Reading at St Catherine's
Our aim at St Catherine's Primary School is for all children to become fluent readers and develop a passion for reading. We use engaging texts with the whole class across the school, from Nursery to Year 6 so the children become enthusiastic about reading, enhance and develop their vocabulary, and to inspire their writing. We aim to teach reading to children through phonics, using pictorial clues and through their understanding of the text they are reading. Children are heard to read on a one to one basis, in small groups and in KS2 the children read alongside the whole class. We use the Oxford Reading Tree scheme which we supplement with a wide variety of texts from the following schemes: Fireflies, Project X, Treetops and Snapdragons.
Writing at St Catherine's Primary School
The use of engaging, relevant and high quality texts is central to our writing curriculum. These act as stimuli for children to develop and explore their writing skills. Children write for purpose wherever possible, on a theme linked to the topic. Teacher-led activities show children how to plan, draft, rehearse and edit texts preparing them to write ambitiously. Children learn how to debate and present: to reason and justify their answers. Grammar is integrated into our English curriculum and is taught discretely and in context.
We strive to ensure all children become fluent and enthusiastic readers by the end of Key Stage One. Phonics is the beginning of children’s body of knowledge, skills and understanding that are an essential part of learning to read and write.
The development of skills, knowledge and understanding in phonics throughout the school is done alongside other aspects of Literacy, such as Handwriting and Spelling. We use the schemes Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics in Kindergarten, Reception, Years 1 and 2.
From Reception, children are encouraged to use their knowledge of the sounds (phonics) to spell (encode) and read (decode) regular words.
Children will be given words to learn each week. These will often be linked to certain letter patterns or spelling rules. We use the No-nonsense spelling scheme.
At St Catherine's joined up handwriting is taught with a sequential and progressive approach. We believe that children’s self-esteem and pride in their work can be raised by good quality presentation.
During lessons we ensure that children sit, position their paper / book and hold their pen/pencil correctly using their other hand to hold their work firmly. Chair height is checked to ensure it is correct. Handwriting is taught daily, as a class in all year groups and teachers and learning support staff model the handwriting style.