Wymondley English Policy...
Reading at Wymondley...
We are passionate about reading and children’s literature at Wymondley School. All classes share a text every day and reading is a key part of each school day. As parents, it is vital that you establish a reading culture at home too and make time for that all important bedtime story. All the years of research tells us that the children who do best in education have had a good foundation in talk and literature at home before the age of five.
Children get better at reading… by reading, by being read to and by discussing the things that they are reading in a relaxed and enjoyable conversation. There are many ways that we as a school help to encourage your child to want read and to find enjoyment from reading detailed below.
Please ask your child's class teacher if there’s anything that you would like to discuss about reading.
Shared Reading... Parents (or family members or a family friend if notified in advance as we fully appreciate that parents also have other commitments) of our Reception and Year 1 and 2 children (Puffins and Toucans) are invited to come and join us every Tuesday between 8:45-9:05am and every Thursday between 8.45-9.05am in Toucans and 2:55-3:10pm in Puffins to share a story with your child. The boost that a child can get from enjoying time reading with friends cannot be underestimated, not to mention the quality time that they get to spend with a family member focused only on them and their book!
Online Platforms... We have tried to make home learning as accessible and enjoyable as possible for all, which is why alongside the physical book that your child brings home they also have access to texts on Doodle English and Purple Mash. These are both digital platforms that can work around the busy lives that everyone leads these days. They are optimised to work on any screen, which means that whether you are enjoying a physical book at home or an online book while you are out and about there is always a way to include reading in your day.
Themed Days... We hold regular themed days throughout the school year, during which, children's learning is focused on a particular theme for the day and parents from all classes are invited to come and join us for the first hour of the day to take part in the learning activities with their child, which always proves to be a great morning! World Book Day is always celebrated and days such as 'Roald Dahl Day' 'Take One Book' and 'Author of the Term' have featured in recent years as well.
Library Lessons... We take great pride in our school library and even greater pride is seeing it being well used by the children! We operate library lessons for our Reception and Year 1 and 2 children as part of the curriculum where they learn how to use the library and, most importantly of all, how to enjoy the great range of books that our library has!
Library Club... We make sure that children in Years 3,4,5 and 6 don't miss out by giving them the option of attending library club each week during their lunch hour. The club is well attended and enjoyed so much by some that they go on to take on the role of school librarian and keep the library in top condition ready to be enjoyed by everyone.
Reading for pleasure...Children progress through the Little Wandle until they become 'free readers'. Each class have a wide selection of books (some of which are from the old reading scheme) which enables our children to have access to a rich and varied range of texts and authors during their time at our school. Our class reading books and our school library books are all updated regularly to make sure that they are appealing and enjoyable for all with a range of challenge to make sure that there is a book for everyone!
Parent Volunteers... We are always grateful to our parent volunteers who give up their time to come in and give children even more of that one-to-one reading experience, as every one of our children can never have too much time reading, talking and laughing about a book with an adult!
Reading in and Around the Curriculum... As you can gather, reading is really important to us at Wymondley School and as well as all of above, it features strongly throughout the curriculum as well, be that through a guided reading session or through investigating an authentic newspaper from WW2 as part of a History topic. Classes enjoy reading a class book during the school day- reading is everywhere!
Little Wandle Phonics
Through phonics at Wymondley School, children are taught to read and write daily. Throughout the EYFS and KS1, teachers follow the ‘Little Wandle for Letters and Sounds revised', a complete systematic, synthetic phonics programme. The programme is effective and ensures learning stays in children’s long-term memory and enables children to apply their learning to become highly competent readers. There is a high expectation on the progress of all learners.
Phonics lesson structure each day the whole class phonics lesson structure is the same and provides direct teaching in short bursts. It allows a consistent approach which maintains a secure, systematic progression for phonics learning. The pace of learning and repeated practice means that children become secure readers. The application of phonics is made through fully decodable books, aligned with learned phonemes. Effective keep-up support is put in place for children who are at risk of falling behind. These pupils are identified in the moment during whole class teaching and keep-up support is targeted quickly and effectively and half termly assessments are made to check that all children are 'on track'.
The Structure of a Daily Whole Class Phonics Lesson
|Revisit and Review||Teach and practise||Apply|
Each session begins with a revisit and review of previously taught GPCs. This is done using the same mantras each lesson to ensure a consistent approach and to avoid cognitive overload. The repetitive nature of revisiting and reviewing recently taught GPCs allows these to move into the pupils' long-term memory.
New GPCs are introduced in the same way each day using the Little Wandle resources to allow children the consistency they need to take on the new information quickly. Mnemonics and catchphrases for digraphs are effectively used to help children to remember the phonemes. Formation phrases are used to help children to form each grapheme. There is a focus on oral blending which leads into teacher lead blending of words. This then leads to independent reading of words. New tricky words are taught and previously taught tricky words are reviewed.
During the application stage, pupils are taught to read simple sentences, being encouraged to locate recent new learning in the sentence. Pupils are also given the opportunity to practise spellings and sentence writing. Current phonics learning is further applied and practised during the 3 weekly reading practice sessions.
Supporting Phonics in the Environment
It is important that the children are able to use their phonics knowledge independently and apply it to their own writing in a natural way once they have been taught the phonemes that they need. Our classroom environment is planned to enable this kind of independent phonics application.
Phoneme mats are available at all times which encourages children to use their phonics knowledge in their independent writing. This is especially true in child initiated learning (CIL), where the child has decided to write for their own purpose.
All taught phonemes are displayed as they are taught. This means that children know where to look to remind themselves when writing. An alphabet is displayed that children can add to with words and pictures relating to each letter. This is particularly useful at the start of the year as letters, such as the one at the beginning of their name, are significant to them.
At Wymondley School, there is a high profile on reading and building a life-long love of reading. This starts in the early years where early reading is taught through a variety of ways during phonics lessons and reading practice. It is focussed on decoding the text, prosody or use of performance voice and comprehension. Books are matched to the child’s current phonic level in order to give each child the confidence to apply their phonics knowledge to word, caption and sentence reading. These books are then sent home where children are able to confidently read to their families with fluency and accuracy. The classroom environment is set up to ensure that a love of reading is encouraged in different areas. The early years practitioners take opportunities throughout the day to promote reading, having story times, reading poetry and encouraging children to refer to non-fiction texts during their child-initiated play. Core texts are chosen to support the teaching of all areas of the curriculum. These are displayed as a class reading journey and allows the children to see what they have learned so far. The children often talk about the core texts previously used and have access to these in the provision.
Each child takes part in three reading practice lessons a week. Each lesson has a different focus and allows children to become fluent when reading the text. The first lesson focuses on decoding the text, with the children concentrating on applying their phonic knowledge and developing fluency when reading the words. The second reading session provides the opportunity to read the book again and practise reading with prosody so the children develop reading with appropriate meaning, stress and intonation. It provides an opportunity to explore characters’ feelings, what words mean and how punctuation adds to the meaning. At Wymondley, we call this our performance voice. By the third session, the children should be automatically applying their decoding skills to read with greater accuracy and fluency, enabling their working memory to be freed up to focus on comprehension. The purpose of the reading practice session for comprehension is to develop the children’s comprehension skills by using the reading content domains (2015 Key Stage 1: English reading test framework).
• Draw on their knowledge of vocabulary to understand texts.
• Identify/explain key aspects of fiction and non-fiction texts.
• Identify and explain the sequence of events in the text.
• Inference and deduction.
English at Wymondley is taught through the following content...
|Year 1/2||Year 3/4||Year 5/6|
Stories reflecting own experiences
Lists, labels and captions
Learning a familiar poem
Traditional Tales-alternative fairy tales
Haiku and Tanka
List poems and kennings
Mixed genre (historical/adventure)
Fiction from our literary heritage
Take one poet
Poems to perform
Stories with predictable phrasing
Stories with recurring language
Myths (creation stories)
Labels, lists and captions
Stories from relevant cultures
Mixed genre (character and setting descriptions)
|Enrichment Opportunities||Links Across the Curriculum|
Take one book week each term
Author/poet focus each term
World Book Day
Writing for publication/sharing
Writing for different audiences (within school)
Reading challenges such as 'Summer Reading Challenge' set by the Hertfordshire Library Service
PSHE- mental well being texts
(feel good reads recommended by staff)
PSHE-linked to themes and current issues (class reads and library)
Topic- Range of rich texts used to support topic teaching in
for geography. history, art and science
Written tasks often linked to topic areas
English- library time for all children
Rights Respecting Schools-texts to support rights and values,
Rights Respecting Schools-children to present in assemblies to their peers
Religious Education- Books that support cultural awareness and celebrate diversity
English in EYFS...
Following the new EYFS framework, the children in Puffins class begin to develop early reading skills. They are taught phonics every day using our Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised programme. Language skills are a key focus in Puffins class and the children are given plenty of opportunities to talk and articulate what they would like to learn. The children are given the opportunity to share work and experiences recorded from home on Tapestry with their classmates. The children also have opportunities for speaking and listening through their 'Magic Moments' task, where children are encouraged to recount an experience they have had-a visit, a holiday, a special occasion, or even a walk or visit to the local park.
Writing at Wymondley...
At Wymondley, we aim to give our children a writing curriculum which enables them to become confident, creative and independent writers who are able to articulate their own ideas. We support our children to develop transferable skills which they can use across the wider curriculum and throughout their lives. We use educational visits, high quality literature, film, art and music as stimuli for writing which links learning to real life experience and provides a contextualised, meaningful curriculum. Wymondley pupils leave with a strong independent writer’s voice and the technical skills necessary to communicate clearly in the modern world.
Teachers carefully plan writing ensuring that there is a purposeful outcome to each piece of writing. Writing takes place daily within English lessons and in other lessons linked to the wider curriculum. Extended writing is encouraged and developed at all appropriate times. An understanding of how to use grammar correctly, use relevant language and identifying word classes and sentence types is taught both in the context of a piece of writing and explicitly in whole class work. Linked to the National Curriculum guidelines for year groups, grammar is taught and planned to fit in with relevant genres of writing.
In Key Stages 1 and 2, children follow the National Curriculum through a genre-mapped scheme devised by HFL. Where possible, units are linked to the current topic curriculum. This gives children a broad base of knowledge, facts, vocabulary, real life experience and a context to base their writing on. Grammar is mapped by genre and year group, based on the new National Curriculum expectations. Children revisit these genres across the year and their school-life in order to deepen their mastery. In Key Stage 1, children focus on a more narrow range of genres heavily based on familiar stories, experiences and knowledge so that they can concentrate more fully on developing the craft of writing. During Key Stage 2, children broaden their experience of different genres and have the opportunity to develop their writing skills across a range of subjects.
Within each style of writing, children will follow these steps:
An overview of the DFE programme of study can be found here:
We teach children to use a continuous cursive style of handwriting. They start with individual letter formation and correct pencil grip in EYFS. Children begin to join when their letter formation is secure; usually, from the end of Year 1. Children are expected to produce neat, joined, legible handwriting at all times.
Speaking and Listening...
Throughout their time at Wymondley, children are given lots of opportunities to talk, ask and answer questions and present to an audience. This includes sharing their work in assemblies, presentations as part of a project task, discussion and debate sessions in class and in assemblies, role play and regular productions where the children perform to a live audience in Christmas performances and the Key Stage 2 summer shows.
BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zgkw2hv
BBC Bitesize https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/subjects/zv48q6f