PHONICS – READ WRITE INC.
In Reception and Year 1 children work towards meeting their age related objectives set out in the National Curriculum for English by following a structured phonics programme called Read Write Inc. by Ruth Miskin. (This is also the case for some targeted children in other year groups as a form of intervention). This ensures a very structured approach to teaching phonics, beginning with the teaching of individual sounds, moving onto sound blending and introducing children to multi letter sounds (e.g. ay, igh, ou). From here children learn to read and write words and sentences using their knowledge of letter sounds.
Throughout the programme children work in ability groups and lessons move at a pace suitable for the children. Children are assessed regularly to ensure progress is being made and it is at this time that children can be moved from one group to another. This is all overseen by the Read, Write Inc. Manager.
GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION
Children must be taught and encouraged to consider grammar and punctuation whilst writing from a very early age. It is also important that children are given reasons for grammar and punctuation (a comma is a short breath when reading what is written) and that these reasons are closely linked to reading and speaking and listening. The National Curriculum for English outlines the objectives for spelling, grammar and punctuation for each year group and clearly states the statutory requirements.
Children should be made aware of how to spell words and should be encouraged to use word banks and dictionaries to help. It is important that children investigate spelling strategies and rules, as this will help them to remember. However teachers should bear in mind that poor spelling skills can restrict a child’s imagination, so a careful balance must be struck between creativity and correct spelling.
In Reception and Year 1 children practise Read, Write, Inc. phonic spellings daily as set out in the programme. In Year 1 children are set a weekly ‘Spellathon’ linked to the sounds they have learnt and the list of common words they are expected to learn at this age.
Year 2-4 children are taught to spell and practise spelling the statutory word list for Years 3 and 4. Teachers deliver this using the spelling programme ‘No Nonsense’. Spellings are sent home for the children to practise based on the year group spelling lists and are linked to the spelling patterns/rules they have been learning in school that week.
Early Years need to provide a range of quality experiences which focus on hand-eye coordination, gross and fine motor skills to develop the control necessary for mark making using a variety of tools. This leads to the more formal teaching of letter formation. Reception letter formation and handwriting is taught during the phonics lessons. Each time a new sound is introduced children are taught the correct formation. From Year 1 to Year 4 the school’s handwriting style is based on the Penpals Handwriting Scheme. Children should be encouraged to form letters correctly throughout KS1, and this should eliminate poorly formed writing in upper KS2. In Year 2 children should be taught to join their writing and the teacher should model joined writing whenever possible. Throughout Year 3 and 4 children will be expected to join their writing all the time.
Why is handwriting important?
Handwriting is part of our daily lives; from writing a card to celebrate a birthday, taking a message from a phone call, jotting down a shopping list, planning the month on the calendar and homework. In recent years, modern technology has transformed the way we communicate with one another. However, handwriting is still an important skill in education, employment and everyday life. Within school, handwriting is used in all subjects to present work, communicate the children’s learning and ideas.
What is the handwriting board?
The Handwriting Board is a group of children from years 3 and 4– two children from each class. They are chosen by the class teacher after volunteering and them showing their hard work and commitment to their learning. The children in the Handwriting Board meet every fortnight on a Wednesday lunchtime, to assess handwriting and give out pen licenses. They are supervised and supported by Miss Marks. (Year 4 Teacher) In class, children will be working to meet the handwriting standards to obtain their pen license. —these are in their books.
The license is split into three levels -bronze, silver and gold. Within each level, there are standards to meet and achieve this pen license. Each level has a different writing tool to use.
How is the handwriting assessed?
Each child has a tick sheet in their book, which is ticked when they have shown the standard. Once all the standards are ticked by the class teacher, they can submit their book to the handwriting board. At the Handwriting Board, the reps from each class will look at the submitted books and check all the standards are shown in their recent work. If they are consistent and all standards are met they will get a certificate and handwriting tool. If they are not consistent they will highlight the standard to work on to then re-assess on the next submission.
What are the standards?
All letters are formed correctly with clear descenders and ascenders: which are mainly consistent and legible size (Penpals Scheme).
Form digits 0-9 correctly.
All capital and lower case letters are clear and used correctly.
All letters are written on the lines with regular spaces between words.
All written work starts from the margin.
All work is dated, titled and underlined with a ruler and pencil.
Any mistakes are crossed out in pencil with one neat line: using a ruler.
Illustrations are drawn in pencil and coloured neatly too.
Care in all books is consistently taken.
All of the bronze requirements are met and maintained.
Writing is beginning to be joined.
Letters are joined appropriately.
There is a clear distinction in size of capital letters to lower case.
Letters are consistent in size and direction.
Punctuation is the correct size in relation to the text.
All of the bronze and silver requirements are met and maintained.
Writing is consistently joined.
Writing has a consistent style which is neat, joined, legible and personal to them.
The writer writes with fluidity and at a good pace.
Presentation in all books of the writer is at an impeccable standard.
What happens if the standards are not maintained?
When a child has achieved their pen licence, if they do not maintain the standards consistently in their work it can be reduced to a lower level or have the licence removed. Before this happens, they will be given two warnings to improve and get back to showing the standard in their work. All children, if their licence is reduced or removed, will then be given the chance to work towards obtaining the reduced or removed level again.
Please have a look at our powerpoints and policies on English/reading at WFS. We are very proud of our reading scheme and the impact it has on the children. If you would like to know more, please contact our English Leader (Mrs Rees) via the School Office.
Please have a look through the attached links below for more information...