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In EYFS and Key Stage One, phonics is taught daily for thirty minutes following the principles and practice as set out in Letters and Sounds. Discrete phonics sessions are taught using the sequence of teaching structure; Introduction, Revisit/review, Teach, Practise, Apply and Assess and children are introduced to the key phonics terminology, including phoneme, grapheme, digraph and split digraph. High frequency words are taught as set out in Letters and Sounds. Tricky words are taught as whole words as set out in Letters and Sounds. Teaching is multi-sensory, encompassing simultaneous visual, auditory and kinaesthetic activities to enliven core learning. Phonics is taught in short, briskly paced sessions and then applied to reading and writing in meaningful contexts.
At St Charles’, Writing is taught as part of the three-phase approach to an English unit: READING, GATHERING CONTENT AND WRITING. Each English unit has a clear writing outcome which is the culmination of two to three weeks’ work on a particular text type. The teaching of Writing is firmly grounded in the foundations of a well-planned Reading phase; through immersion in high quality, well-written, vocabulary-rich texts, children are exposed to a bank of resources (grammar, vocabulary, syntax, style) which can be used to inspire their own writing.
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
The teaching of Grammar and Punctuation is integrated into daily English lessons with a holistic approach rather than discrete teaching. Teachers select the features which are most appropriate to the text type being studied, e.g. passive voice in newspaper reports, and give children the opportunity to identify, analyse, use and apply these features to their own writing, enabling them to develop a meaningful understanding of grammar and punctuation.
From Year 2 onwards (or when children have completed the phonics programme), Spelling is taught through the No Nonsense Spelling Scheme which is carried out at least twice a week for around 15 minutes. Children also practise the statutory spellings for their year group as part of spelling lessons and they are also encouraged to practise their spellings at home at least weekly.
Handwriting is taught through the Letterjoin handwriting scheme. From EYFS, children are taught to form their letters using pre-cursive handwriting. In Key Stage One, explicit, discrete handwriting lessons are carried out at least twice a week until children can securely use cursive handwriting that is legible. If necessary, this will continue into Key Stage Two, and additional interventions may be put in place for children requiring extra practice.
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