As a school we aim to ensure that all children leave us prepared for the world as ‘Global Explorers’ equipped to pursue careers, passions and talents. English is one of the core strands to our curriculum and feeds into all other subject areas. Global Explorers are Aspirational, therefore it is essential that all children leave us with a good foundation in English skills so that they can aspire to be anything that they want to in the future. A love of language, stories and words opens up the children’s world to new information, adventure and experiences. Global Explorers are Creative and at St Nicholas we work hard to ensure that we foster in all our children a confidence and a curiosity over the written and the spoken word. Through creating a love of words and reading from an early age children feel increasingly confident to play with, explore and extend their English skills leading to greater creativity and mastery over the written and spoken word.
By the end of Key Stage One it is our intention that all of our children should be reading age appropriate books with fluency and to be able to write short stories with a clear beginning, middle and end using neat consistent handwriting. All children in Reception and Year 1 follow Success for All as our phonics scheme. Children will spell many words accurately and ambitious words will be phonetically plausible. Children will be developing their confidence and ability to speak in front of others including asking questions, giving opinions and reciting poems, rhymes and songs.
By the end of Key Stage Two it is our intention that all of our children should be reading a range of age appropriate books with fluency and to be able to write for a range of purposes and genres using grammar, punctuation and vocabulary for effect. Children will perform speeches and poetry in front of an audience and take part in the end of year performance.
We teach the basic building blocks of reading and writing through a structured daily phonics programme that runs throughout EYFS and Key Stage 1. We use FFT Success for All phonics.
What is FFT Success for All Phonics?
"FFT Success for All Phonics is a complete systematic synthetic phonics (SSP) programme that has been validated by the Department for Education. Aimed at nursery children upwards and pioneered by the Success for All Foundation, FFT’s second generation programme is offered on a not-for-profit basis and is a highly comprehensive offering. Our ambition is to enable success for all children and inspire a lifelong love of reading."
This is then followed by structured daily spelling sessions in Key Stage 2 using the SCODE scheme - a phonics based approach. At St Nicholas, we ensure our standards are high with excellent Year 1 Phonics Reading Test results each year. Our practice is shared with cluster schools and we have been involved in local authority professional development courses sharing our excellent practice with other schools.
As the children move into KS2 they continue to participate in daily spelling lessons following the patterns from the National Curriculum. We use the SCODE scheme of work to teach the children different spelling patterns and words from the statutory word lists. Children each have a SCODE workbook which allows them to practice their spellings words in a range of interesting ways. The children also learn about the etymology of their spelling words; finding out about where in history and the world our words originate from and making connections with their learning.
Introduction to FFT Success for All Phonics
An Introduction to SCODE
Reading is taught daily at St Nicholas. Children in Reception and Year 1 have shared reader lessons every day learning to read a book which gives them the opportunity to practise the phonics and red words they have learnt so far. From Year 2, each class teaches guided reading daily.
Class teachers also read books to the children in story time. At St Nicholas, we have a reading spine for each class to expose the children to a range of books including old and more modern classics. These are not the only books the children are exposed to but a foundation. Please see below a copy of our school reading spine.
Pupils are strongly encouraged to read at home with their parents and we also encourage parents to read widely to their children. We also provide the children with reading lists and each child is expected to read the words on their list, understand what they mean before spelling them. We strongly believe that children must become confident with reading before being able to spell. Our reading lists link with our spelling lists which enables all children to have the opportunity to read the words before being asked to spell them.
At St Nicholas we provide a rich and varied English curriculum, where the children are introduced to poetry and non-fiction as well as narrative. We use elements of story making at St Nicholas as a strategy that broadens and widens the children’s learning experience of the written and spoken word through drama, oral retelling and adapting the learned text using skills taught in the grammar and other English lessons to extend their sentence and word level skills.
To ensure we assess writing across the curriculum we use extended pieces of writing including cross-curricular writing linked to topics to asses writing and to set challenging goals for the children.
Writing Progression at St Nicholas
Writing Curriculum Journeys at St Nicholas
Poems for Children to learn by Heart