English is at the heart of our curriculum at Camelot. Through the teaching of high-quality texts, our children learn to both express themselves and better understand the world around them.
In Years 1-6, we read high-quality texts to inspire and engage children in the writing process. These texts are from a variety of different genres and are diverse in their viewpoints and authorship, providing a model for our children to aspire to.
Children at Camelot learn how to become confident and articulate writers across a range of text types through a carefully-sequenced learning journey where they are given numerous opportunities to:
- see and hear the writing process modelled by their teacher ("shared writing")
- gather and learn new vocabulary
- practise and build up a bank of literary phrases for effect
- discuss their ideas before starting to write
- edit their own work both independently and in response to teacher feedback
Key to our children's enthusiasm for writing is that teachers always make writing opportunities purposeful, with real audiences and reasons why the children need to express themselves.
At Camelot, we believe that all pupils should enjoy and develop a love of reading. We strive to expose our children to a wide range of beautifully written, high-quality texts which demonstrate aspirational language, reflect our school community and underpin the Camelot school values.
Being able to read unlocks the curriculum for our children; it allows them to access word problems in Maths and Science, read and understand sources of information in History and above all sparks their imagination, enriches their writing and encourages a range of creative skills.
We aim to cultivate readers with a passion for a wide range of genres to ensure that their love of reading extends beyond the classroom and evokes a thirst for knowledge and a curiosity for life.
Children at Camelot are exposed to a varied diet of Reading. Reading weaves its way through the curriculum, the classroom environment and the wider culture of the school.
Children are exposed to reading through:
- ‘Teaching of Reading’ lessons
- Reading opportunities across the curriculum
- Classroom Book Corners
- Story time
- Opportunities for independent reading
- Reading at home
- Visits to the school library
- Special reading weeks
- Local library trips
Our aim at Camelot is to foster a love of reading and writing in our children.
Phonics is a system by which children learn to read and write. Children learn individual sounds (phonemes) and their corresponding letters (graphemes) which they either blend together to read or they segment (break down words into sounds) to write.
Our children are provided with a variety of opportunities to develop and extend their phonics skills in and across Nursery, Reception and Key Stage 1. Direct phonics teaching, through intervention, will also be continued into Key Stage 2 (where necessary) to support those children who do not yet have the phonic knowledge and skills they need. All children in Key Stage 2 will continue to receive phonics provision through the teaching of a spelling sequence that uses a phonics-based approach.
- Planning: The school follows the systematic approach laid out in FFT’s Success for All Phonics programme. The planning is divided into weeks or ‘Steps’ of the programme, with each Step covering a select number of GPCs.
- Lessons: Phonics is taught in two sections: one is the main Phonics lesson and the other is a Reading lesson where children can apply their developing phonic knowledge.
- Phonics lessons
Phonics lessons follow a consistent daily structure. This consistent approach enables lessons to be taught with pace as everybody understands the routine and what is expected. The 25-minute lesson plan follows the same basic sequence each day which involves reviewing previously learned GPCs and learning a new GPC. ‘Review of previously learnt GPCs’ includes: reading GPCs, ‘stretch and read’ (an opportunity to blend phonemes associated with previously introduced graphemes to read words), introduction of new CEW (common exception words), reading words in a partner practice book, reading sentences in a partner practice book and ‘quick erase’ (where children practise their ability to ‘fast-blend’ words in order to improve reading fluency). ‘Teach, practise and apply the new GPC’ includes: introduction of the new sound, ‘say it fast’ to practise fast-blending, ‘break it down’ to practise segmenting words, ‘stretch and read’ with the new grapheme, reading words in a partner practise book, writing words containing the new grapheme and writing sentences containing those words.
- Shared Reader lessons
These lessons use a Shared Reader text which is carefully aligned to their phonics lessons and designed to last five days. The five-day schedule provides opportunities to develop comprehension, fluent reading and to consolidate letter formation, spelling and sentence writing. During their reading sessions, children are introduced to conventions for grammar and punctuation in order to learn how they have an impact on reading. Understanding these conventions also aids comprehension and children’s ability, eventually, to write with meaning.