Our approach to the teaching of English can be thought of as having six strands:
The pathways model is one which we have developed in line with a mastery approach. Its aim is to ensure that all children have a pathway through the lesson that starts at the right level and is well designed to allow each child to make progress no matter what their staring point.
Extended writing exists outside of the pathways structure and is an opportunity for children to practise all skills learnt up to this point. Extended writing is found in 4 formats: drafted, non-drafted, cold task and topic writing.
We follow the scheme 'Ruth Miskin Read Write Inc.' to teach phonics and reading to Early Years and Infants phases.
We start by teaching phonics to the children in Nursery. This means children learn to 'read' the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well. We teach the children simple ways of remembering these sounds and letters. The children also practise reading (and spelling) what we call 'tricky words', such as 'once', 'have', 'said' and 'where'. The children practise their reading with books that match the phonics and the 'tricky words' they know. They start thinking that they can read and this does wonders for their confidence. The teachers read to the children, too, so the children get to know all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. They learn many more words this way and it also helps their writing.
Your child will work with children who are at the same reading level as him or her. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress than the others. Your child will have one-to-one support if we think he or she needs some extra help to keep up.
As of September 2018, we use 'Book Talk' as our primary way to teach reading for meaning. This is a system developed by Jane Considine, and is run at least 4 days a week, for half an hour at a time. During this time, reading is 'guided' by the teacher, as children read books at an appropriate level for them. For ten minutes at a time, children's reading is given a focus (three per half hour session). These are known as 'lenses'. They fall into three groups:
We are passionate about reading at Huntingtree. We invest heavily in making sure that the children have the best possible books available to them. We believe that providing greater access to a wide range of brilliantly written, content-appropriate, engaging REAL books is the single most effective way of improving standards of receptive and expressive language in children - in terms of expanding vocabulary, deepening comprehension, sharpening authorial technique and nurturing a love of stories and knowledge.
The medium term planning for English lessons is based on quality whole class texts - real books. This drives the learning throughout the term, in comprehension work, grammar focuses and opportunities for writing.
The children have a regular weekly slot to change their home reading book, plus extra slots are available at lunchtimes for those enthusiastic readers and devourers of books.
We have a team of committed volunteers who are helping children to develop a love of reading.
Individuals who are good readers at school are more likely to earn better wages when they are older and are more likely to be happy. Evidence shows us that those children who engage in reading - either reading to an adult or listening to an adult read - for 20 minutes a day are massively more likely to do well. This 'Magic 20' is the basis for our collaboration with parents. We promise to read with your children for 10 minutes every day and we expect parents to do the same.
Each class teacher reads for at least 10 minutes every day, sharing of a class novel. This is at a time that best suits the rhythm of each particular class.
In key stage 1, we use a structured reading scheme that supports the progression of phonic development: Bug Club, which is published by Pearson.