English is at the core of Ranelagh’s whole curriculum. We ensure that the children have hourly opportunities to read, write and communicate. The children are expected to leave Ranelagh with a rich diet of children’s quality literature, and with numerous opportunities to write about their many wonderful experiences.
|Speaking and listening is an essential skill and this is practised in all subject areas. It is celebrated in Sharing Assemblies and End of Year Performances. The children have the opportunity to practise their speaking skills through drama activities, debates and group and partner discussion. We expect children to have a love of reading. Our English curriculum is based on a wide variety of excellent books.|
It is reviewed annually, and if children have indicated a love of a specific genre or author, then we will attempt to put this into the curriculum. Every teacher listens to each child in their class read at least once per week. Here, the children’s reading targets are set.
Our children have a reading record and are encouraged to read to their parents every night for at least 10 minutes. Handwriting is important and we expect children’s writing to be legible and cursive, by the time they leave Ranelagh. We use the Nelson handwriting scheme to develop their handwriting style. Alongside this, writing for a purpose is crucial. The whole of the curriculum allows for children to write in a variety of genres for different purposes and for an assortment of audiences. In English lessons, the children are taught the grammatical skills that allow them to achieve this, and to practise their ability to write for brief periods of time (depending on their age).
Basic Literacy Skills (grammar and spelling) are taught daily in the English Curriculum. Extra time is put into the KS2 timetable in order to extend their ability in this area.
Children leave Ranelagh having a solid foundation and knowledge of English that allows them to “Be the best that they can be!”
How we teach reading (phonics) in Ranelagh
Read Write Inc (RWI)/Ruth Miskin (RML) Literacy is the Phonics programme that we currently deliver to teach reading. The structured teaching of RWI/RML starts in Reception although some letter sounds are introduced in Nursery. Children across the three Reception classes are split into smaller groups and receive 30-40mins of phonics four days a week.
Children in Year 1 and 2 are also split into smaller groups and receive 50minutes of phonics everyday. RWI/RML in Reception and Key Stage 1 involves reading and short writing tasks.
|Ranelagh also provides support sessions for children in Key Stage 2. Selected Year 3 children receive a 30min catch-up session each day which focuses on reading and spelling. Selected Year 6 children receive 30 min each day on a Fresh Start programme that focuses on reading and comprehension with short writing tasks. Selected children from year 1-6 may also be involved in the 1:1 catch-up programme which the children receive for 15min each day.||
On the 1:1 catch-up programme, the focus for Key Stage 1 children and new children is decoding and blending. The focus for children in Key Stage 2’s 1:1 catch-up is reading with fluency and comprehension.
At Ranelagh, our children learn to read and write effectively and quickly using the Read Write Inc. Phonic programme (RWI/RML). The programme is delivered to children in Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and Year 2. The children rapidly learn sounds and the letter or groups of letters they need to represent them.
We teach pupils to:
- Decode letter-sound correspondences quickly and effortlessly, using their phonic knowledge and skills
- Read ‘tricky’ words on sight
- Understand what they read
- Read aloud with fluency and expression
- Write confidently, with a strong focus on vocabulary and grammar
- Spell quickly and easily by segmenting the sounds in words
- Acquire good handwriting.
Pupils have frequent practice in reading high frequency words with irregular spellings – ‘tricky words’. We make sure that pupils read books that are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and the ‘tricky words’. This is so that, early on, they experience success and gain confidence that they are readers. Re-reading and discussing these books with the teacher supports their increasingly fluent decoding.
Teaching the alphabetic code early on means that pupils quickly learn to write simple words and sentences. We encourage them to compose each sentence aloud until they are confident to write independently. We make sure they write every day.
We group pupils according to their progress in reading, rather than their writing. This will give the children time to develop their motor skills.
Our aim is for pupils to complete the phonics programme as quickly as possible. The sooner they complete it, the sooner they will be able to choose books to read at their own interest and comprehension level. We expect all children to be off the phonics programme by year 2.
Once the children in KS1 no longer require phonics, they follow the Literacy and Language programme to improve comprehension and grammar skills.
A rapid phonics catch-up programme is given to children in KS1 and KS2 that are identified as needing support. A Fresh Start programme is delivered to children in year 5 and 6 to strengthen comprehension skills.