We have a connected approach to learning at Rhyl. The various areas within English are taught in conjunction with each other, through a thematic and meaningful approach. Oracy is key to our curriculum and children are taught to voice their ideas, get involved in discussion and debate as well as join in with drama and role play. We develop a love of reading and reading for pleasure as well as a stimulus for vocabulary development and writing. Children read and are read to daily and writing is taught through a key text which is supported by a number of other reading materials. From Early Years onwards, children have a daily phonics lesson using ‘Letters and Sounds’. Writing is purposeful, and built upon over time to result in a high quality outcome connected to their themed learning for the term.

Oracy

Talking is a key part of our curricular experiences and we encourage children to use language and communication in a purposeful and clear way, appropriate for different occasions and which invites responsive listening. Talk Partners are a part of all our lessons and children practice their speaking and listening skills in lessons as well as through drama and role play. Children have many opportunities to listen carefully to stories and discussion and to respond in different ways. We foster an ability to respect and respond to the views of other children and adults in an appropriate way.

Reading

Reading is a key skill and we want children to have a love of books as well as to become fluent and lifelong readers. We actively involve parents and carers to engage in reading with their children, both at home and at school, through enjoying and sharing books together. We have a wide range of quality resources and texts to support children’s reading. Reading is taught every day through guided reading and lessons in each class and story time is a key element of the day. We encourage parents to read or talk about books in school so if you would like to get involved please speak to the Deputy Head Teachers or the Literacy Leader.

In EYFS

In EYFS we know that our children will benefit from being surrounded by a language rich environment that will support all their communication skills.

Our intent is:

  • To develop a love of stories, rhymes and songs.
  • To develop a curiosity about books and the written word.
  • To teach that print carries meaning, how to handle books and that we read texts from left to right.
  • To provide a print rich environment and a wealth of opportunities for children to read in adult guided, as well as independent, reading activities, both indoors and outside.
  • To foster an awareness with parents of opportunities for reading, sharing rhymes and songs, and the importance of talk.

In KS1

We know that it can be challenging for children to develop the key skills that will enable them to become fluent readers, so this is a prime focus for us.

Our intent is:

  • To nurture a passion for books
  • To develop a growing ability to make sense of what they read, drawing on illustration, their knowledge of language and the world as well as the words on the page.
  • To teach children to use a range of supportive reading strategies including phonics and to provide guidance for parents so they are able to support their own child.
  • To develop reflection, so they can self-correct and respond personally to what they have read, making links to prior knowledge and express likes and dislikes with reasons for their views.
  • To provide a wealth of opportunities for children to practise their mastery of reading skills.

In KS2

Our pupils begin KS2 with a developing knowledge of the skills they can use to help them read. Developing fluency and independence underpins our provision.

Our intent is:

  • To develop children’s reading stamina so that they can read for longer periods and cope with more demanding texts.
  • To develop children’s ability to infer meaning by “reading between the lines”.
  • To nurture an interest in a range of reading material so that they are able to make recommendations and justify their ideas.
  • To develop critical awareness as a reader, analysing how the writer creates meanings and effects through their use of language, form and structure.
  • To develop an appreciation of how techniques and devices achieve the effects they do.

Phonics

We teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds scheme of work. Phonics teaching starts in Nursery and continues until the children are secure in applying their skills to reading and writing. Daily lessons focus on consolidating and developing the bank of phonics knowledge that children need in order to read and write with confidence and fluency.

Writing

From when children start school, we encourage them to have a go at writing and they learn, through highly differentiated teaching, to be able to write using Standard English. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught through writing and children learn to write for a range of different purposes.

At Rhyl we recognise that children need to have an understanding of vocabulary that enables them to understand and communicate effectively. From Y1 we use the Vocabulary Ninja Words of The Week, which you can find by clicking the image below:

In EYFS

We know that children are at the beginning of their journey as a writer so our focus is on helping children to understand the purpose of mark making and early writing.

Our intent is:

  • To provide an environment which stimulates are awareness of written as well as spoken language.
  • To teach children that their marks, which evolve into letters and words, have meaning which are understood by others.

In KS1

Our children enter KS1 with a positive attitude towards writing as a purposeful tool so our focus is on providing engaging and challenging opportunities to develop writing stamina.

Our intent is:

  • To teach children to write using their phonics skills, common exception words and to use simple punctuation.
  • To develop positive attitudes towards writing so they are able to make simple additions, revisions and corrections to their work.

In KS2

Our pupils begin KS2 with the ability to apply their phonics skills and an understanding of sentences; they are beginning to write with increasing stamina. Our priority in KS2 is to ensure that our pupils have the written and oral skills to succeed in secondary school.

Our intent is:

  • To teach spelling patterns and a handwriting style which allows them to write with legibility, fluency and increasing speed.
  • To ensure children have mastery of skills so that they are able to focus on composition in their work as they prepare for secondary school.
  • To provide literary models which impact on their own flair and support their writing maturity, and which allow them to evaluate and edit so their writing is effective
  • To nurture pupils to be fluent writers who have the confidence to write for any purpose.

Homework

At Rhyl we recognise that children learn to read and then they read to learn, therefore reading practice is the most valuable homework.

For beginner and early readers we recommend that children have a shared reading for pleasure experience every evening where an adult or older sibling reads or retells a story. Children are provided these books from the library.

Children also have a colour-banded book which matches their current reading level. Please discuss with the class teacher how to get the most out of reading these levelled books with your child or attend one of our weekly workshops.

As children develop their skills, gain confidence and gradually develop stamina, they will bring home books of an increasing level of challenge from the library. Please talk to the class teacher about reading expectations for your own child.

We encourage children to deepen as well as broaden their reading preferences so we have devised or own scheme called the Rhyl Reading Road Map. Through following this map, children have opportunities to read books on similar themes and develop their knowledge of the genre. Children can progress along the map route as they read and can collect stickers as they go, children are expected to present book recommendations  in order to qualify for Bronze, Silver , Gold and Platinum certificates. Once they have explored different titles on their chosen route, we encourage them to try a new genre.

Phonics, spelling and grammar may also be a focus for homework when it is appropriate for the class or individual.

Parental Workshops

At Rhyl we strive to ensure that parents and carers are involved with their child’s education. Families in EYFS and KS1 are invited to weekly workshops that support the teaching of reading and phonics. Please speak or the class teacher or the Literacy Leader to find out more about how to support your child’s reading skills and to develop their reading for pleasure.