At Alfred Salter, we teach pupils to explore ideas and to express themselves through the written and spoken word. Through regular reading, writing and phonics lessons, we aim to develop confident learners who are able to make connections, explain themselves clearly and express and create their own ideas.
From Nursery to Year Six, we create writing opportunities through the study of high-quality fiction books, films and immersive experiences, such as school trips. Pupils will study a range of traditional tales; myths and legends; classic and contemporary stories and poems, as well as using history, geography, science and PSHCE topics to create many different types of non-fiction text types.
Over their eight years in school, pupils will write a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, revisiting text types in order to develop their fluency in different writing styles. We frequently use drama and role play to help pupils to articulate their thoughts and develop their ideas, and embed the teaching of spelling, vocabulary and grammar before allowing pupils to create their own, original responses. Children are also given the opportunity
Throughout pupils’ time at school, we also focus on the development of pupils’ handwriting and presentation, with an emphasis on the production of a high-quality final outcome.
Our primary aim at Alfred Salter is to develop pupils’ love of reading. We have a school library (soon to be greatly expanded!) where children are able to choose from a range of quality fiction and non-fiction texts to read at home. We also follow the Oxford Reading Tree (and, in Reception and Year One, Dandelion phonics books) Reading scheme. These are graded reading books which enable pupils to gradually develop their reading skills with a range of appropriate fiction and non-fiction books. We have a home-school reading system for all year groups, where pupils (and, for younger pupils, parents) are encouraged to record their home reading on a daily basis – vital to your child’s continued success at school! Alongside this, we have book fairs, reading events and, of course, World Book Day celebrations!
In Key Stage One and Early Years, we supplement our teaching of reading and writing with daily phonics lessons. In these lessons, children learn how to hear, identify and make use of the different sounds in the English language. Following initial sounds work in Nursery, we follow the ‘Sounds Write’ phonics programme in Reception and Year One. This structured programme systematically teaches pupils to read and spell phonetically. The work continues in Year Two, where pupils learn the spellings outlined in the National Curriculum. In addition to consolidating their phonemic awareness, pupils in Year Two will also learn about different parts and types of words in order to develop their understanding of ‘word families’ (such as cycle, circle, circular and bicycle, for example). At the end of Year One, pupils take part in a low-key assessment, where their ability to read forty words from a list. This enables us to identify any pupils who may need additional spelling and reading support in Year Two.
Handwriting, Spelling and Grammar
Handwriting is taught regularly from Reception to Year Six. We follow the ‘Letter Join’ scheme of work and pupils are encouraged to develop legible, joined handwriting by the time that they leave our school.
Spelling is taught in Key Stage Two every week, following the National Curriculum word lists. Spellings are sent home as part of homework and children are tested each week.
In Upper Key Stage Two, grammar is taught explicity, following the National Curriculum for Years Five and Six. Prior to this, grammar is embedded in the teaching of different text types during our writing lessons.