The teaching of English is fundamental to everything we do at Dennington Primary School.
Opportunities are 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.
Our approach to teaching reading at Dennington 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 scheme 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. We have a large range of phonically decodable books to go with each phonic phase, from the "Bug Club" reading scheme (see below for the full list and the related phonic phases). Phonics teaching 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 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 to enhance our teaching in this area. 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.
Dennington 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.