At Ramsgate Holy Trinity, it is our aim that children are able to use the English language fluently and effectively to listen, speak, read and write for a wide range of purposes, as well as to learn and communicate ideas, views and feelings. Children will be able to express themselves creatively and imaginatively, as they become enthusiastic and critical readers, writers and speakers.
Through the delivery of our curriculum – across all subjects -, we place a heavy emphasis on developing a child’s vocabulary. We believe that thinking and higher-reasoning skills are inadvertently embedded into an expanding and interlinked vocabulary.
Within each unit of work, our aims will be to enable the children to:
- be articulate and confident speakers and good responsive listeners
- develop their ability to reflect on their own and others’ contributions and the language used
- develop understanding and skills to become independent, enthusiastic readers and writers
- use a range of spelling strategies and apply them in their independent work
- develop a fluent, legible handwriting style and take care with the presentation of their work with particular attention to spelling and punctuation
- understand that the skills they have acquired may be relevant across all areas of their learning
Our aim is to inspire a lifelong love of reading in every one of our pupils by providing a stimulating, high-quality reading curriculum alongside a range of opportunities for children to read for pleasure. Throughout the school, children are exposed to a wide variety of carefully selected texts including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Reading skills are taught through a mixture of whole class, independent and group reading activities. Teachers regularly read aloud to children to promote and model the enjoyment of reading and to ensure that pupils of all abilities access high-quality literature and language.
We use many strategies to engage children in Reading and to foster reading for pleasure, for example:
- all older children are a reading buddy to the younger ones
- library sessions for children and parents
- author visits
- visits to the theatre and storytellers
- World Book Day with quizzes, dressing up, story-telling, book cover designing ...
- Reading Volunteers
- termly ‘Holiday Book Club’ in each class where children share the best book they read that term
- EYFS/KS1: ticking off the 100 recommended book list
- KS2: compiling the ultimate 100 recommended book list through debate
- reading challenges
- book fairs ...
Synthetic phonics is taught as the main approach to early reading. Daily discrete phonics sessions are taught from Reception through to Year 2 using the “Letters and Sounds” programme.
“Letters and Sounds” is divided into six phases, with each phase building on the skills and knowledge of previous learning. There are no big leaps in learning. Children have time to practise and rapidly expand their ability to read and spell words. In each phase, they are also taught to read and spell ‘tricky words’ which cannot be phonetically sounded out, and those words are taught through sight recognition.
Children are encouraged at every step to use their phonic knowledge for reading and writing activities and in their independent play. They learn how to recognise individual sounds, pairs and clusters of letters, to understand the sounds they make and then blend them together to create words and to segment them to spell words.
Key Stage 2 builds on the children’s phonics knowledge, in particular linked to spelling of unfamiliar words and how to decipher new and unknown words when reading.
In all year groups we teach writing through high-quality texts – from picture books to classic literature, teacher modelling to drama techniques - and immersive real-life experiences, often linked to other curriculum areas. Over their time at Ramsgate Holy Trinity, children will learn to write for a range of purposes and different audiences, choosing vocabulary and grammatical structures to suit the task. The teaching of spelling, punctuation and grammar is mainly embedded into the writing process to support the creation of high-quality output. Like Reading and the development of vocabulary, the teaching of Writing extends into all other subjects – and children are encouraged daily to practise and improve their skills to become fluent and accomplished writers who enjoy and story-telling and take pride in their day-to-day explanatory and factual writing.