St Gabriel’s RC Primary School is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people. All staff, governors and volunteers are expected to share this commitment. For more information please see our safeguarding policy which can be found under Key Information > Policies > Safeguarding Policy.
Our school follows the Letters and Sounds Programme and uses Read Write Inc. the English programme for 4-7year olds learning to read and write to deliver phonics. Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and skills in 2007. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. Read Write Inc. is a progressive, fun and fast-paced programme. The teaching ensures children learn seamlessly as vocabulary, method and behaviour management are taught consistently. The resources engage children by using colourful and vocabulary-rich books. The programme ensures that every child can succeed.
The Letters and Sounds Programme is broken up into phases. Below is a breakdown of each phase and when it is taught within our school:
(Phase 1 is taught in Nurseries)
Phase 2 (Reception)-Learning 19 letters of the alphabet and one sound for each. Blending sounds together to make words. Segmenting words into their separate sounds. beginning to read simple captions.
Phase 3 (Reception)-The remaining 7 letters of the alphabet, one sound for each. Graphemes such as ch, oo, th representing the remaining phonemes not covered by single letters. Reading captions, sentences and questions. On completion of this phase, children will have learnt the ‘simple code’ ie one grapheme for each phoneme in the English language.
Phase 4(Reception)-No new grapheme-phoneme correspondences are taught in this phase. Children learn to blend and segment longer words with adjacent consonants. Eg swim, clap, jump.
Phase 5(Year1)-Now we move on to the “complex code”. Children learn more graphemes for the phonemes which they already know, plus different ways of pronouncing the graphemes they already know.
Phase 6 (Year 2)-Working on spelling, including prefixes and suffixes, doubling and dropping letters etc.
In our school we see reading as an essential tool in the process and progress of learning. Through our reading curriculum, we aim to provide rich reading experiences that develop children socially, emotionally and intellectually. Crucially, this is achieved through the development of a stimulating environment that immerses children in literature and the spoken word. It is through this environment that we hope to develop children’s love of literature and expose them to hearing written English. We feel that reading daily to children is very important to allow them to develop active listening skills and be introduced to an ever-widening range of fiction and non-fiction books and authors.
At St Gabriels RC children will experience reading in three different forms:
shared-This is where the class teacher or teaching assistant readers a text with the whole class or a large group and discusses different aspects or pulls the text apart to examine how it has been put together.
Guided- This happens in a small group of between 6-8 children a minimum of twice a week with a teacher or teaching assistant. Texts are chosen that aim to challenge children and are usually a level above the reading books that children bring home as guided reading is used as a focused teaching session.
Independent- This is where children read a text for themselves which may be a home reading book or an independent text which a comprehension task attached.
The teaching of reading is supported by a wide range of high quality school and home reading books from publishers such as 'Oxford University Press', 'Pearson' and 'Collins'.
At St Gabriel's RC we believe in providing children with a range of different opportunities to write across the curriculum. Within our English lessons we aim to teach children the necessary skills to become confident and fluent writers. When children enter our Reception class they begin their writing journey, starting to learn how to write individual letters and words, which turn into captions and sentences as the year progresses. By the end of KS1, children are writing their own full texts, developing a continuous cursive style of handwriting and starting to select precise vocabulary to interest the reader. Across Lower KS2 children consolidate their handwriting style, develop an understanding of controlling paragraphs and vary the types of sentences and language that they apply to different text types. By the end of KS2, we aim for our children to be confident writers who can independently select different text types for different audiences and purposes.
To achieve this our teaching of writing focuses on 4 key elements as set out in the revised National Curriculum.
Within the classroom, children will experience 3 types of writing and below is a definition of each.
Shared Writing–Shared writing involves the class or small groups. During shared writing, the teacher initiates and models writing, while children contribute their ideas. Teacher and pupils work together to compose messages and stories. The teacher models how writing works, the processes that are involved and draws attention to letters, words, and sounds during the writing. The object of shared writing is to demonstrate and teach the necessary skills and conventions of fluent writing.
Guided Writing–Guided writing involves very specific and focused instruction. It can be one-to-one or with small groups of children with similar needs. Each child in a group composes an individual piece of writing with the intense support of the teacher. They hold the pen and have ownership over their writing. Mini-lessons are planned to reflect the specific needs of the children that are determined through ongoing assessment. The aim is to support children in becoming independent writers through building on the writing behaviours focused on in modelled and shared writing sessions. Children can usually produce more detailed and complex texts in these sessions than they can on their own.
Independent Writing–In independent writing children take responsibility for their own writing. It provides an opportunity for them to demonstrate the processes and strategies that have been demonstrated through the other elements of the writing block. It is crucial that sufficient scaffolding of the processes and strategies required to successfully complete the task have occurred prior to children working independently. Some children will require more support than others and may need to be part of a small group constructing a joint text using interactive or an independent piece using guided writing.