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English

At Red Hill Primary School, we are passionate about English. We promote a love of reading, writing and drama, as well as equipping children with the phonetical, comprehension, spelling, grammar and punctuation skills needed to be adept and fluent readers and writers.

The skills that children are taught in Literacy underpin all other subjects. They enable pupils to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work. Teachers will always make crosscurricular links wherever appropriate and will plan for pupils to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding that they have acquired during Literacy to other areas of the curriculum.

We are readers

Children have regular opportunities to read during their Guided Reading sessions. Pupils have opportunities to choose books and engage with a range of genres. Children at Red Hill develop a lifelong love of reading. Teachers read to pupils daily so that everyone is able to access high levels of literature.

In the early stages of school, reading is taught primarily through phonics, using the DFE accredited Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme. This is supported by regular guided reading sessions where children enjoy and discuss books in a group, as well as regular home reading.

Once fluent, in Key Stage 2, pupils learn more about the comprehension and analytical aspects of reading, with continued guided reading sessions, as well as whole class book focuses during the English sessions.

Each class has a book corner. As part of home reading, children should be selecting and reading a book appropriate to their level. We encourage parents/carers to hear their child read unless they are at a level where the pupils can assess their own reading. Feedback on home reading is made by parents/carers or pupils within the Home Reading Records.

At Red Hill, we promote a love of reading and reading for enjoyment. We have many exciting reading events throughout the year, for example trips to the local library and dressing up for World Book Day.

Phonics

Research shows that teaching Phonics in a structured and systematic way is the most effective form of teaching young children to read. Almost all children who receive good teaching of Phonics will learn the skills they need to decifer new and unfamiliar words. At Red Hill Primary School, Phonics in the Early Years is taught on a daily basis and follows the DFE accredited Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme. Children are taught the skills for segmenting and blending words and are introduced to new phonemes as part of a systematic synthetic approach. The teaching of Phonics continues in Years 1 and 2 as children are introduced to alternative graphemes, lesser known sounds and begin to learn some of the more complicated spelling rules.

We are writers

Children have many opportunities to write, edit and improve. They are creative and imaginative writers. With links to the rest of the curriculum, we give children opportunities to engage in cross curricular writing. With a good foundation of reading, children are able to access all areas of the curriculum. Through phonics and spelling teaching and learning, children are given the skills to fluently express themselves and articulate their ideas.

Writing is built up across the week leading to our 'Big Write' on a Friday. This is an extended writing sessions where the children can apply the skills they have been learning across the week. This is supported by weekly grammar and punctuation lessons through an initial skills lessons at the beginning of each week, in addition to daily spelling teaching.

Drama

We believe that drama can be an enjoyable and effective way into literacy and are currently partaking in some ‘Drama for Writing’ units across the school. Learning in English often leads to exciting performances.

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