We believe that every child has the right to receive a high quality education in English. We ensure that our curriculum is broad, balanced and interesting so that the children enjoy developing their knowledge, skills and understanding as a reader, writer, speaker and listener. We are passionate about teaching pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and ensure that, through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. We provide many opportunities for the children to practise their literacy skills. The children are taught about the school's values of friendship, courage and peace through book choices and English units.
Each child is heard individually by the teacher, volunteers and during guided reading or whole class reading sessions. We have a levelled reading scheme in place and every child has an individual reading book. The children progress through the scheme until they become “free readers” – they then choose books from their class book corner, or from the library. A reading record supports home/school dialogue and parents are encouraged to hear their children read every night.
The children are taught a series of structured English lessons. This involves whole class teaching, group, guided and independent work. The children learn to read and write different fiction, non-fiction and poetry texts. At other times in the day the children listen to stories and are heard read. Every class is exposed to the recommended Pie Corbett reading spine books for their age group throughout the academic year, which provide the children with a wealth of meaningful, poignant, diverse and contemporary reading material.
In writing, the children are taught to become confident writers and to write for a range of different purposes and audiences. They write regularly and receive feedback and targets to help them improve.
Phonics at Sutton Veny
We are very proud of our approach to Phonics at Sutton Veny, and the school consistently achieves above the national average for the Year 1 Phonics Annual Screening Assessment in the Summer Term. Lessons are vibrant, interactive and fun. These sessions are scaffolded in a way that enables the children to build up from exploring single phonemes/graphemes to words to whole sentences. Opportunities for reading and writing and always carefully balanced. Within these sessions, there are also plenty of opportunities for the children to practise high frequency words and ‘tricky words’ for the different year groups.
We use the Letters And Sounds phases as a foundation for our delivery of phonics. The children also learn ‘jingles’ and actions as tools to help them remember how to say and write the focus sounds. These jingles are always on display in the classrooms as a helpful prompt for children when reading and writing. Jingles are also used in Year 2 to assist with the trickier spelling rules. The clear progression of the taught sounds through Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 can be found in the front of the children’s home Link Books.
There are always plenty of opportunities for the children to return to these sounds and jingles throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, which better enables them to transfer the taught phonemes/ graphemes to their long-term memories. Visitors and new members of the team are always very impressed by how well our pupils are able to apply these sounds accurately in their written work by the time they reach Key Stage 2. These Phonics resources are still available in the Key Stage 2 classrooms for those pupils who need to continue to refer to them in their lessons and interventions for individuals and groups are facilitated where needed.
The children’s home reading books are well-matched to the sounds that they have learnt in class, or that they already know, with 90-95% of the words being decodable for the children. The exception to this is with the pre-reader books, where the children are learning to point at the words and to consider the spacing between the words. There is a wide range of genres and styles, including fiction and non-fiction, available for home reading and the feedback is that both children and parents enjoy exploring a variety of different books at home and selecting the books that capture their imaginations and suit their own interests. As soon as they are ready to begin a new book, children will change their books, helping to keep motivation and enthusiasm levels high.
Phonics Jingles at Sutton Veny.pdf
Across the curriculum, children are given opportunities to speak, offer their opinion, participate in drama activities and give presentations. The children are always encouraged to use active listening skills when others are speaking.
The school has a rigorous and structured programme in place for teaching phonics, spelling and handwriting.
To find out more about the English content for each year group, please visit each class page.
For a list of the English apps we use at school please click below.