English Communication & Languages
At Little Mead Primary Academy our children take pride in their written work. Writing is split into 3 sections that will be covered daily in class.
This focuses on spelling and handwriting. Children are encouraged to practise their spellings daily by writing the words in a sentence or by playing a range of games such as rainbow spellings or reverse words. Your child’s class teacher can help you with these games if you would like further support at home. Our children are encouraged to join their handwriting from year 1. High standards of presentation are always adhered to with the children having the opportunity to achieve their pen licence if their letters are neat, joined and of a consistent size.
This focuses on how children structure their work and what is written on the page. This develops from simple sentences in the early years to a range of genres and text types as the children get older.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar (or SPAG) are the building blocks that help us to organise words (both spoken and written) so they make sense. Children are taught SPAG from entry to school to year 6 both in their written work as well as their spoken language.
At Little Mead we love to read. Children are encouraged to develop a real love for books through high quality teaching and a literate classroom environment. This love begins in the Nursery where children respond to familiar texts and retell stories. Interaction with text develops through Phase 1 and into Phase 2 as children broaden their understanding of different genres, authors and stories.
At Little Mead Primary Academy we all love reading and we value reading as a core life skill. The teaching of reading is given the highest priority. We aim for every child in our school to be able to read independently and to enjoy reading. We make this happen by supporting our pupils with excellent phonics teaching and all children read with adults in school regularly. Parents and reading volunteers are encouraged to come into school and hear children read. We expect pupils to read at home every day. They can also access Bug Club and read on the computer at home.
Children may be supported with specialist help where needed. We have a range of stimulating and exciting books for individual and class reading. Our reading books are all levelled and colour banded. We also teach reading through excellent class texts which the children share together.
All children share a story together at the end of each day.
Speaking and Listening
We love to encourage our children to talk. This helps out children broaden their understanding of the English language as well as develop grammatical skills and use new, adventurous vocabulary in context. Speaking and listening looks different throughout the school. It could be a high quality guided debate in Phase 2 or simple a discussion of the different fruits available at snack time in the Foundation Stage. We know that children need to be able to speak their sentences before they are able to write them down so this aspect of the curriculum is extremely important!
At Little Mead Primary Academy Phonics is taught every day and in every year group. Learning to read and write is of great importance!
‘Letters and Sounds’ is a phonics resource published by the Department for Education and Skills and is used at Little Mead. It aims to build children’s speaking and listening skills in their own right as well as to prepare children for learning to read by developing their phonic knowledge and skills. It sets out a detailed and systematic programme for teaching phonic skills for children starting by the age of five, with the aim of them becoming fluent readers by age seven. There are six overlapping phases that all children need to have grasped in order to be proficient at reading and writing which includes spellings and all the many confusing rules that are in the English language!
Keep practising your listening, reading and writing skills...
Remember there are lots of useful online resources you can access. Here is a list of some of them:-
- Active Learn - Bug Club has books your child can read at their reading level and phonic phase.
- There are many phonics games to play on there too.
https://www.activelearnprimary.co.uk – ask your child’s teacher for login details if you haven’t already got them.
- Some of our younger children love watching alphablocks (just type it into your search engine) and it really helps them remember the sound and how it is written.
- Go online and type in ‘Jolly Phonics Powerpoint’ in the search engine. You can join in with the songs and be sure you are saying the phonemes correctly.
- Play sound games with your children:-
- Eye spy with my little eye... something beginning with...’
- Pretend to be a robot and ‘sound talk’. Ask your child to touch or find things that you are ‘sound talking’. E.g “Touch your h-ea-d/find the p-e-n”. Your child will get good at listening for the sounds in words and will eventually blend them to say and write.
- Practising using sounds and key words when writing. Write for a variety of purposes. E.g. letters, postcards,recipes, instructions, shopping lists, everyday journal of the school holidays...
Look at the attached Jolly Phonics rhyme and action sheet. This will help you be able to join in with your child when learning new songs for each sound. Also look at the tables - ‘Letters and Sounds Phases’, to see which sounds/phoneme/graphemes and high frequency words are learned through the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonic programme we use at Little Mead Primary Academy.
Jolly Phonics Actions for Parents (Click to download)
Letters and Sounds Phases (Click to download)