The teaching of English is fundamental to everything we do at Occold Primary School.
Literacy lessons take place daily in every class in the school and opportunities are frequently provided for children to develop their oracy, reading and writing across the scope of the curriculum. Our goal is for children to develop into confident speakers, thoughtful and reflective listeners, enthusiastic readers and engaging writers. To this end, we regularly take part in festivals and events such as the Suffolk Young Poet’s Festival and the Sudbury Arts Festival where we have won several prizes for our children’s work.
Our approach to teaching reading at Occold is based on developing the full range of skills involved in this complex process. Children are encouraged to develop a love of books and are given many opportunities to listen to stories, to share books with each other and to choose fiction and non-fiction. On starting school they are encouraged to take books home to read and talk about with their parents and a dialogue is started between school and home in the form of their reading record. This includes both decodable texts and books chosen for shared enjoyment. We use a teaching approach based on systematic synthetic phonics as set out in the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. It is structured and tailored to the needs of each individual right up until the end of Key Stage 1.
Phonics sessions are structured to build on previous learning and introduce new phonics skills and subject knowledge. Sessions often follow the model of revisit/review, teach, practise and apply. Sessions are planned to include opportunities for development of speaking and listening skills, reading and writing. Each June, all children in Year 1 undertake a National Phonics Screening Check. This check consists of 40 words (20 real words and pseudo words) which children will be asked to read. The focus of this check is to see if pupils can decode a range of words which they have not seen before.
We use engaging multimedia and interactive resources from the Phonics Bug programme and Jolly Phonics to enhance our teaching in this area. There are lots of resources to support learning at home in this area and if you are interested please explore the websites linked above. More detailed information on the teaching of early reading is presented as part of our induction process for new parents and is available on request.
Occold pupils are actively encouraged to develop as confident, engaging and creative writers. We believe it is important that children see their work as having purpose and that they regard themselves as authors. Opportunities are provided for pupils to develop the skills required for writing for a wide range of different purposes and audiences such as for example using both modern technologies including green screen and social media as well as creative approaches such as crafting their own books.