Children at Otterhampton are encouraged to communicate and express themselves through speaking, listening, reading and writing. We follow the National Curriculum 2014.
Speaking and Listening
Talking is fundamental to a pupil’s learning. Pupils are encouraged and helped to talk clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate ideas and feelings. Similarly, and just as importantly, is the need to listen to others and respond appropriately. All children are provided with opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop skills in speaking and listening.
At Otterhampton Primary School reading as an integral part of the school curriculum impacting on all learning. We value the importance of being a confident reader and work hard to develop children’s reading skills. We want to develop children’s enjoyment and enthusiasm to read a wide range of different books and to be able to talk about books and authors.
Reading is a skill taught through planned, systematic phonics lessons and developed through; one-to-one reading with an adult, shared reading, guided reading sessions and independent reading. In Early Years we use a range of reading schemes including Dandelion Readers and Oxford Reading Tree, as well as real books. As their reading develops, usually in Key Stage One, children are encouraged to read from a wider range of fiction and non-fiction choosing their own books initially from within a carefully banded system leading on to the enjoyment of all kinds of books, the appreciation of different genres and the ability to access information independently from our well stocked school library.
Children take books home daily and are encouraged to read with parents and other family members. All children in school are encouraged to join the library and the Library Bus visit school on a regular basis.
Reading is assessed termly using the Salford Reading and Comprehension test and monitored on the school tracking system. In KS2, optional SAT reading tests are also used to monitor progress. Liaison with the school SENCO and external agencies is arranged for children who require additional support and reading intervention strategies.
Writing is best learned if children are encouraged to do it for real reasons – cards, lists, letters etc. We encourage pupils to read, check and improve their work, alone or in a group, building up a sense of purpose, confidence, pride and ownership in what they do. Handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar all play an important part in this process.
Phonics and Spelling
The phonics programme taught at Otterhampton School is based on ‘Letters and Sounds’ a resource from the Department for Education and Skills, which is structured into six developmental phases. The focus is on securing word recognition skills, essential for children to decode (read) and encode (spell) words accurately and language comprehension. This programme is followed across the whole school through daily 20minute lessons. Sessions are enhanced by on-line materials such as Phonics Play to ensure maximum participation and engagement. By the end of Key Stage 1 children develop fluent word reading skills and good foundations in spelling.
All pupils are assessed termly to make sure they are making good progress and to set challenging targets. As a result of these assessments pupils across the school are put into small groups according to their levels of ability and understanding. Having completed all six phases pupils move into more focused spelling groups this usually happens at upper Key Stage Two.