Reading at Shakespeare Infant School
At Shakespeare Infant school we use phonetically decodable books to help us to teach the children to read. Our books are organised into banded phases which progress systematically through the phonemes and graphemes that they are taught during phonic lessons. Twice a week the children share books in class, and then have a book to practise at home. 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 set an achievable weekly reading target. We encourage parents and carers to add a tick in their child’s reading diary and write a comment about their child’s reading progress at home.
Each child has a set of tag words attached to their reading diary. These are tricky words that cannot always be decoded phonetically so the children need to learn them off by heart and recognise them in their reading books. Children practise their tag words throughout each week and regular practise at home is advised.
Phonics at Shakespeare Infant School
We introduce phonics by using the Letters and Sounds (Phase 1-5) progression. Phonics is taught five times a week and each lesson follows the four part structure, which includes: revision of previous learned sounds; the introduction of a new grapheme; time to practise reading and writing the new phoneme/grapheme and time to apply the focus phoneme/grapheme. Once secure within phonic phases 1-5, we then work on word patterns and spelling. Helping the children to understand more about the structure of words to consolidate their knowledge of phonics. Phonics is taught as a step towards word recognition - the automatic reading of all words -both decodable and tricky), which is our ultimate goal!
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. The books in the book corner are updated each half-term and have been carefully selected by the class teachers to enhance the project.
Our school library is well stocked and organised, with a range of high quality books. We organise weekly class visits where the children have an opportunity to browse and select a book to borrow.
Handwriting at Shakespeare Infant School
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.