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English

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Introduction

At Hempstead Infant School we aim for the children to become fluent in spoken and written English. We achieve this by providing a wide variety of learning experiences.  This includes daily lessons for all age groups using the National Curriculum for English and the national phonics programme, Letters and Sounds. The new curriculum has an emphasis on performing and reading work aloud, this is something Hempstead children are encouraged to do on a regular basis to enhance their speaking skills and develop their confidence.   

 

Reading

In both FS and KS1 reading is an essential part of our curriculum and children are provided with opportunities to develop reading skills throughout the school day.  Reading is taught in a variety of ways. In the foundation stage we begin by sharing a lot of books from a range of genres with the children.  We model how to hold the book, look at the pictures and read the book so that we can understand and enjoy it.  As the children learn each sound in phonics we highlight them in our reading and as the children progress we demonstrate how to recognise familiar sounds and blend them.  In FS and years 1 and 2, we sometimes use whole class teaching where the learning objective for the class is based around the same text.  This may be an extract from a class story, a picture book, a poem or a non-fiction article.  Activities and questions are differentiated from here just as in other lessons and it allows the teacher to focus on particular reading skills.  We also use the carousel method for teaching reading where the children are in smaller groups and over a number of days they complete a different activities, including a guided reading session with the teacher and TA.  At other times the children may be doing work based around a text they are reading or playing games and completing activities that allow them to practice their phonics skills. 

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Writing

We are also involved in the Talk for Writing programme, developed by Pie Corbett which is based on the principles of how children learn.  Talk for Writing enables children to copy the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. At Hempstead Infant school we have adopted the approach to increase the children’s progress in reading and writing.