At Ravensmead, we understand the importance of securing a firm foundation for children to begin to learn how to read and spell. For children to be successful, a good phonics curriculum is paramount and this begins in the Nursery.
All children in Nursery, Reception and Year 1 have daily phonics lessons, when they begin to learn how to discriminate sounds and learn the relationship between letters (graphemes) and the sounds they make (phonemes). The children also learn to read 'red words' (words that will not 'sound out') by reading them on sight. From September 2022, Reception and Year 1, are using the 'FFT: Success for All Phonics' programme.
In the Early Years (Nursery and Reception), children are encouraged to develop their phonic skills throughout the day, not just during phonic lessons. Children will have a range of opportunities, through the continuous provision, to practise listening to stories and rhymes, singing songs, reading a variety of books, writing 'messages' in the role play areas and playing games that also develop their gross and fine motor skills so that your child is able to hold a pencil to write.
For more information about the importance of phonics in Reception, please watch the video below.
In Year 1, children start to learn to read and spell a wider range of graphemes and 'red words' (sometimes called common exception words). For example, learning that the /ay/ phoneme can be spelt as 'ai', 'ay', 'a-e' & 'a'. The link above shows the range of graphemes that the children will be taught over the academic year.
Towards the end of Year 1, children complete a 'Phonic Screening Check'. This check is used to assess how many words a child is able to read, using their phonic skills to decode words containing the taught graphemes.
In Year 2 and throughout Key Stage 2, children continue to develop and deepen their phonic knowledge by learning how to spell an even wider range of words. As well as phonics, children begin to use their understanding of 'morphology': how the spelling of a 'root' word effects the spelling when adding prefixes and suffixes. For example, how the root word happy does not change when adding the prefix 'un' to make 'unhappy' but it does when adding the suffix 'ly' to make the word 'happily'.
See the documents below which show the words, set out by the National Curriculum for English, which children are taught to spell.
Year 1 common exception word list
Year 2 common exception word list
Years 3 & 4 statutory spelling list
Years 5 & 6 statutory spelling list
Reading is a lifelong skill and here at Ravensmead, we provide a range of exciting and motivating opportunities for reading.
Children are introduced to age related stories, poems and non-fiction texts from Nursery: some which are linked to the current topic being taught in class and some which are simply read for pleasure and enjoyment!
All classes have a reading area containing books which are familiar to the children as well as books that can be read independently by the children because they are phonetically decodable (books which are closely matched to the graphemes being taught in that class).
To recognise the importance of reading at home, we have a weekly 'Reading Raffle'. To be entered into the raffle, we ask for children to read, or read to, at least 4 times a week. Mrs Goodall then selects a raffle ticket from each Key Stage and the winner is able to choose a book to keep. All children have reading scheme books and library books which are taken home to share with their parents/carers. The scheme books sent home are closely matched to a child's developing phonic skills and should be read independently by the child, whilst their library book may be a 'read together' book.
We have recently elected 'Reading Ambassadors' for our classes in Year 2-6. These children are committed to raising the profile of reading within class and recommending great books to others
Y2B: Jasper & Eva
Y3H: Seth & Anaya
Y3D: Elsie & Thea
Y4K: Pip & Isabella
Y4R: Athealia & Daisy
Y5H: Nico & Toby
Y5C: Ronnie & Kylah
Y6WS: Lottie & Izzy
Y6KH: Frankie & Orla
Expectations in Reading
Reading Ambassadors Newsletter
As well as nurturing a love of reading and books, children are also taught a range of comprehension skills.
From Reception, children have guided reading sessions: reading a text in a small group with a member of staff. During these sessions, children are taught book language and understand how to answer a range of questions about the books they read. For example, asking who, what, where, why and how questions about characters and events.
From Year 2-6, children complete their guided reading as a whole class. The 'VIPERS' acronym is used to teach the specific comprehension skills.
Progression of the reading domains Year 1-Year 6
Our Reading Curriculum Year 1
Our Reading Curriculum Year 2
Our Reading Curriculum Year 3/4
Our Reading Curriculum Year 5/6
Children soon learn the importance of writing: seeing family and friends sending messages to each other, making notes and writing greetings cards, to name just a few ways that adults use writing as a permanent form of communication.
As soon as a child can hold a mark making tool, they are encouraged to make shapes and give them meaning. This starts in Nursery, when children are encouraged to draw and mark make and give those images/marks meanings by telling others what it says. Through a child's Early Years, they are taught that there are specific ways to make words using letters, and the words that are most important to a child begin to take shape (like learning to write their own name and as well as the words 'Mum' and 'Dad'). In the Early Years, the children are provided with a wide range of opportunities to practise their writing skills: painting, drawing, chalking, in play dough, with pencils and crayons and many more ways!
In Reception, children continue to develop their writing skills, learning to spell words and how to put words together to write a simple sentence. This skill is then continually built upon in each year group throughout their time in Primary School.
At Ravensmead, we are using 'Letter-join' to support children to learn the correct letter formation. Children begin by learning a 'non-cursive' script and then move on to using lead-ins to support the transition to using a joined script.
The document to the left shows the home log in details so that your child can access the resources on their tablet at home (children in Nursery to Year 2).
Handwriting Expectations Reception to Year 2
Handwriting Expectations Year 3 to Year 6
Writing Expectations by Year Group
Punctuation Expectations Year 1
Punctuation Expectations Year 2
Punctuation Expectations Year 3
Punctuation Expectations Year 4
Punctuation Expectations Year 5
Punctuation Expectations Year 6
Grammar Expectations Year 1
Grammar Expectations Year 2
Grammar Expectations Year 3
Grammar Expectations Year 4
Grammar Expectations Year 5
Grammar Expectations Year 6