English: Reading, Writing & Phonics
English at Yox Valley
At Yox Valley we recognise that the English curriculum is an essential vehicle for communicating ideas, emotions, understanding, and learning in discrete daily lessons and in all other curriculum areas for all our children. It is our intent to provide a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, read and write fluently during their time with us and beyond, on into adult life.
The importance of English is emphasised by the 'Moving English Forward' document produced by Ofsted in 2012:
"There can be no more important subject than English in the school curriculum. English is a pre-eminent world language; it is at the heart of our culture and it is the language medium in which most of our pupils think and communicate. Literacy skills are also crucial to pupils' learning in other subjects across the curriculum."
Teachers plan English lessons to ensure pupil progression from phase to phase, class to class and unit to unit. Children develop their writing skills following a clear sequence of learning, which involves the teacher selecting a real text, a high quality publication that can be used in a unit of work to promote and develop children’s creativity and technical writing abilities, whilst promoting that real love and passion for reading. Wherever possible these texts are selected in collaboration with our wider curriculum to create fully immersive, exciting cross-curricular links.
At Yox Valley we have the greatest wish that all of our students build the strongest foundations for a lifelong love of reading. We recognise that reading is invaluable as a tool for well-being, as a stimulus for the imagination and is completely fundamental to everyday life. We intend to embed an appreciation for reading across the curriculum as well as to teach the skills of comprehension and decoding systematically and rigorously.
At Yox Valley we use a variety of approaches in order to engage our children in phonics, which include rhymes to help them remember letter formation. High quality phonics sessions are taught daily in Reception and Year One. These sessions are about 20 minutes long and are enhanced by a multisensory approach to cater for all learning styles including visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learners. Further on, from Year One, Phonics continues to be taught wherever needed.
For a more detailed look at each stage of our progressive phonics programme, please see our early reading document below: Early Reading and Phonics at Yox Valley Partnership
From Year 2 onwards (once children are familiar with Phase 5 Phonics), spelling is taught at Yox Valley using the No Nonsense spelling programme. This involves discreet lessons –daily sessions at Year 2 and 5 x 15 minute sessions a fortnight at KS2. Children consolidate their understanding and apply these skills in all other areas of the curriculum.
To support spelling and develop good handwriting habits from the start we teach a cursive handwriting script supported by the on-line resource Letter-join.