English

At Stonehouse Park Infant School we believe the acquisition of good literacy skills is of utmost importance to all pupils.  We believe that a sound understanding and knowledge of literacy, not only enables a child to develop as an individual, but also to access the curriculum as a whole.

We encourage and value the involvement of parents and the wider community in our children’s literacy learning.  We communicate regularly with parents and carers and encourage you to support your child’s learning at home.

Speaking and Listening

We believe that all children should be given the opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills in all areas of the curriculum.  All children are encouraged to take an active role in their learning and contribute their own thoughts and ideas.

We aim to draw children’s attention to the intricacies of spoken language and how we use it.  We encourage them to develop a love of language through a wide range of multi-sensory experiences, for example, exploring different objects and textures, listening to stories, poems and rhymes, singing, drama and role play.

 Reading

At Stonehouse Park Infant School we love reading and we want all of our pupils to love it too!  Children begin their reading journey in Reception and build on their learning through Year 1 and Year 2.  We understand that children develop at different rates and follow different paths into reading; we cater for their individual needs and have a structured but flexible approach.  We give children opportunities to develop the full range of reading skills and become mature and enthusiastic readers.

We have a wide range of reading materials in school for the children to access; these books are designed to help the children apply all of the different skills needed to read.  Central to all our teaching of reading is the importance of reading for meaning with an emphasis on comprehension.  Guided reading activities take place on a daily basis across the school, these sessions give children an opportunity to practise their higher order reading skills with the support of an adult.

Parental Involvement

Co-operation and support from parents is paramount if a child is to become a successful and competent reader.  At Stonehouse Park Infant school we strive to develop and encourage a strong partnership between home and school.  It is our policy to send reading books home regularly and to encourage parents and carers to contribute to their child’s reading development, welcoming comments in their individual reading record book.  Parents are invited into school to take part in reading workshops; these workshops provide parents with an opportunity to talk to staff and other parents about how they can help their child read at home.

Phonics

At Stonehouse Park Infant School we teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme, supported by the use of Jolly Phonics and Ruth Miskin Literacy.  Children take part in daily phonics sessions in which they ‘review’ their previous learning, acquire a new sound or skill and then ‘practise’ and ‘apply’ their learning.

The teaching of phonics begins in Reception, where sounds are introduced at a rate of one a day, these sounds are then consolidated in the summer term.  This knowledge is built upon in Year 1 and Year 2 where more complex sounds are introduced and reinforced.

Writing

We aim to teach writing in an interesting and engaging way through the use of a ‘creative curriculum’.   We use whole school topics to plan exciting activities and learning opportunities for the children that incorporate the wide range of the skills they need to acquire.

We use the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach in literacy sessions; children are encouraged to talk about their ideas and knowledge before putting pencil to paper.  We use exciting, fun and interesting key texts in each year group and these are linked to our whole school topics.  In Reception adults will act as ‘scribes’ for the children, they write down what the children say by observing their play, annotating their work or eliciting their understanding of a topic.  Children’s writing development is then encouraged through independent mark making in a variety of media from paint and crayons to shaving foam and “gloop”.  A variety of writing frames and support materials are available to facilitate writing for a number of purposes.  Role play areas encourage children to take on the role of the writer and where ever possible children are given real opportunities to write.  The children are then encouraged to organise their talk and thinking through the use of story maps, this could be a sequence of events in a story or a map of their journey to school.  Children are then taught and encouraged to add key words and captions to their story maps.

Towards the end of Reception and throughout Year 1 and Year 2 children become increasingly competent as writers. They take time to plan and rehearse their writing to write a range of text types, narrative, e.g. traditional stories, stories and fairy tales, non-fiction, e.g. recount, information texts and fact files and poetry.