At Whitestone Infant School we believe that Literacy is a fundamental life skill. Literacy develops children’s ability to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes. Children are taught to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding of spoken language and writing across a range of different subjects.
Our Vision: To deliver an innovative English curriculum which enables and empowers children’s written and oral communication and creativity.
Throughout the school pupils are taught to decode words speedily, develop fluency and pace and understand texts they read at a literal and beyond the literal level. We encourage and promote the children to develop a desire to read widely and deeply for pleasure and information.
The children acquire and can apply the key skills of spelling, grammar and punctuation. They are taught to write clearly, accurately coherently and neatly.
The following statements are taken from our school policies. Our parent guides give details of the curriculum delivered at Whitestone. These have been updated recently and will be posted on the website once validated by the staff and governors.
Reading: - At Whitestone Infant School we believe that reading underpins all areas of the curriculum and can be incorporated into most learning in some form. Therefore, we believe it should be an essential part of daily work and opportunities to read in different contexts should be provided to develop children’s awareness of print around them. It is necessary to ensure consistency in teaching and learning throughout the school and the guidelines below give information on RWI, independent readers for home use, phonic readers and how to foster children’s own love of books and stories.
Early Years Foundation Stage
• Children are taught to read and understand simple sentences.
• They are taught to use their phonic knowledge to decode regular words and read them aloud accurately.
• They are taught to read some common irregular words.
• They are taught to demonstrate understanding when talking with others about what they have read.
Key Stage 1
The Programmes of Study for reading consist of two dimensions:
• Word reading – teaching should encourage decoding of familiar and unfamiliar words with correct pronunciation. Phonics should be emphasised in the early teaching of reading.
• Comprehension (both listening and reading). Children should read a wide variety of texts and be engaged in high quality conversations about what they have read to establish an appreciation and love of reading.
It is also a requirement to follow a phonic programme in school. At our School, RWI is used which provides reading books matched to the sounds and words being taught.
At Whitestone Infant School, we believe that writing is integral to our children’s whole language experience.
We believe that speaking and listening with confidence are significant factors in developing effective writing.
Reading and writing are closely connected and mutually supportive; we read as writers and write as readers.
Writing is a craft and most children learn best through their own writing, rather than through exercises out of context.
Writing is best framed within recognisable text-types or genres. Writing should be designed to meet the needs of real or imagined audiences.
Early Years Foundation Stage
Children are taught to use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds.
They are taught to be able to write some irregular common words.
They are taught to write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others.
They are taught to spell some simple words correctly and others are phonetically plausible.
Key Stage 1
The Programmes of Study for writing consist of two dimensions:
Transcription (spelling and handwriting). Children need to be taught spelling patterns and understanding of word structure as well as developing good phonic knowledge. They need to be taught to write legibly with speedy accurate handwriting.
Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing) Children need to be able to articulate and communicate ideas and organise them coherently for the reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar
At Whitestone Infant school we believe that to develop as a writer you need to understand how our words are formed. This requires attention to the teaching of letter recognition and sounding as well as how to break words down for spelling. The pupils follow the ‘RWI program,’
At Whitestone Infant school we believe that neat, well-formed handwriting and presentation of written work helps to raise standards. Pupils take pride in and have a sense of ownership of their work. Legible work and good presentation enables others to comprehend the work presented which in turn enables success and confidence.
Since January 2018 we have been teaching phonics and reading using Read, Write, Inc. All teaching and teaching assistants have been trained to deliver the Read, Write Inc Phonics programme.
The children all do their RWI lessons at 9.05 to start their day off! The children work at the level appropriate to them and in groups no larger than 20. Every 6-7 weeks all children are assessed to see how they are getting on.
Every day, your child will bring something home to read. This will vary depending on which RWI level they are currently reading. They might bring home red and green words, a RWI book they have already read at school so they can build their confidence or a storybag book, which is a RWI book at the same level but not previously read at school. Alternatively, they might bring a book of their own choice or a book given by their teacher that is not a RWI book but at around the same level as the ones they are reading in lessons. We do intend these books to be 'shared' with someone at home for suppor, especially if it is a free choice book.
We hope to develop a love of reading at Whitestone School and hope that you will support your child at home. Reading stories to your children is a brilliant way of encouraging them as well as being fun, developing new vocabulary and their listening skills.
All the children also get an opportunity to visit our magnificent library bus each week where possible. They listen to stories and can select and read books with their friends.
In RWI lessons, the children learn new sounds with a rhyme and a picture prompt. These really help the children to make links. They are organised into 3 groups, set 1, 2 ans 3.
Please follow the links to see the resources for each set.
During November 2019 Reception and Year 1 ran a workshop for parents to demonstrate how the RWI reading program works. Year 2 ran a spelling workshop.
The feedback we have received from parents was very positive and we aim to do this again next term. Please let us know if there is anything in particular you would like us to include.
Thank you to those who attended. We hope you have a clearer understanding of how the program works now!