At Hall Green Infant school we value reading as a key life skill that underpins everything we do, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers with a love of reading. We believe reading is fundamental for academic success and so encompass this into all areas of our curriculum.
We know that our children come from diverse backgrounds and many are learning English as a second language therefore teaching reading and the knowledge and basic skills of how to read are the foundation for their future. By the time children leave Hall Green Infant School they should be articulate and literate individuals with a strong love of reading and the will to read.
Our Phonics curriculum follows the Letters and Sounds scheme, a Systematic Synthetic Phonics scheme published by the Government in 2007. A synthetic phonics approach is strongly aligned with research theories of early reading development; a strong body of research-based evidence suggesting that early literacy teaching in English should focus on teaching letter-sound relationships in an explicit, organised and sequenced fashion (systematic phonics; Ehri, Nunes, Stahl & Willows, 2001; Torgerson, Brooks & Hall, 2006). The National Curriculum in England (DfE, 2013) makes more specific recommendations and advocates that children should be taught to ‘sound out’ each phoneme in a word, then blend these phonemes together to pronounce the whole word (synthetic phonics). The programme was published by the Government in 2007 and it aims to build children's speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven.
We teach Phonics as THE route to decoding words and as the THE route to access reading and comprehension.
We believe that children draw on their experiences in reading to help shape their writing and therefore high quality texts are at the heart of our writing. We share rich examples of writing both on and off the page and teach children how to draw on their own experiences when writing. We give children meaningful opportunities to write for real purposes and audiences through a variety of forms including non-fiction, poetry and narratives.
We believe strongly in the link of reading and writing and that developing children as writers is so much more than asking them to remember grammatical constructions or tricky spellings. It is a complicated and intricate process – and as we enable children to become a writers we give them a voice, support them to communicate and provided them with a skill that are vital for all of their schooling and to their life beyond.
We provide opportunities to develop confidence in speaking and listening because we recognise language is an integral part of learning and oral language in particular has a key role in classroom teaching and learning. Furthermore speaking, listening, reading and writing are interdependent and mutually enhancing. “Oracy is a condition of learning in all subjects, it is not a frill but a state of being in which the whole school must operate”. (Wilkinson 1965)