At St Andrew’s we not only want children to gain the skills to read, but to foster a love of reading for life. We use a range of texts encompassing fiction, non-fiction and poetry. In Key Stage One the pupils develop curiosity and enthusiasm about print. They are able to select, read and talk about a range of fiction, poetry and nonfiction. They have many stories told and read to them and they have opportunities to retell narratives them-selves. The focus is on developing understanding and conveying meaning of the texts they read and developing their phonic knowledge to decode words. We ensure their reading books are at an instructional level, i.e. they are able to read and comprehend nine words out of ten. Books have been banded to provide texts of graded difficulty and these are chosen carefully and matched to each child’s individual reading ability.
In Key Stage Two the pupils have many opportunities to read and select books independently. There are some opportunities for the teacher, other adults or older pupils to share books with individuals, but the majority of the teaching of reading occurs during shared and guided reading on a regular basis, at least once a week if possible. Sessions are important as they focus on individual targets, with the additional bonus of improving children’s self esteem as readers. Teaching focuses on developing pupils’ reading skills, e.g. generalising and making inferences by drawing on evidence from the text. There continues to be a high level of interaction between teacher and pupils with teachers inviting pupils’ individual responses and interpretations rather than narrowly focused comprehension. The texts chosen offer challenge to all pupils in the class.
Reading and Systematic Phonics
The ability to read is fundamental to pupils’ development as independent learners. In order to read across the curriculum with fluency, accuracy, understanding and enjoyment pupils need to use a number of skills.
Select and retrieve information, what, where, when…?
Skim and scan – use evidence from the text, rather than rely on memory
Non-fiction – use of contents, index, headings etc
Infer and deduce (reading between the lines) Why do you think…? How do you know…? What do you think will happen next? Why?
Understand the author’s intentions, the use of language (Why does he use that word?), the Layout and structure of the text (Why has the author used sub-headings?) and Viewpoint (How does the author want to make us feel?)
Relate texts to their own and others’ lives, and other texts they have read. Does that remind you of something that’s happened to you? How would you feel in that situation? Have you read any other books in this genre? What is similar about them?
Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1
The emphasis in the Foundation stage and Key Stage 1 is on teaching reading through systematic phonics, as well as developing pupils’ interest and pleasure as they learn to read independently and with confidence. They focus on words and sentences and how they are put together to form texts. They bring meaning to the texts they read and say what they like or dislike about them. Children have access to a language rich environment where they are able to apply their decoding skills and develop language comprehension in order to ‘read’. We use the ‘book banding’ reading schemes, which is devised from Oxford Reading Tree, Collins, Rigby Star, Read, Write Inc, Badger and Pandora.
The teaching of Systematic Phonics is integral to the learning in our Foundation Stage and Key Stage One classrooms at St Andrew’s School.
We have a teaching approach that incorporates a variety of multi-sensory learning from the different schemes that are available including;
‘Letters and Sounds’; ‘Jolly Phonics’; ‘Read, Write Inc’ and ‘Phonics Play’; where children are taught the 44 phonemes that make up all the sounds required for reading and spelling. The children are then taught phonemes that are made up by two or more letters. As the children grow in confidence and experience, they are introduced to alternative ways of representing the same sound, e.g. ‘ee’ can be represented as ‘ee’, ‘ea’, ‘e-e’, ‘e’. The teaching of phonics is of a very high priority for all teachers as it enables pupils to decode for reading and encode for spelling.
Children have discrete, daily phonics sessions where they revise previous learning, are introduced to new phonemes, practise using the new phonemes through games and then apply the new knowledge they have through reading, or writing. Our approach is both rigorous and enjoyable. A great combination for learning!
Children work with pace and are encouraged to apply their knowledge across the curriculum with any reading or writing activities. We use a range of multi-sensory strategies to enthuse and engage the children, including the use of interactive whiteboards, magnetic letters, speaking and listening, songs, rhymes and practical activities.
Key Stage Two
Transition between Key Stage 1 and 2 is carefully supported. The children continue to follow the reading scheme in place from Key Stage 1 and when ready will progress onto using ‘pathways’ and reading books of their own choosing.
We want to create a three way conversation, between teachers, children and parents, about the books children are reading and engaging with.
Children are regularly heard read and encouraged to read and discuss a range of texts such as comics, newspapers, non-fiction, plays and poetry etc. Children are rewarded for the time spent on reading, rather than how many books they can get through. In their independent reading pupils should increase their ability to read challenging and lengthy texts, but the emphasis should be on reading a wide range of material that enables the pupils to reach informed decisions about personal reading choices. Teachers monitor and provide guidance to pupils about their independent reading by setting clear goals, targets and ensuring that a wide range of genre is read. Texts are supplemented by the provision of First News newspapers and web based reading materials.
At St. Andrew’s we strive to make Maths relevant, challenging and enjoyable for all pupils. Our aims are:
- To foster an enjoyment and enthusiasm for learning Maths through practical activity, exploration and discussion.
- To promote confidence and competence when working with numbers, data handling, shape and measures.
- To develop children’s ability to solve problems through providing opportunities for decision-making and reasoning in a range of contexts.
The school uses a variety of teaching and learning styles in mathematics sessions. Our principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills and understanding in mathematics, through opportunities for whole class work, guided group work and independent work. During these sessions we encourage children to ask as well as answer mathematical questions. They have the opportunity to use a wide range of resources such as number lines, number squares, digit cards and small apparatus to support their work. Children use ICT in mathematics sessions where it will enhance their learning, through the use of the Interactive Whiteboard, classroom computers and the ICT suite.
In all classes there are children of differing mathematical ability. We recognise this fact and provide suitable learning opportunities for all children by matching the challenge of the task to the ability of the child. We achieve this through a range of strategies – in some sessions through differentiated group work and in other sessions by organising the children to work in pairs on open-ended problems or games. We use teaching assistants wherever possible to support children and to ensure that work is matched to the needs of individuals.