English

At Hellingly, English underpins our learning across the curriculum.

Power of Reading Approach

At Hellingly, we place emphasis on reading for enjoyment as well as reading with fluency and understanding. In Key Stage 1 and 2, Children participate in regular reading lessons, where whole class rich texts are used. The children read aloud frequently and they undertake focused reading activities related to the texts which they record in their English books. The newly integrated Power of Reading approach offers children quality texts in their lessons and makes discussion about literature far more engaging.

Early reading

Core rich texts are selected from the Power of Reading approach which form the foundation of our enquiry curriculum. Picture books, accessible texts and teacher led inputs allow children to engage and respond to books which are beyond the level they can yet read independently. This develops confidence and enjoyment.

Reading skills

English lessons include rich guided reading sessions and focused writing sessions based on the class text. The reading of the text is intertwined with the learning of reading skills. The teaching sequences allow children to immerse themselves in the text with the variety of activities. Reading skills are developed due to the exploration of author language, meaning, predictions and summaries.

In Key Stage 1, the following reading skills are taught and developed: exploring vocabulary, retrieval, sequencing, inference and prediction.

In Key Stage 2, the following reading skills are taught and developed: exploring vocabulary, retrieval, summarising, prediction, inference and explanation.

Reading skills and progression overview

Phonics

At Hellingly, we believe that for all our children to become fluent readers and writers, phonics must be taught through a systematic and structured phonics programme. 

We are using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised phonics scheme to plan and provide daily engaging phonics lessons taught in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. In phonics, we teach children that the letters of the alphabet represent a different sound, that these can be used in a variety of combinations and are put together to make words. The children learn to recognise all of the different sounds and combinations that they might see when they are reading or writing.  

At Hellingly, our phonics teaching follows a very specific sequence that allows our children to build on their previous phonic knowledge and master specific phonic strategies as they move through school. As a result, our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words that they might discover. We model these strategies in shared reading and writing both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on the development of language skills for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. 

How we teach phonics 

  • In Reception and Year 1, children follow the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. Phonics is taught daily and there is a review session every Friday. 
  • In Y2-Y3, phonic lessons are taught daily to children where appropriate – following the model of Little Wandle catch up support guidance to identify any specific gaps identified through assessment. 
  • In Y1-Y6 there are planned phonic ‘catch-up’ sessions following a set model to address specific reading/writing gaps.  

How do we assess phonic knowledge? 

  • In Reception and Year 1, at the end of each week there is a review session which recaps the learning. There are also whole review weeks (pre-planned and bespoke review weeks to address gaps identified by the class teacher’s ongoing formative assessment). 
  • Children identified in Reception and Year 1 as in danger of falling behind are immediately identified and daily ‘keep up’ sessions are put in place – sessions follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme. 
  • In Reception and Year 1, the children are assessed at the end of every half term using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker. 
  • The children in Y1 sit the Phonics Screening Check in the summer term. 
  • Children who do not pass the Phonics Screening Check in Y1, will re-sit this in Y2. 
  • Children who are in Y2-Y6 and need ‘catch up’ sessions are assessed through teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as half termly summative assessments. 

Reading practice sessions using the Little Wandle scheme 

  • Children across Reception, Year 1, Year 2 (and beyond if appropriate) apply their phonics knowledge by using a full matched decodable reader in a small group reading practice session. 
  • The sessions follow the model set out in Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. 

Supporting your child with reading 

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home. There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home: 

-A decodable reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently. 

– A reading for pleasure book.  Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together. 

Decodable reading practice book 

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading. Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together. 

Reading for pleasure book 

To encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, and explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

 

How to help your child at home: 

How to pronounce phonemes 

How we teach blending 

How we teach tricky words 

How we teach alien words 


Spelling

Spellings teaching is linked to the progression within Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme for younger children and embedded within English lessons for older pupils. Pupils are taught a range of ‘rules’ and strategies which are related to our progression of skills.

Spelling at Hellingly


Grammar and Punctuation

Children learn grammar and punctuation through analysing quality texts and then applying their learning to make informed and deliberate choices in their writing.

At the end of KS2 (Year 6), children participate in National Curriculum (SATS) tests in Spelling and in Grammar and Punctuation.

The following document outlines the progression of understanding of grammar through the school, and has definitions and examples to support understanding.


Writing composition

Children are taught writing for a variety of purposes, both fiction and non-fiction genres throughout each year. Independent opportunities are planned across the curriculum and through the integration of a new programme, called The Power of Reading, we will explore ways to link a quality text to the writing process, providing a greater context from which to write about.

Writing skills and progression overview


Handwriting

We have recently introduced a new scheme for handwriting throughout the school. Nelson Handwriting works in conjunction with both the National Curriculum and Letters and Sounds, providing clear consistency and progression whilst also allowing older children to develop their own handwriting style.