Supporting Your Child At Home with English
How English is taught at Davington
Reading is a core skill which is key to pupils’ learning in all subjects. During Key Stage 1 and throughout Key Stage 2 the focus shifts from ‘learning to read’ to ‘reading to learn’. Children have many opportunities to practise reading at school and we ask that parents support their children by aiming to read with them for at least ten minutes daily. We encourage fluent readers to read regularly to an adult at home too. This provides important opportunities for the children to discuss new words, plots and story lines, as well as promoting expression, confidence and the ability to self- correct. We ask that parents record reading practice at home by signing the ‘Reading Record Book.’ Because it is so important for children to practise their reading at home, we have Bronze, Silver and Gold rewards for children who read regularly.
Our children can access a wide range of reading material in school. Each child takes home a reading book which will match their independent reading ability. Reading at home should be a pleasurable experience rather than a struggle. Children will
Our children can access a wide range of reading material in school. Each child takes home a reading book which will match their independent reading ability. Reading at home should be a pleasurable experience rather than a struggle. Children will have opportunities to change home reading books regularly.
Every child has access to a huge range of books from the school library. Children have a free choice of books and may base their choice on reading preference or their own interests. Children may choose a book to read independently, or a more challenging book to have read to them. The key is to develop reading behaviours and preferences, promoting interest and a love of reading.
A link to our library system can be accessed at home so children can find out about different titles and authors, reserve books and read and write book reviews. We ask that children either change (or renew) their library books weekly to help us keep track of missing books.
Reading for Purpose (Arthur Pea)
This is our primary approach to the teaching of reading and it takes place every day. During these sessions the teacher will explicitly teach and develop reading skills. Lessons may have a whole class focus or children may read in small, reading groups, working on specific skills. In Key Stage 1 much of the emphasis will be on blending sounds to decode words, as well as helping children to learn common exception words and use context clues and other strategies to help them work out unknown words in a text. As children become more fluent, different aspects of reading will be taught, such as summarising the plot, generating and answering questions and understanding new vocabulary in context.
Children will also be listening to stories during the day and all classes will be reading a class text, which will form the basis for much of the work the children do in English lessons.
Throughout school, children have experience of exploring and creating a wide range of narrative, non-fiction and poetry texts. Children are taught how to plan, draft, evaluate and read aloud their work. They have opportunities to produce extended pieces of writing and are taught how to edit and improve their work.
Where possible links are created to other areas of the curriculum, providing the children with a purpose for writing and to ensure they maintain their literacy standards and apply skills across a variety of contexts.
The children are encouraged to orally rehearse sentences, read their writing aloud and perform poetry and songs. We fully subscribe to Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ ideas and all teachers understand that before writing a sentence, children must first be able to ‘speak a sentence.’
Handwriting and letter formation is taught explicitly in Key Stage 1. In the earliest years, children are encouraged to engage in activities to help develop core muscle strength and fine motor skills, until they are able to manipulate writing tools. As children’s letter formation improves they are taught a more cursive script and which letters, when adjacent to each other, are best left unjoined.
EGPS (English Grammar, punctuation and spelling)
Grammar and Punctuation
EGPS is embedded across the curriculum and is also taught in discrete lessons. Understanding of specific grammar terms is taught systematically and built upon as the children progress through school from Year 1 to Year 6. Children are encouraged to talk about their own, and other children’s work, using the grammar terms they have been taught. Your child’s teacher is the best person to ask if you wish to know which grammar terms your child is currently learning about and how you can support them at home.
In addition you can use some of the ‘Useful Websites’ links to help your child better understand the terminology they are being taught in class.
In key Stage 1 spelling is taught during phonic lessons following the government backed scheme ‘Letters and Sounds’. The children learn how to segment words into separate phonemes (sounds) to help them spell. To begin with children are taught 46 phonemes and the graphemes (letters) that are used to represent them. As children progress they will then learn alternative spellings of the different phonemes as well as rules and patterns to help them apply this knowledge. Alongside this, children will be learning to spell common exception words, (common words which are not phonetically decodable), and rules about adding simple suffixes.
This knowledge is built upon in Key Stage 2, when children learn more about how to add prefixes and suffixes to root words and the meanings of different prefixes. Children will investigate word meanings and origins and investigate spelling patterns, rules and generalisations. Children will also learn how to spell and use a number of homophones, (words which sound the same but have different meanings, for example: wait and weight). Phonics work will continue to be reinforced, especially for children who did not reach the required level in the phonics screen in Key Stage 1. This is important as, although phonics is not the only strategy children use to help them read and spell, poor phonic knowledge can seriously hinder their ability to make good progress in reading and writing.
We currently use the Oxford Owls spelling programme as well as a number of other strategies to support spelling work in Key Stage 2.
Here are some ‘Helpful Tips for Spelling’ ideas to help you support your child with spelling at home, particularly when learning weekly spellings.
‘Helpful Tips for Spelling’
- Segmenting/ physically cutting words into phonemes or ‘sound bites’. i.e.
sh - o – pp – i – ng,
r – ai – n – b- ow
- Saying words like a robot i.e. F – O – X
- Use magnetic or sticky letters to spell words in the bath.
- Highlighting the tricky part of a word i.e. wHen, wHat, wHo etc (most words beginning ‘wh’ are ‘question’ words.)
- Writing the consonants in one colour and the vowels in another i.e. they
- How many times can you write a given word in 30 seconds? ( could be a game or a competition)
- Write a spelling on card or paper, cut it up and rebuild it.
- Children can test parents on their spellings and mark them (parents could make some mistakes- can the child spot and correct the mistakes?)
- Write spellings on cards, spelling one incorrectly. Can your child find the incorrectly spelt word?
- Spread out flour on a tray and practise spelling words using a cotton bud or finger in the flour.
- Decorate spellings on cards to make spelling posters or mobiles. Try to make them as memorable as possible.
- Write your spellings as tiny/huge as you can.
- Try to think of clues to help you remember a tricky spelling i.e. ‘piece of pie’ as opposed to peace (could put a halo over the ‘a’ in ‘peace’ to make it look like an angel)
- Match root words to prefixes i.e. Im appear
- Emphasise parts of words i.e com – for – table = comfortable
Wed – nes – day
PE – OP – PLE
- Write the tricky part of the word in massive letters
country, trouble, their
- Words which sound similar often (but not always) contain the same spelling pattern, so group words which rhyme together – mouth, south/ trouble, double/
- Find as many ways as possible to spell the same sound i.e. rein, day, wait, great, they, late, - then make collections of words containing the sound (in this case ‘ay’) and sort them under the correct spelling pattern.
- Scrabble, junior scrabble and boggle are all great games which help with spelling.