At Dickleburgh Academy, we believe that the development of language and literacy skills is of the highest priority. English is the main instrument of teaching and learning throughout the entire curriculum and the skills and knowledge acquired in this area inform and underpin all subjects and every area of life both within and outside the school.
In Key Stages 1 & 2, the English curriculum is delivered using the National Curriculum 2014. In the Foundation Stage the Early Learning Goals are followed.
Phonics is taught as a daily lesson in Reception and Key Stage 1 using the Jolly Phonics scheme and is supported by Songbirds and Floppy Phonics reading books, published by the Oxford Reading Tree and Big Cat Phonic readers, published by Collins. All books link directly to the phases of teaching in the Letters and Sounds guidance.
At Dickleburgh, reading is a top priority and is a key driver for our curriculum. It is our intention to ensure that by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education.
We encourage all pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop: knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live; to establish an appreciation and love of reading; to gain knowledge across the curriculum; and develop their comprehension skills. We are committed to providing vocabulary rich reading material through our school library and topic books.
The systematic teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Staff systematically teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as needs are identified.
Once children are confidently reading, they move on to “real” books. This generally happens when pupils are in Year 2.
All classrooms, up to Year 4, have their own class reading areas with topic themed books, and it is intended that these areas are further enhanced this year. Year 5 and Year 6 use the new school library as their reading space. Group reading or whole class reading sessions take place every day in all classes and additional “silent reading” sessions are regularly made available. All teachers read stories to their classes regularly, with the older classes listening to chapter books over a longer number of weeks.
Every Friday, the older children read with their younger learning partners and there is a daily Reading Club at lunchtime providing an opportunity for pupils to read quietly for pleasure.
We believe that writing is a crucial part of our curriculum. All children from Foundation Stage to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum.
Our intention is for pupils to be able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. To be able to do this effectively, pupils will focus on developing effective transcription and effective composition. They will also develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We also intend for pupils to leave school being able to use fluent and legible handwriting.
At Dickleburgh, we use ‘Talk Home’ and Big Writing from EYFS to Y6 as the vehicle for teaching writing. This is to ensure a consistent and systematic approach to teaching the skills of writing across all cohorts. This also means that children know what to expect when they change classes.
Early writing is taught through early mark making. This begins with writing (whether with a writing tool or in the air) cvc words, moving onto short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. The children also learn to remember and write stories. They are encouraged to write independently during continuous provision.
From Year 1-Year 6 we have a weekly Big Writing session.
Grammar is taught through the Big Writing process, but also through discrete lessons. There is an expectation that all teachers use of grammar is accurate. To ensure progression in grammar skills, all teachers have been given a progression of grammar document. Any areas of weakness that are identified as a result of independent writing or assessment tasks, are taught as part of the modelled text, or the grammar lessons. Teachers are expected to track back to previous years objectives, if this is appropriate.