At Houghton Regis Primary School, we intend for all children to develop as confident, accurate and expressive writers who are able to reflect upon their work and consider their audience. We expect that all children will have meaningful and rich opportunities across the curriculum to write in different styles and use quality texts to ensure that our children have high aspirations when writing. We want to develop the strongest of foundations within the technical aspects of spelling and grammar, so that this never impedes the flow of their imagination. We want all our children to develop a comfortable, legible and consistent handwriting style and to have pride in their written work, whatever the subject.
Development of children’s vocabulary and spoken language development is a priority from starting school. Regular opportunities are planned for children to practise their speaking and listening skills, so they learn to articulate their ideas clearly and structure their thoughts into speech and writing accurately. We are committed to ensuring children develop good language and communication skills through out Early Years and KS1 and KS2, to support disadvantaged children and those with specific communication and interaction needs. Application of these strategies supports children in their writing across all areas of the curriculum.
The teaching of writing incorporates regular reading opportunities within writing lessons and teachers plan opportunities for children to transfer their reading techniques into their writing. We have a commitment to vocabulary development across all areas of the curriculum and teach children to learn, to remember, and to apply new vocabulary as part of the writing process. Age-appropriate spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught in context, relating to the specific text types children are learning about to provide purpose and context. We teach children to write for different audiences and to explore the impact that word choices can have on the reader. We make clear the relationship between sounds and letters which children have learnt in phonics to support effective transcription so that children learn to spell words quickly and accurately.
Our aim is to develop confident, motivated and successful writers. We teach children to respect each other’s learning styles and work creatively to learn in new and exciting ways. We nurture children’s self-belief to ensure children feel comfortable in making mistakes and learn how to improve. We want to instil a love of writing and encourage children to continuously strive to improve.
At Houghton Regis Primary School we deliver Phonics using the ‘Essential Letters and Sounds’ teaching programme.
The teaching of reading begins, using fully decodable texts, matched to each child’s current and developing phonic knowledge. Reading books are taken from a variety of published schemes, including Big Cat Phonics and Little Wandle Letters and Sounds.
Children in the Early Years and Key Stage One have a daily Phonics lesson. Pupils are regularly assessed and are placed in smaller teaching groups to ensure teaching is matched accurately to pupils continuing acquisition of skills and knowledge. During their time in Key Stage 1 pupils complete the Phonic Screening Test. The results are used to further support pupils as they progress on their reading journey through the school.
Children at Houghton Regis Primary School are given regular opportunities to read in a variety of contexts. Pupils read individually, in guided groups and in larger shared reading situations. They are encouraged to apply and demonstrate their reading across the wider curriculum to help them develop as lifelong readers.
As the children move through the school they will move from decodable readers and texts organised according to the Book Bands system, to using Accelerated Reader. Accelerated Reader uses on-line reading quizzes to monitor comprehension, while literacy skills and vocabulary quizzes will extend student learning and build skills mastery.