At Bracebridge Infant and Nursery School we understand that literacy is a foundation to accessing learning in all other areas of the curriculum and literacy learning is encouraged, developed and supported here with great importance and focus at every opportunity.
Literacy has three main aspects: speaking and listening, reading and writing. Each of these aspects supports the others so all are taught with equal importance. We strongly believe that high quality phonics teaching and learning and high quality speaking and listening experiences build the strongest foundations for good reading and writing development.
Therefore, as we are an infant school supporting the youngest of learners, we place a strong emphasis on these key elements during each and every school day. We have literacy opportunities embedded throughout our curriculum and it is used to explore and develop learning in all other subjects.
Speaking and listening
At Bracebridge Infant and Nursery School you will see speaking and listening taking place in every classroom during all lessons as we believe that high quality speaking and listening teaching will lead to high quality learning in all areas of the curriculum. Many of our lessons across the curriculum require the children to work collaboratively, either in pairs or small groups, which encourages key skills such as listening and responding appropriately and negotiating. Our literacy topics will usually begin with an emphasis on speaking and listening. During literacy lessons we use techniques such as drama, freeze framing and hot seating to encourage the children to explore the text they are sharing as a class more thoroughly before they carry out any writing activities. This allows the children to have developed their ideas about the text before they are asked to write, promoting more thoughtful and interesting written pieces of work.
At Bracebridge Infant and Nursery School, we understand the importance of English in all aspects of learning. It is a core subject of the National Curriculum and a prerequisite for educational and social progress. English skills such as Reading, Writing and Speaking and Listening help to underpin other areas of the curriculum. With a range of languages, diverse cultures and individualities here at Bracebridge, the acquisition of language skills is of the utmost importance and therefore the teaching of all aspects of English is given high priority within school. We aim to ensure that every child becomes a reader, a writer and a confident speaker by the time they leave our school. We strive to promote and instil a love for reading, writing and high-quality literature into pupils of all ages.
We use the Read, Write INC (RWI) programme to ensure all children make at least good progress. Children are put into small ability groupings and taught by an adult who has had full RWI training, and continues to be coached and mentored so that our English teaching is always of the highest standard. Any child, who for whatever reason, is not making the expected progress, and our lowest 20% receive daily intervention in order to allow them to make progress, and leave the school a fluent reader. Once children have completed the RWI programme, they enter our language and literacy group, which teaches genres, speaking & listening, reading and writing through a high-quality text. Alongside RWI, a genre per term is taught to the children and an independent written piece is produced.
Language and Literacy concepts to be covered:
Nouns (all forms), Pronouns, Adjectives, expanded noun phrase, verb – doing word, verb – being word, adverbs, Simile, Dr Sense, Preposition (Position), Simple Sentence, Antonym, Synonym, Openers which relate to Y2, Co-ordinating Conjunction, Compound sentence, Main clause, Subordinating Conjunction, Complex sentence, subordinate clause.
Reading is not only celebrated in classrooms but around school. You will find many opportunities for pupils to engage in reading opportunities during the classroom environment through our interactive reading corners and phonics areas around the school. High quality texts are read to the children daily in our dedicated reading time, with our ‘favourite 5’ books being repeated often so that children can retell their favourite stories independently, and develop their knowledge of story structures. Each week, children are invited to take home a reading for pleasure book to share with their families. Author visits, and special events such as World Book Day all work to further develop children’s love of the written word.
We endeavour to ensure we provide our pupils with a 'language rich' environment. Within our classrooms, we explore ambitious vocabulary across the wider curriculum to ensure we acquire an understanding of tricky language across the wider curriculum through the use of our vocabulary walls. At Bracebridge Infant and Nursery School, we aim to share our vision of high aspirations for all of our pupils through our high expectations across the wider curriculum; by setting these high expectations, our pupils are aware of the standards we expect in all lessons and learning opportunities.
Impact: (How will we know what the children have learnt?)
The aim is that the majority of children will be using joined up writing fluently and accurately by the end of year 2. In the Early Years Foundation Stage, letter formation is first introduced alongside the children’s phonics learning to provide them with a multi-sensory approach; all as part of RWI. Specific handwriting sessions happen to the whole class daily in Key Stage 1 but there is an expectation that handwriting is considered during all writing activities.