Hello, We are Miss NG and Mrs Middlebrook and we are the Literacy and Phonics leaders here at Hayfield Lane Primary School
At Hayfield we offer children a high quality English curriculum where we endeavour to teach and develop children’s vital key skills in English that will hold them in good stead to build a great base for the future. Our ambitious curriculum builds on their skills in reading and writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar, speaking and listening, phonics and handwriting. These are all key skills that are fundamental to ensuring that children are equipped to be successful in all their subjects and have a positive future. These skills allow aspirational targets to be held by the children and no ceiling to be placed on their hopes and dreams.
Our English Curriculum is taught in specific English lessons and practised and applied through written and practical work in other subjects across the curriculum. English lessons at Hayfield help our pupils to develop skills in reading and writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar, speaking and listening, phonics and handwriting. The importance of being literate cannot be understated and we pride ourselves in developing these core skills within a broad and exciting curriculum. We expect and encourage children to write to the same standard in the foundation subjects as they do in English. We hold the foundation subjects to the same high standard as the core subjects. At Hayfield, we endeavour to interest the children in their learning with a cross-curricular approach to writing. To do this, we base our link texts to the whole class Novel Study, which extends their learning opportunities beyond that particular subject area.
Hayfield has a comprehensive programme of curriculum enrichment to ensure that all children receive the opportunity to explore units of work through practical and experiential activities. The variety of trips and activities allow the children to build on prior knowledge and practise application of skills learnt. Enrichment happens across the curriculum and provides opportunities to develop independent learning skills and reach for higher level learning objectives requiring practical application of knowledge and skills.
Reading is a skill of high importance which impacts the children’s lives in many ways, such as gaining information and expanding their vocabulary. Children in Reception classes and Year 1 have important daily phonics lessons, Read, Write Inc, which give children the stepping stones to break down unknown words into readable chunks. This specific Phonics programme has proved highly successful. Phonics is not the only reading method, but is a very useful tool for children trying to make sense of texts that they do not understand. The core phonic scheme used is ‘Read, Write, Inc.’. The core reading scheme is predominantly Read, Write, Inc. link texts which mean that the books are matched to their reading ability and will be texts that the children are able to apply their reading skills independently. They are also sent a text that they are able to ‘read for pleasure’.
“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark."
Victor Hugo, Les Miserables
At Hayfield Lane we pride ourselves on fully appreciating the importance of reading, as it enables children to be successful, independent learners in all aspects of the curriculum.
We approach the learning of reading from many angles.
We follow the Read Write Inc. programme to teach children the phonic skills required to be able to blend and read words fluently. This enables children to develop their reading skills at an appropriate pace, matched closely to their reading skills.
In Foundation 1 children are taught a sound a week from the Read Write Inc scheme. By the Summer Term of Nursery children begin taking home a picture book to share with parents to develop vocabulary and share story time with their parents.
From Foundation 2 children then take reading books home that are thematically linked to their RWI classroom story book. These provide the opportunity to review the sounds taught within their RWI lesson and phonetically decodable words linked to their corresponding classroom storybook.
Children also have access to a tightly-structured reading programme, based on colour bands to match each child’s ability to encourage children to read for pleasure with parents.
We hear children read independently on a regular basis, and as part of our ‘Guided Reading’ sessions. In this way, we can closely monitor each child’s vital comprehension skills.
Each classroom has a broad range of ‘Books for Pleasure’, and we actively encourage all children to access these books at every opportunity.
We believe that learning to read is not simply a ‘mechanical’ process, one in which children learn to decode individual words. We believe that reading is based on developing comprehension skills: the ability to infer information and empathise with, and relate to, characters; the skills of skimming and scanning non-fiction texts to retrieve information; and the ability to use a contents page, glossary and index independently to further their learning and understanding.
At Hayfield the children from Nursery to Year 2 take part in regular discrete Phonics sessions. We follow the structure of Read, Write, Inc. and use a variety of resources to support their learning. During Phonics the children revisit sounds and words they have previously been taught. They are taught a new sound or word and practise reading and writing the sound or word. They apply their skills through activities such as matching games and independent writing activities.
Reading comprehension in KS2 and Year 2 is taught during whole-class guided reading via Reciprocal Reading. Children have the opportunity to share their opinions of the text as a class. Their comprehension skills are then checked through comprehension questions created based on SATs style questioning. This method will develop the children’s discussion and reasoning skills, which will be applicable to many other subjects.
We teach the Martin Harvey style of handwriting. Pupils develop their handwriting and presentation throughout the entire school, from Foundation Stage to Key Stage 2. Early development within Foundation Stage provides children with the opportunities to mark-make using a variety of materials. As the children progress through Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1 they develop their fine-motor skills resulting in a comfortable pencil grip and the ability to form letters using the correct sequence of movements. By the end of Year 3 the children are expected to begin using joined handwriting. These skills are extended as the children move through Key Stage 2. This skill instils the importance of presentation in the children.
Throughout the school, children are expected to learn spellings appropriate to their age group. In Key Stage 2, the children learn strategies to help them spell unfamiliar words using the RWI Spell scheme. Grammar and punctuation is taught during English lessons and applied where possible. Pupils are given plenty of opportunities to apply their spelling, punctuation and grammar skills in all their lessons.
In studying narrative texts, children learn the structures of the different story styles that they encounter using a variety of immersive activities and methods. They learn how to set the scene for each and how plot developments can be used to engage the reader before a conclusion is planned to bring the narrative to an engaging end.
Throughout school, children are introduced to a variety of different story styles and are taught to 'magpie' words, phrases and ideas that they like so that they can re-use them at a later point.
Children also study the grammatical structures used by writers and are helped to identify those that they should be aiming to include in their own work.
Poetry comes in many forms. Our curriculum teaches the children to recognise these different forms, and the effects that poets try to produce in the reader by using a range of different styles of poetry.
Also, our children learn how to read poetry and to write in similar styles to known poets when expressing themselves individually.
At Hayfield, we are able to use the genre of poetry to develop an understanding of many grammatical tools, which children then use across all of their writing as well as in poetry.
It is important that our children can access information texts throughout their curriculum work, so that the children are exposed to different genres of writing. In studying non-fiction texts, children learn about the features to include in non fiction writing and how to use this knowledge when writing, reading or researching. Children learn how the style of writing in non-fiction texts varies; they read many such books in their studies in order to extend their understanding of a wide variety of themes and concepts.
In Key Stages 1 and 2 we use the National Curriculum to outline a clear sequence for the teaching of skills-based writing (shared, guided, modelled and independent writing). Pupils are provided with an engaging whole class novel as a basis for producing their own writing. They are then guided by the teaching staff using the ‘I, We, You’ model to develop their writing skills. Pupils develop their punctuation, grammar and spelling skills through sentence level work linked with the class novel where possible. They are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes and audiences, adapting their language and style according to purpose. We encourage children to follow and apply the RAVIE writing process during their writing activities to ensure that the children have the opportunity to create depth to their writing and develop their mastery of this key skill.
R – Range
A – Accuracy
V – Vocabulary
I – Independence
E – Editing
Pupils at Hayfield are given ample opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills through activities including but not limited to: group discussions, presenting, performing, debates, drama/role play and speaking and listening tasks. These skills are developed throughout all their areas of learning.