At Shakespeare Infant School our integrated curriculum sets out to develop resilient, inquisitive and independent learners. Our aim is to ensure that the children are supported to leave our school being able to read, write and able to communicate their ideas.
We believe in an integrated approach where learning is purposeful and cross curricular. The projects in each year group are recursive and have been carefully sequenced to enable children the time to revisit and then build upon prior skills. English is at the heart of each of our projects allowing the children to regularly experience a wide, ambitious and exciting variety of reading and writing opportunities.
We believe that all children should have the opportunity to become confident readers. We want our children to have a varied reading diet, with exposure to a range of authors, allowing them to make sense of the world around them. We want to work alongside our school’s parents and carers as we understand that together with consistent commitment we can enable each child to become a lifelong reader.
We understand the importance of talk in our English lessons as it allows children to develop their vocabulary in a sociable yet focused way. We want to provide regular opportunities for the children to be able to communicate with their peers and in turn become a great listener.
Our English curriculum has been designed to be inclusive of all of our children. Staff at our school are reflective to ensure that each child’s literacy journey will be personal and ambitious. We care that all children feel a sense of achievement and therefore feel motivated to learn.
Speaking and Listening
All of our children are taught skills which enable them to listen carefully and to ask and answer questions, to participate in small group and class discussions, to recite stories and rhymes, to take on different roles and voices through drama and role play, to discuss ideas and thoughts with a talking partner, and to participate in structured debates where each child is given a different role.
At Shakespeare Infant school we use the Oxford Reading Tree Scheme to help us to teach the children to read. Our books are organised into colour bands and the children progress through these as they develop their skills. Each week the children share books in class, and take one home to practise. We also have a selection of books in each class which the children choose for home reading. We encourage all children to read at least three books each week and reward them when they do.
All children have a reading diary which they keep in their book bag. Teachers write a comment in the diary each time they share a book with the child and a weekly reading target.
We introduce phonics through The Jolly Phonics Programme, Letters and Sounds (Phase 1-4) and practise cued articulation. We then continue to follow the 'Letters and Sounds' principles and practice of high quality phonics through teaching Phase 5 in Year 1 (with revision of previous phrases where required) . In Year Two the majority of pupils are confident enough to recall all of the 44 common grapheme-phoneme correspondences and are able to read hundreds of words independently. In Phase 6, work on word patterns and spelling helps children to understand more about the structure of words to consolidate their knowledge of phonics. As pupils learn new phonemes throughout the school, these are taken home for extra practise. Phonics is taught as a step towards word recognition - the automatic reading of all words -both decodable and tricky), which is our ultimate goal!
Key words for reading, writing and spelling are introduced weekly in each year group. The children learn to sound out and read words using their robot arms.
Each class has a book area which is visually stimulating and contains a selection of high quality books which encourage the children to read for pleasure.
Our school library is well stocked and organised, with a range of high quality books. We organise weekly class visits when the children have an opportunity to browse and select a book to borrow. A number of our year 2 children have been trained as librarians, and have opportunities to help with the looking after of the library and with the selection of books from the mobile library van.
We use a cursive writing script and teach the children to form letters using the correct formation. The children are given opportunities to practise their skills and earn a bronze, silver and gold award in each year group.
We provide opportunities for writing through our rich and stimulating curriculum. The writing in each year group covers a range of genres and is linked to our themes and topics.