At Our Lady of Lourdes we have a clear vision which supports our children in the development of their understanding of English. Our pupils are offered a varied and engaging curriculum to inspire them and promote new skills. The love of reading is fostered, the art of speaking and listening is promoted and the enjoyment of writing is developed. All of these help us to support our children in using literature and the world around them to further themselves. The skills we harness from our language activities facilitate our children to become valued members of the community.
Reading and writing are taught closely to ensure the children recognise the links between the two and are able to transfer their skills accordingly. We provide the children with exposure to quality texts, often with cross curricular links, and opportunities to explore the language and writing techniques of a range of authors.
Reading is an essential part of everyday life at Our Lady of Lourdes. The children study and explore texts as a class, in groups and as individuals. The choice of texts allow the children to meet characters from a range of stories, settings from around the world and themes that allow for empathy and understanding. At class level the children will look at the strategies chosen by an author, as well as exploring why these techniques reach the intended audience. In reciprocal reading sessions each child takes on an important role which allows them to both ask and answer questions on a text, as well as discuss the ways the story makes us feel. Through their individual reading the children can broaden their vocabulary.
At Our Lady of Lourdes we recognise the importance of reading as a life skill that will open doors to all subjects for children. We understand the significant role played by parents, teachers and support staff in supporting children to read with enjoyment and fluency. We view reading as a crucial part of a child’s daily life in order to allow them to develop their vocabulary and consequently improve their writing skills.
Children at Our Lady of Lourdes are exposed to quality texts from EYFS and across the school, which both stimulate and assist the children to read. Along with these ‘core’ texts the children in EYFS and KS1 and where appropriate KS2, children use the Read, Write, Inc scheme to build their confidence in ‘decoding’ and high frequency words.
Children are taught to read using phonics, alongside a range of other reading strategies. Phonics is taught in the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 as part of a planned programme with the aims being:
- to apply phonic knowledge to reading and writing;
- to develop vocabulary and ability to explore words;
- to understand word construction;
- to help the children with spelling strategies which will enable them to become better spellers;
- to help children understand reciprocity between reading and writing.
The school follows Letters and Sounds document which splits phonics coverage into six separate phases. These phases are started in Nursery and continued until the end of Year Two. The teaching of phonics is an integral part of the curriculum in both the Foundation and Key Stage 1 classrooms.
Teachers and Teaching Assistants use phonics materials from different sources to deliver high quality daily lessons. Amongst the materials used are resources from: Read Write Inc.; Smart Kids; Oxford Reading Tree; LCP planning documents; and a wide variety of interactive games.
Teaching and Learning
One and two
Two and three
Three, four and five
We ensure that our teaching of phonics is rigorous, structured and enjoyable.
Nursery, Reception and Year One children have discrete, daily phonics sessions lasting approximately 20 minutes where they are introduced to new phonemes, can practise and revise previous learning and have plenty of opportunities to apply the knowledge they have.
Year Two children have longer lessons, normally three times a week, where they work on spelling strategies and rules.
We use a range of multisensory strategies to enthuse and engage the children, including the use of interactive whiteboards, magnetic letters, speaking and listening, songs, rhymes and practical activities. Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the curriculum with any reading or writing activities.
Alongside the teaching of Phonics, children have access to a language rich environment where they are able to apply their decoding skills and develop language comprehension in order to read.
Children are regularly assessed to ensure that they are working at their correct phonic level.
At the end of Year One, children undergo a Phonics Screening test, the results of which are included in the end of year report.
Children at Our Lady of Lourdes take a variety of books home from Nursery to Year 6 and they are expected to read daily. Children’s reading is assessed regularly to ensure that reciprocal reading and home books can be pitched correctly.
Other useful websites: