English Curriculum Intent
At Bushfield Road Infant School we have developed a successful programme to teach phonics based on Letters and Sounds. We use a range of resources to deliver our systematic programme including PhonicsPlay. Phonic lessons are taught in short, discrete daily sessions across the school with a wealth of opportunities for children to use and apply their phonic knowledge and skills throughout the day and across the curriculum. We have a whole class approach to teaching phonics that allows all children to keep up with age related work; and interventions are in place for children who need a little extra help to keep up with the high expectations we plan for.
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 believe strongly that the content of what our children write is clearly informed by their breadth of reading knowledge and experiences. Writing is taught through a range of starting points, including real events and through quality texts. 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 their ‘bits and bobs’ for support. Children are encouraged to spell many uncommon words correctly using their phonetic knowledge.
The children are taught that they are the authors of their work and we instil a ‘Mr I Can’ attitude through our ‘it’s okay to have a try’ ethos. Once writing unaided and without mediation, children are taught to edit their work and learn to set themselves targets, striving to be the best writers they can be.
There is a well organised system for developing handwriting skills which is based on the handwriting rhymes from Read, Write Inc. 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.