English Curriculum Intent
At Bushfield Infant school we have developed a bespoke phonic programme which is supported by Collins Big Cat phonetically decodable books. Our bespoke programme matches the Early Learning Goals for EYFS and matches the expectations of the National Curriculum for Key Stage 1. In the nursery, Foundations for Phonics is implemented with a focus on sound discrimination, rhythm and rhyme and also oral blending and segmenting.
The phonic code is broken down into phases and our teaching takes children through it in a logical, sequential and rigorous way. Children are taught to recognise single letters making predictable sounds, then digraphs and trigraphs – alongside recognising common words that are not phonetically decodable.
This allows us to provide our children with secure lifelong phonic foundations, enabling them to confidently attempt to read and spell unfamiliar words in their independent work. We believe a good phonic knowledge helps to create resilient, confident and independent ‘Mr. I Can’ readers and spellers.
At Bushfield Road Infant School we want our children to develop a love of reading right from the very start in Nursery. We do this through basing our learning around carefully chosen, engaging high quality texts. By the time the children leave Bushfield Road Infant School they are able to recall an increasing number of quality texts in detail.
Reading opens the door to learning in our school. Children have many opportunities to read throughout the day and across the curriculum. The teaching of reading skills starts as soon as children have knowledge of the basic phonic code. We have a range of books in school including fiction, non-fiction and poetry that are carefully aligned to our phonics programme and matched to each child’s stage of learning. We also give careful consideration to the interests of different genders and ages of children.
We value the need to practise reading skills. Children read to their peers and a range of adults in school every week. We use a blended approach of whole class, group guided reading and individual reading. The books children take home to read are all decodable and they should be given lots of opportunities to practise reading these books at home to further promote the work we do in school on fluency, pace and intonation.
Speaking and Listening
We recognise many of our children have limited language experiences and/or a delay in communication. Therefore, we provide a wide range of teacher led and continuous provision, which promotes hands on experiences within the school environment. Staff ensure these are language-rich activities which will help them to develop a wide range of vocabulary.
Children are encouraged to work collaboratively, confidently asking for help and providing their ‘buddies’ with support. ‘Connie Communication’ skills are a fundamental part of the teaching and learning in all our curriculum areas.
We strongly believe that the content of what our children write is clearly informed by their breadth of reading knowledge and experiences. For this reason, writing is taught through a range of starting points, including real events and through quality texts across all year groups. Basic skills and non-negotiables underpin writing in all areas of the curriculum.
We provide opportunities for children to write independently, using the classroom displays and resources known by the children as their ‘bits and bobs’ for support. Children are consistently encouraged to spell many uncommon words correctly using their phonetic knowledge.
The children are taught that they are the authors of their own work and we instil a positive attitude embedded within our ‘Mr I Can’ enterprise skills and also through our embedded ethos of ‘It’s okay to have a try and to get it wrong.’ This is the point at which new learning can take place with immediate and same day intervention. Once children are confident and able to write unaided and without mediation, children are taught to edit their work and are taught and encouraged to set themselves targets to achieve and in doing so become the best writers they can.
There is a well organised and consistent system for developing handwriting skills. Regular practice is given and continues throughout Key Stage 1 so that by the time children leave Bushfield Road Infant School, they can form and join letters and digits of the correct size and orientation.
Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation are skills which are taught discretely. Children are also given frequent opportunities to apply these skills in their writing and across the curriculum. We strive to ensure all children can spell high frequency words, common irregular words and apply spelling rules.