English

Reading

We mainly use Letters and Sounds to support our teaching of Phonics at Castlewood School.

 In Reception class we teach the children also using Jolly Phonics actions.

Our reading books are banded using a colour coded system to support the progression of reading skills particularly in Key Stage 1.

We use a range of books and resources to support this, including the Oxford Reading Tree scheme in Key Stage 1.

In Key Stage 2 we organise the fiction books in genres and use a colour coded system to support all readers. All pupils in Key Stage 2 are strongly encouraged to read a range of genres and authors. We also promote reading by inviting a number of authors to visit our school as well as encouraging pupils to write book reviews and listen to stories read by class teachers. Castlewood has even published its own book!

Key Stage 1 : English Workshop

This guide helps parents and carers understand how children progress in English in The National Curriculum. Also included are ideas for what you can do with your child to support the development of their speaking and listening, reading and writing at home and help them make progress. You will find this guide helpful when discussing your child’s progress with their teachers.

Within the National Curriculum, learning English is about learning to use language to express, explore and communicate our thoughts ideas and feelings with others. We do this through speaking, listening, reading and writing and getting better at English means making progress in each of these areas.

Children do not usually make progress at the same rate in speaking, listening, reading and writing. In their early years, for example, most children are better speakers and listeners than readers and writers. This is important as early skills with spoken language underpin the development of reading and writing. However, speaking, listening, reading and writing are closely interrelated. So, for example, effective speakers and writers take account of their listeners and readers because they are hoping to interest or influence them. Talking to your child is crucial in helping children to make progress in all aspects of English. Questioning, prompting, responding (whether the focus is on reading, writing, speaking or listening) are all important in helping your child to build on what they can already do. Here are a number of suggestions as to how you can help your child to make further progress at whatever stage of the curriculum they are working.

They all rely on talking with your child in a relaxed, informal way and making their language learning part of everyday life.

What you can do to help your child make progress

Speaking and listening

Ensure that: – they have plenty of opportunities for talk

                        – you listen to them with attention, and respond

                        – they hear and listen to sustained talk by others.

 Encourage them to speak at length, by:

                        – helping them take a long turn in a conversation

                        – prompting them to help them keep going

                        – asking them to tell you about some event in detail or explain to you how 

                           something works.

 Help them understand how speakers help listeners, by:

                         – using repetition and different voices for different characters when telling a story

                         – encouraging them to think about how to organise what they want to say

                         – changing their pace.

 Encourage them to notice and talk about:

                         – interesting/unusual words

                         – some of the different ways people speak.

Reading

 Ensure they have:

                         – access to books, magazines and newspapers from home, school

                            and library

                         – somewhere quiet to read

                         – time to read regularly

                         – opportunity to see you as a reader – reading, choosing books,

                            going to the library, talking about what you read.

 Read to them and take turns with them in reading a section each of the text, supporting and prompting their reading in positive ways.

 Talk with them about the books they read:

                         – their favourite part or character and your favourite part

                         – how the illustrations support the story

                         – their favourite author

                         – what makes a book different from (or similar to) others they have

                            read.

Talk about the meaning of what they have read. Ask them, for example, to explain:

                         – how they know that X is the villain or Y the heroine

                         – why they like or dislike a particular character

                         – what will happen next

                         – and why they think so

                         – a character’s actions or motives

Writing

 Ensure they have:

                         – opportunities to write at home

                         – pencils, pens, crayons, but also card or folded paper to make

                            booklets

                         – opportunities to see you as a writer, for example, writing emails

                            or lists.

 Read and talk about their writing:

                         – ask them to read their writing aloud to you

                          – respond to the writing and praise what you like

                         – ask them to explain why they wrote particular sections as they

                            did.

Help them with planning their writing:

                         – ask them to talk through their ideas with you before they write

                         – prompt them to include more detail, sequence things more clearly,

                            vary the pace.

 Help them to think about the person who will read their writing:

                         – do they want the reader to like the main character?

                         – should they include some clues about the ending?

                         – does the writing build up to a climax?

Working in English in Year 1

Speaking and listening

- talk about things they have done and imagined

 - remember the main ideas in things they have heard

- take turns when speaking in pairs or groups

 - change the way they speak in some situations, for example, talking to adults differently from friends or pretending to be other people.

Reading

- read a range of key words on sight and blend sounds to decode unfamiliar words

- recall basic information from texts read, for example, names of characters

- look for information in print and on a website and make simple inferences, for

   example, how a character is feeling

- express simple likes and dislikes in their reading.

Writing

- have a clear purpose for their writing, for example, to tell a story, recount a visit, give

   instructions

- use some features of the style they choose to write in, for example, ‘once upon a time’

    in a story

- organise their ideas straightforwardly, for example, by grouping ideas together in

    sections or sequencing events

- write mainly simple sentences, marking where they begin and end with full stops and

    capital letters.

Working in English in Year 2

Speaking and listening

- start conversations and keep them going, building on what other people say

- contribute to a small group, recognising speakers’ main ideas

- adapt their speech and gesture to suit obviously different situations or create a role

- notice some differences in people’s spoken language.

Reading

- read aloud with fluency, expression and understanding

- use different ways to read unfamiliar words

- get the literal meaning from a text and make some straightforward inferences

- pick out the most obvious points from texts they read

- identify the main purpose of the text.

Writing

- write simple texts with a clear purpose using the main features of the type of writing they choose

- organise their ideas to help the reader, for example, by grouping ideas in sections, or signalling the beginning and ending of their writing

- use capital letters and full stops accurately to separate simple sentences

- attempt some more complex sentences using connectives, such as ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘so’

- start to enjoy writing independently and use it to support their learning in other subjects.

 

Helping at Home

How to help your child at home with Reading and Writing

This guide helps parents and carers understand how children progress in English at each National Curriculum level. Also included are ideas for what you can do with your child to support the development of their speaking and listening, reading and writing at home and help them make progress.

At all levels, learning English is about learning to use language to express, explore and communicate our thoughts ideas and feelings with others. We do this through speaking, listening, reading and writing and getting better at English means making progress in each of these areas.

Children do not usually make progress at the same rate in speaking, listening, reading and writing. In their early years, for example, most children are better speakers and listeners than readers and writers. This is important as early skills with spoken language underpin the development of reading and writing. However, speaking, listening, reading and writing are closely interrelated. So, for example, effective speakers and writers take account of their listeners and readers because they are hoping to interest or influence them. Talking to your child is crucial in helping children to make progress in all aspects of English. Questioning, prompting, responding (whether the focus is on reading, writing, speaking or listening) are all important in helping your child to build on what they can already do.

Here are a number of suggestions as to how you can help your child to make further progress at whatever level they are working.

They all rely on talking with your child in a relaxed, informal way and making their language learning part of everyday life.

What does your child need to help them make progress?

Speaking and listening

 Ensure that:

– They have plenty of opportunities for talk.

                        – You listen to them with attention, and respond.

                        – They hear and listen to sustained talk by others.

 Encourage them to speak at length, by:

                        – Helping them take a long turn in a conversation.

                        – Prompting them to help them keep going.

                        – Asking them to tell you about some event in detail or explain to you how 

                           something works.

 Help them understand how speakers help listeners, by:

                         – Using repetition and different voices for different characters when    

                            telling a story.

                         – Encouraging them to think about how to organise what they want to say.

                         – Changing their pace.

 Encourage them to notice and talk about:

                         – Interesting/unusual words.

                         – Some of the different ways people speak.

Reading

Ensure they have:

                                 – Access to books, magazines and newspapers from home, school and library.

                                 – Somewhere quiet to read.

                                 – Time to read regularly.

                                 – Opportunity to see you as a reader – reading, choosing books, going to the library, talking about what you read.

 Read to them and take turns with them in reading a section each of the text, supporting and prompting their reading in positive ways.

Talk with them about the books they read:

                                 – Their favourite part or character and your favourite part.

                                 – How the illustrations support the story.

                                 – Their favourite author.

                                     – What makes a book different from (or similar to) others they have read.

 Talk about the meaning of what they have read. Ask them, for example, to explain:

                                 – How they know that X is the villain or Y the heroine.

                                 – Why they like or dislike a particular character.

                                 – What will happen next?

                                 – A character’s actions or motives.

Writing

 Ensure they have:

                                  – Opportunities to write at home.

                                  – Pencils, pens, crayons, but also card or folded paper to make booklets.

                                  – Opportunities to see you as a writer, for example, writing emails or lists.

 Read and talk about their writing:

                                  – Ask them to read their writing aloud to you.

                                  – Respond to the writing and praise what you like.

                                  – Ask them to explain why they wrote the particular sections they did.

Help them with planning their writing:

                                 – Ask them to talk through their ideas with you before they write.

                                 – Prompt them to include more detail, sequence clearly and vary the pace.

Help them to think about the person who will read their writing:

                                 – Do they want the reader to like the main character?

                                 – Should they include some clues about the ending?

                                 – Does the writing build up to a climax?

 

What you can do at home to help your child make progress

Speaking and listening

Talk with them about their ideas for example: when painting or modelling, ask them to retell simple stories in their own words. EE

Encourage their play in different roles listen together to stories on CDs, radio or television.

Encourage them to develop their ideas by taking longer turns, adding detail and thinking about how ideas connect play listening and guessing games where they have to listen and ask questions, for example, ‘I spy’, ‘20 questions’

Reading

Read books together, reading a section in turn, and talk about:

– What happened?

– How do the pictures support the story?

– Which parts did they like best?

Encourage them to choose books independently.

Encourage them to decode unfamiliar words independently, but prompt them if they lose the gist of what they’re reading.

Engage with what they read by asking them to:

– Predict what will happen next in a story

– Describe their response when they know what does happen

– Explain why a character behaves as they do

– Point to particular parts of a text that they like

– Talk about what a text suggests or implies.

 Encourage them to read a range of texts, for example, fiction and information books, comics and poems.

Writing

 Encourage writing in play and what they do, for example, lists for shopping, record the results for their favourite sports team engage with their writing through:

– Saying what you liked in it

– Asking where their ideas have come from

– Asking them to show you where a sentence begins and ends help them to organise and sequence their writing by asking them to talk about their ideas or to draw a sequence of simple pictures to show how the main events in a story might be organised.

Talk with them about how they might improve or rephrase sections, for example, by including more descriptive detail or using connectives (such as ‘and’, ‘but’) to combine sentences.
 

Why learn to read words on sight?

Researcher shows that learning just 13 of the most frequently used words will enable children to read 25% of any text. Learning 100 high frequency words gives a beginner reader access to 50% of virtually any text, whether a children's book or a newspaper report. When you couple sight recognition of common and tricky words with knowledge of phonics, that's when a child's reading can really take off…

Decodable words

Tricky words

a

had

the

an

back

to

as

and

I

at

get

no

if

big

go

in

him

into

is

his

it

not

of

got

off

up

on

mum

can

but

dad

put

Decodable words

Tricky words

will

see

you

he

that

for

they

she

this

now

all

we

then

down

are

me

them

look

my

be

with

too

her

was

Decodable words

Tricky words

went

said

were

it’s

have

there

from

like

little

children

so

one

just

do

when

help

some

out

come

what

Decodable words

Tricky Words

don’t

day

oh

old

made

their

I’m

came

people

by

make

Mr

time

here

Mrs

house

saw

looked

about

very

called

your

asked

could

English - Links

Links to websites to help with English at home

Dear Parents

We have put together a list of some of the websites that we think might help you and your child if they wish to practise outside of school.  Have a look and see if there are any games or activities that they would enjoy. 

The BBC Bitesize website has lots of useful information on all the curriculum subjects – it is well worth exploring. http://www.bbc.co.uk/education

Games for building sentences www.sentenceplay.co.uk

Activities for phonics (phases 2 – 5) http://www.phonicsplay.co.uk

Woodlands School :games and activities related to spelling, sentence and grammar. http://resources.woodlands-junior.kent.sch.uk/interactive/literacy.html

BBC Schools:  activities related to spelling, phonics, sentences and grammar. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/websites/4_11/site/literacy.shtml

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