Welsh House Farm believes that the development of key skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening are central to improving a child's life chances.
Teachers have high expectations for all children to achieve and enjoy English, model good written and spoken English and provide opportunities for children to use the skills they have acquired in a range of contexts.
Rich texts are at the heart of our teaching and a love for reading is promoted throughout the school via daily guided reading sessions, author visits, storyteller visits, reading competitions, world book day celebrations, book clubs and updating our school library with stimulating and exciting books, newspapers and magazines.
Teachers use inspirational ideas to engage children in work; providing memorable experiences and bringing topics to life. A creative approach to planning units of work using drama, film, trips and hands-on activities is actively encouraged as is a clear purpose and audience, either real or imagined, to launch a unit of work.
We value and celebrate diversity in culture and language, providing rich and relevant texts and topics to include and engage all learners.
Phonics and the Teaching of Reading
"The teaching of reading and phonics is effective. Pupils are developing of love of reading, which is promoted thorough a broad curriculum." 2018 OFSTED report
"Teaching throughout the school promotes an interest in reading. The school is well resourced with reading books, which pupils regularly take home" 2018 OFSTED report
"Teachers are skilled with teaching pupils the phonic skills they need to help them with their reading and writing. Highly effective guided reading lessons take place each day, with well-matched reading books and activities that assist pupils’ progress in reading." 2018 OFSTED report
At Welsh House Farm, we use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme to teach phonics. Children apply these skills in real-life contexts, small-group daily reading sessions and reading for pleasure. Each class has a stimulating book corner with a wide range of texts and all children are encouraged to take a reading book home.
Once children can confidently decode, skills in comprehension and understanding different texts are taught via guided reading sessions. We use the mnemonic ‘VIPERS’ which focuses skills on Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation and Summarise/Sequence. Children are also encouraged to read for pleasure and have reading diaries to complete daily.
We celebrate reading by holding a ‘Reading Star’ assembly every fortnight.
Writing at Welsh House Farm
"Overall, writing is taught well. Pupils develop the skills they need to improve their writing effectively. They have many opportunities to write at length in different subjects across the curriculum." OFSTED Report 2018
Our main approach to writing is based on ‘Talk for Writing’ (Pie Corbett/Julia Strong) which is a methodology that encourages children to explore, through talk and role play, and develop the thinking and creative processes involved in being a writer. It is embedded at every phase of the teaching sequence which includes teacher talk, supported pupil talk and independent pupil talk and application.
Children are given opportunities to write for a wide range of purposes, not only within specific literacy lessons, but across the curriculum. Children develop their understanding of a range of text types and how to write in a variety of forms. They are encouraged to develop their skills in spelling and handwriting and to redraft and improve their writing.
We celebrate writing by holding a ‘Star Writer’ assembly every half term, and the children’s work is presented for all to see on a ‘Star Writer’ board in the school hall.
English in other curriculum areas
The skills that children develop in English are linked to, and applied in, every subject across the curriculum. The children’s skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening enable them to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work in school. Children also have regular opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills in celebratory performances and class assemblies.
We have links to ‘able writer’ and ‘able reader’ workshops led by a company called ‘Language alive’ at another local primary school. The events support our more able writers/readers and enables them to work collaboratively alongside children from other local schools.