Literacy is at the heart of our curriculum. We believe that it is an essential life skill and as such, we embed other curriculum areas into literacy lessons. At least two hours a day is spent on literacy-based activities and skills, allowing our children to learn, practise and adapt their understanding, skills and knowledge to everyday life. Throughout the school we incorporate drama, role-play and speaking and listening activities into all our work. We use cross-curricular topics to make learning come alive and really value trips, real experiences and visual literacy.
Technology also plays an important part so we know our children are ready for the wider world. We use a range of websites and programmes to stimulate learning and different tools to record it. We have a systematic approach to spelling, grammar and punctuation that allows all our children to explore and apply rules.
In Foundation Stage we focus on phonics – looking at how letters sound and linking this to words. We send home sounds and activities regularly so the children can extend their learning with their families. We also look at keywords (those words children just have to know). This is the first step to reading and writing. Through this, we learn to enjoy books and write our own ideas and stories.
Phonics remains a focus in Key Stage One and is an important tool for helping us to read. We have separate daily phonic sessions! Reading is taught through both a daily Reading Workshop (where we learn and practise phonics, word recognition and understanding what the book is about) and in literacy lessons. Our literacy lessons are cross-curricular and in them we use lots of ‘Talk for Writing’ so our children really understand how language works.
In Key Stage Two, we develop our literacy skills further; attempting harder activities and texts and adapting what we know so we can impact on our reader. We work to become more responsible for our learning and take time to use any feedback to improve our work. Spelling is taught regularly, with phonics happening where necessary.