Each day Years 1 and 2 spend time on English. Within the allocated time, emphasis will be placed on reading, handwriting, writing, grammar, spelling and speaking and listening. At Oakwood we encourage all of our children to believe that they are readers and writers. We aim to engage all genders and abilities to be independent readers and writers.
In the English session emphasis is placed on whole class shared learning experience based around a story, text extract, poem or information book. We also look at letter sounds and groups of letter sounds that are used within words as well as learning to read key words that appear in books throughout the day. We have a wide range of reading material including information, poetry and story books.
Our aim is to develop a love of books amongst our children and to give them the necessary skills to become independent learners. We use read Write Inc. reading books as our main reading scheme which is matched to our teaching of phonics, but we will also send other books home for you to read with your children.
The children will read at least once a week in a small group with adult support. These groups focus on the children’s next steps of learning. We use a variety of books, fiction and non-fiction for these sessions.
Books are sent home so that parents / carers can be involved in reading with their children. It is a great help to your child if you can encourage your child to practise their reading at home for 5 or 10 minutes each day, as well as practising any key words or letter sounds that are sent home. Please talk about the book with your child to make sure they understand what they are reading too. We believe that parental support and involvement with reading is invaluable and that it is most important to share and enjoy books together.
The Read Write Inc. programme focuses on children learning word building/word recognition skills as these are essential for children to read and spell words accurately with ease. Read Write Inc. enables children to see the relationship between reading and spelling from an early stage, such that the teaching of one reinforces understanding of the other. Reading and spelling are treated as reversible processes. All our children are taught at least 30 minutes of Read Write Inc. every day from Reception through to Year 2.
In reception, Year 1 and Year 2; from January the children will be grouped according to their phonic ability.
We have found that children practising their letters and the sounds they make, both at home and school make the quickest progress. Read Write Inc. information sharing sessions will be offered during the first term of Reception to help you support your child at home.
Speaking and Listening
We provide many opportunities for children to talk, question and express their thoughts about various tasks. We encourage our children to speak and perform in front of a range of audiences to develop their confidence.
Handwriting and Writing
Handwriting can be very difficult for some children. Children have discrete handwriting lessons which focus on the correct formation of letters and letter groups as well as some time in each English lesson looking at letter formation. Children in Year 2 are taught how to join their letters in preparation for transition to our junior school.
Writing is in response to a wide variety of experiences is encouraged throughout the school and children are also encouraged to write for different purposes. Children are given opportunities to write stories, poetry, letters, instructions, recipes, menus, lists and accounts of experiences. These are regularly revisited in order to improve children’s knowledge and understanding and enable each child to be the best writer that they can be. The children are taught how to write in sentences with the correct use of capital letters and punctuation.
We use the “Talk for Writing” approach from Reception to Year 2. Talk for Writing is an engaging Teaching Framework developed by Pie Corbett and supported by Julia Strong. It is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn. It enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version.
Children in Year 1 and Year 2 now receive a discrete grammar session each week. Grammar is also included in daily English lessons to embed the skills they learn.