Reading - Hooked on Books
We know that every child reading well by the end of Year 6 is essential for them to achieve highly at secondary school (DfE Reading Framework 2023). Therefore, we have adopted two rigorous and systematic approaches across the school. In EYFS and Year 1, we use the FFT systematic synthetic phonics program which has closely aligned reading lessons - see below for more details. In Years 2-6, we teach reading using the Jane Considine ‘Hooked on Books’ approach. This ensures that all children have consistent and clear expectations. We are also working with LEAD on a ‘Fluency Project’ which improves fluency in those children who have graduated phonics but are still not fluent readers. Children in Years 2 and 3 are part of this program.
Reading for pleasure is a vital part of our curriculum and children read their own reading books daily. The ‘Accelerated Reader’ scheme for children in Years 2-6 supports children to become more avid readers.
Phonics - FFT’s 'Success For All' Phonics Program
This is a complete Systematic Synthetic Phonics (SSP) program validated by the Department for Education. Success for All Phonics provides 68 fully decodable reading books (Shared Readers), daily phonics and reading lesson plans, assessment tools, picture cards, mnemonics for letter formation and all other teaching resources needed to support the effective teaching of phonics from EYFS to the end of Year 1.
Success for All Phonics is implemented from the beginning of Reception, where we first focus on learning letter sounds and names through internalising the alphabet chant. We teach phonics daily through twenty to thirty-minute whole-class sessions, time dependent on year group. Having regular opportunities to learn and consolidate their phonic knowledge enables children to make a smooth transition from Reception to Key Stage 1. Our daily lesson plans cover all the main Grapheme–Phoneme Correspondences (GPCs) and Common Exception Words (CEWs) to provide children with the phonic knowledge and skills required for success in the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. In order to effectively measure and respond to pupil progress in phonics, we undertake phonics assessments for each child and complete these six times over the course of the academic year (once each half-term).
As well as daily phonics sessions, Success for All Phonics also consists of daily thirty-minute reading lessons which build upon the knowledge taught in phonics lessons. This provides regular opportunities for the children to put their phonics into practice by blending words which include the focus phoneme for each day.
Success for All Phonics is also hugely effective in teaching children who are new to English or learning phonics for the first time. It is fully aligned with FFT’s reading tutoring program (Tutoring with the Lightning Squad), which is used to provide catch-up support for children where necessary across Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2.
In Year 2 we continue on the FFT 'Success For All' phonics journey with spelling with 'The Jungle Club'. Each lesson consists of revisiting, teaching, practising and applying previously taught phonics knowledge and new Year 2 curriculum content.
In Years 3-6, spelling is taught via Spelling Shed.
Writing - The Write Stuff
We use Jane Considine’s ‘The Write Stuff’ to inspire writers and equip them with the skills needed to succeed. We are passionate about using ‘experience days’ to engage and inspire children and give them a purpose for writing. Experience days often include drama activities, the school grounds, music or even tasting ice-cream. This is combined with high-quality grammar teaching that uses effective modelling. The grammar is taught in ‘chunks’ that are manageable for all children and help them to feel successful.
Details of the English curriculum including how it is taught can found in the document below.