We are always more than happy to provide any support for parents to help their children with reading at home!
For our parent clips all about supporting Reading at home, please click here.
For information about supporting Phonics at home, please click here.
At Hemlington Hall Academy, all of our children are encouraged to develop social and communication skills, imagination, creativity, a thirst for knowledge and a love of reading and writing through daily English lessons. English lessons teach children the skills they need to make progress in Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening and GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling), in addition to Phonics in Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. Using an engaging cross-curricular approach through our context topics, children are immersed in an environment of rich texts, adventurous vocabulary and real-life experiences to enhance the learning process.
Reading and Phonics
Within our broader English Curriculum planning, our intent for reading is clear:
- Credible, rich, engaging texts from a range of genres are the key driver for the English Curriculum, which promote a love of reading and act as excellent models for language, cultural broadening and confidence.
- Children become fluent and age appropriate readers across Early Years and Key Stage 1 to enable them to access and comprehend all that Key Stage 2 has to offer, including the continued development of a growing vocabulary.
- Children reach the expected standard in Year 1 phonics with word reading fluency being the primary driver of the Year 1 Reading Curriculum, enabling them to gain greater comprehension skills across Year 2 and beyond.
Our phonics teaching is intensive, and follows the programme of ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’. We begin teaching ‘the Foundations for Phonics’ to our children in Nursery through play, rhyme, circle time, group activities and various innate opportunities throughout the session via oral segmentation. Direct phonics teaching starts as soon as our children enter Reception – no time is wasted.
Further to this, we ensure that the books children are given to read at home are directly matched to the sounds which have been taught in school so that children do not encounter words which they cannot decode; this is through the ‘Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised’ scheme (which is supplemented through matched decodable titles from Collins ‘Big Cat’ and ‘Phonics Bug’). A wider range of carefully chosen books are readily available for the children who have become more confident readers, which include ‘common exception words’.
Children in Reception also have ‘sound cards’ sent home each week to practise with at home – both in saying the sound, and in blending sounds together. As children become more confident, common exception words are also sent home to practise. Parents are provided with training and support across the year as to how to do this effectively, and further information can always be found on the Little Wandle website.
After phonics, reading continues to be a high priority: all children are benchmarked and a stage appropriate book is provided for daily home reading. Our KS1 and KS2 library comprise of a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts from schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Treetops and Project X, in addition to a vast array of free-readers and leisure materials from classic and well-known children’s authors.
In any instances of home-learning, our expectations of reading at home remain consistent, and we continue to provide high quality texts for children to read at home.
We encourage parents to be involved in sharing books with their child so that we can work together to create a positive and enjoyable reading environment and encourage them to succeed. This includes reading to your child, listening to them read and leading by example, showing your child that you read yourself.
Subject Leader: Mr Kirby-Bowstead
Within our broader English Curriculum planning, our intent for writing is clear:
- We provide a creative, engaging and purposeful Writing curriculum which is driven by credible, rich, engaging texts from a range of genres, acting as excellent models for language, cultural broadening and skills development.
- Children become fluent and confident writers, writing for a range of audiences and purposes in a variety of narrative and non-narrative genres, building word-level, sentence-level and text-level skills across progressive sequences of lessons.
- We use a mastery approach to writing in order to ensure that children’s knowledge, skills and understanding are secure and transferable across the curriculum, paving the way for success.
Just as with Reading, we encourage our children to see Writing as an important skill that needs developing so it can be applied right across the curriculum. In addition to daily writing lessons, which develop word-level, sentence-level and text-level skills, our children also have the opportunity to practise and refine their abilities in topic-based context work.
Children write for a range of audiences and purposes, in a variety of narrative and non-narrative genres, and through an array of media. This generally begins with a stimulus to generate ideas and discussion, which leads to the analysis of an example text being used to identify useful features. Through taking these features into account during planning, children practise specific writing skills to allow them to create their own draft, which can be edited and improved before writing a final, published piece. This writing journey is one which we celebrate, as each stage presents a further step to success.
Each week children are provided with spellings to learn. In Key Stage 1 these are based on phonic knowledge, and in Key Stage 2 they are taken from set word lists. We have a strong emphasis on learning the rule rather than learning the word, so that children are more able to apply their spelling strategies to new and unfamiliar vocabulary.