English

Reading and Writing overviews

Click on the links below to see the overviews of learning for KS1 and KS2.

Reading

Writing 

Daily Supported Reading in Years 1 and 2

Every morning after register all our children at Stoneydown attend Daily Supported Reading. Children are grouped into ability levels and a Class Teacher or a trained Teaching Assistant runs the group. The size of the group is about 6 children.

The components of the lesson are a book introduction, identifying/learning common words or challenging words depending on the level of the child, independent reading supported by the grown up and  discussion/comprehension time.

We have recently added a new writing componet at the end of each sesion so children can make useful links between reading and writing and transfer their skills even more effectively.

Daily Supported Reading is a very concentrated learning activity at the beginning of the day and also an opportunity for very calm learning. We really value learning to read and making good progress. That is why we use all our support staff  to deliver this to all our Year 1 and  Year 2 children every day.

Click here to see how we use questions to develop children's reading comprehension in KS1.

Phonics

At Stoneydown, we have a carefully planned and tightly structured approach to teaching phonic knowledge and skills that is systematic, fast-paced and engaging. This enables children to hear, say, read and write letter-sound correspondences quickly and to decode easily. Children in Reception, Year 1 and 2 take part in 20-minute phonics sessions every morning before lunch, taking the children through a sequence of phases of phonic development. They are grouped according to their current phonics level. Teachers and Teaching Assistants are highly trained and ensure that all the children participate actively and that learning is enjoyable as well as productive.

We teach phonics using Read Write Inc materials. We use a mixed range of books from a selection of  real books and reading schemes to teach children basic reading skills in our ’Daily Supported Reading’.  For children who are not at expected levels and  need to ‘catch up’, we use Read Write Inc books with one to one Teaching Assistant  support.

The assessment of individual pupils’ progress is frequent and detailed and we put in place effective provision for any child who needs to catch up. We have high expectations of what all pupils should achieve. National phonics screening takes place in the summer term of Year 1.

Children’s phonics skills are applied in DSR and through reading and writing across the curriculum.

We run very well attended phonics workshops each year and provide phonics resources for parents to support children at home. Please click on the link below to access a homework pack designed to help parents with phonics: 

Phonics Homework Pack  

Phonemes demonstration video - a demonstration on how to pronounce the phonemes.

Reading in Years 3 to 6

Once a child has learnt how to decode print, they need to be able to develop their comprehension skills. This is a vast task as reading encompasses many different text types and genres.

During KS2, your child may be encouraged to broaden his/her skills and to find out about great books and authors. They will study some stories in depth while also having the opportunity to discover a whole range of texts including fiction, non-fiction, plays and poetry. Children may develop favourite authors which s/he rereads over and over again. 

Once a child has learnt how to decode print, s/he needs to be able to develop his/her comprehension skills. This is a vast task as reading encompasses any different text types and genres.

It is always enjoyable to listen to stories and share a book together. That is why we read regularly to all classes up to Year 6 and we urge you to read at home with your child every day. The best readers are those who read the most and the more children read, the more enjoyment and learning they gain from it. In addition, great readers become great writers.

To support your children reading at home we have invested in a fantastic resource Bug Club which can be accessed here. Children are regularly set books by their teacher and are asked a series of questions as they read.

As well as listening to and sharing ideas about a range of texts, we ask children questions to deepen their understanding. Click here to see some of the questions that we might use. You may also find these useful to use at home.

Writing 

Elements of writing

Writing is a key means of expression so we aim for every child to become a confident writer. However, writing is often viewed as a challenging curriculum subject as mastery of it involves developing skills in several areas ie:

  • Spelling
  • Handwriting
  • Composition
  • Punctuation

Spelling

Phonics (the learning of the ‘sound’ of letters and letter combinations) is the basis of spelling. Recognising, using and blending sounds and learning sight words is vital to children’s rapid spelling skills. Next comes learning spelling ‘rules’ (e.g. ‘i before e except after c’)

Year 2 Parent Spelling Workshop

Key stage 2 Parent Spelling Workshop

Handwriting

Joined writing is the natural progression from early experimental writing from children in the early years. Printing (not joining letters) prevents ‘flow’ and the learning of how words ‘feel’ when they are written. At Stoneydown, we use the ‘continuous cursive’ handwriting style.

Composition

Thinking of what to write; organising our thoughts and getting ideas down on paper. Achieving a desired effect, e.g. to instruct, persuade, inform, entertain, etc.

Punctuation

Punctuation is used to help make the meaning of written sentences clear and as the writer intended them to be read. 

Composing

Composing is the most important element of writing. Without ideas, there is nothing to write! Many parents express their concerns about their child’s difficulty with spelling and handwriting (naturally); however it is writing composition which is the key to ‘good writing’. For composition, children need to generate ideas, organise their thoughts and express them on the page.

Creating ideas for writing

From birth we are developing our children’s ability to become writers. By interacting with our children: talking; singing; going on visits; engaging in role-play; sharing books, reading stories etc., we are providing vital banks of resources into which children can dip when composing.

Making writing purposeful and valuable

Children need to see that there is a reason for them to write. Both at school and at home, we need to be providing purposes for ‘real writing’. Writing is a life skill, and whether this is composing on computer or on paper, children need to see the value of putting the effort into producing the writing in the first place.

How we teach writing at school

  • Having a meaningful stimulus and purpose for writing
  • Reading and collecting ideas
  • Talking and rehearsing ideas
  • Exploring ideas through drama and role-play
  • Teacher Modelling
  • Shared Writing
  • Guided Writing
  • Paired and Independent Writing
  • Sharing Children’s Writing
  • Writing targets
  • BPIs (Blue Pen Improvements)

Assessing writing

Every week, children's writing is checked against their targets so we are continually monitoring progress.

For summative assessment, we assess children’s unaided writing termly and analyse their ability to:

  • Write imaginative, interesting and thoughtful texts
  • Produce texts that are appropriate to task, reader and purpose
  • Organise and present whole texts effectively, sequencing and structuring information, ideas and events
  • Construct paragraphs and use cohesion within and between paragraphs
  • Vary sentences for clarity, purpose and effect
  • Write with technical accuracy of syntax and punctuation in phrases, clauses and sentences
  • Select appropriate and effective vocabulary
  • Use correct spelling

Selected pieces from children’s work are looked at each term using these criteria; strengths are highlighted and targets are set.

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