At EBA we use the synthetic phonics approach, 'Letters and Sounds'. From Early Years the children are taught phonics in daily sessions. They begin with letter sounds for hearing and saying, followed by reading and writing. This progresses to more complex phonological knowledge into Key Stage 1.
Activities are differentiated to meet individual needs, with regular assessment and tracking of progress. At the end of Year 1, the children are required by law to undertake a Phonics Screening Check to meet a required standard. If this standard is not met the Check will be retaken at the end of Year 2.
Due to the wide range of needs and abilities, if needed, the children continue to learn phonics into Key Stage 2 to fill any phonological gaps they may have.
At EBA we aim to develop the skills and knowledge that will enable our children to communicate effectively, creatively and confidently through spoken and written language. At the heart of our English curriculum is the drive to inspire an appreciation of rich and varied literature and to develop habits that will lead a genuine love of reading.
English teaching at EBA is structured around the National Curriculum and the Early Learning Goals alongside our termly topics and themes. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum utilising a wide variety of quality texts that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion.
Speaking and Listening
We continually seek to support and promote pupils’ confidence and competence in the arts of speaking and listening. Fluency in spoken language enables children to express their ideas and feelings, discuss and understand new ideas and underpins the development of reading and writing. Most English lessons involve aspects of speaking and listening and children develop these skills further by sharing ideas with talk partners, participating in class debates, engaging in drama and role play and presenting to the school and wider audiences in assemblies.
Reading is fundamental to education and we do our best to encourage a love of books from the minute children start school. Children at EBA are taught to read using the synthetic reading programme ‘Letters and Sounds’. This is continued in KS2 as a programme called ‘Support for Spelling’.
We believe it is hugely important for all pupils to read daily, where possible out loud to an adult but otherwise to themselves. Parental support is essential and the children take home reading books regularly to share at home. We ask parents to fill in a reading record to record shared reading. When children first start reading they will be given carefully levelled books from the reading scheme to scaffold their reading through Key Stage 1 and into Years 3 and beyond if necessary.
At school, comprehension skills are taught through whole class texts and guided reading sessions. Teachers, teaching assistants and volunteers regularly hear children read individually and children are also asked to read independently during specific times in class. Every class visits the school library weekly where children are encouraged to select books of their choosing and enjoy reading purely for pleasure.
The teaching of writing includes learning about writing for different purposes and audiences, thus, enabling the children to write fluently in a variety of styles. We use high quality texts, teacher modelling and collaborative writing to demonstrate good practice. Children are expected to be able to write clearly and take a pride in the presentation of their work. Cursive writing is encouraged from reception. Writing lessons also include the technical aspects of spelling, grammar and punctuation required by the National Curriculum. Grammar is taught both discretely and through guided reading and writing sessions.
Application of writing skills is seen in all areas across the wider curriculum. Throughout the school the teaching of writing follows the writing process of planning, drafting, editing and improving and finally publishing. This process is completed in conjunction with an understanding of the purpose and audience of the writing.