meets the high expectations we have in our English lessons in regards to presentation, grammar, spelling, punctuation and variety of format.
Speech and Language
Speech and language skills are assessed as children enter the school and are constantly monitored by teachers throughout their time at St. Ethelbert’s. There are many opportunities for children to express themselves through group, whole class and carpet activities, guided time, guided reading time, circle time, specific group work and drama. There are also many other classroom and school activities available to the children, such as; hot seating, debating, school council and eco council meetings, shows, and assemblies.