All pupils at Westfield are taught to improve their skills in Reading, Writing, Speaking, Listening and Phonics through daily lessons in English, Phonics/Spelling and Guided Reading where we are following the new Primary National Curriculum for English.
Our school teaches a systematic and synthetic approach to phonics. The lessons follow a cycle of review, teach, practise, apply and consolidate. We have an extensive colour banded reading library and the children use the Junior Librarian system to scan their books in and out. We encourage reading at home each night using the colour banded Oxford Reading Tree scheme books but also reading for pleasure and enjoyment of their own literary choices. We run workshops for parents about how the children learn to read and about the importance of reading for meaning, rather than just decoding words. During Guided Reading the children take part in a carousel of reading activities for 30 minutes each day. These include either reading with the teacher or a range of independent tasks, for example, spelling investigations, dictionary skills, sentence structure, vocabulary development and comprehension activities. Every child has at least one guided reading session with the teacher each week. This involves reading a text with a focused learning objective. Discussions take place around different genres, the story structure, characterisation, general comprehension and exploring inference within the text (hidden meanings).
Our school encourages creative thinking and a ‘can do’ approach to writing. Children are given opportunities for writing in guided, independent and group writing situations. They are encouraged to use the phonic skills they have developed in phonics sessions in both their reading and writing. Lessons are engaging, lively and active, with children being encouraged to be independent learners. Children are taught about poetry, fiction and non-fiction in each year group and are given the skills to develop their own extended pieces of writing. Cross curricular links are made wherever possible and the quality of writing is monitored by the subject leader to ensure quality and consistency. Handwriting is taught in a discreet session once a week and applied throughout the week. In phonics children are taught a joined style for digraphs (sounds with two letters) and trigraphs (sounds with three letters) as they arise from Early Years Foundation Stage. Children are expected to join their writing up by the end of Year 2 and to have developed a legible, fluent and competent style by the end of Year 6.
Speaking and Listening
Children are provided with a range of informal as well as structured situations which require them to be both speakers and listeners in a range of contexts and with a range of audiences. Talk partners, debates, discussion, drama and group work allow children to develop their confidence and competency as good orators.