The person in charge of English at Grange Primary Academy is Mrs Haynes.
The person in charge of Phonics and Handwriiting is Miss Green
We use the 'Sounds Write' phonics scheme in school to teach phonics. On their website is a free online training course designed to inform and support parents with the understanding of phonics and the way it is taught. A direct link can be found here.
The children have a phonics session everyday for 20 minutes in Reception and 30 minutes in Years 1 and 2. At the end of Year One all children take a phonics test. Attached to this page is some information about the test and how you can support your child with their phonics development.
This video demonstrates how to say the phonic sounds of English correctly:
Useful resources to support reading and phonics at home
Sounds Write Information for Reception Parents
Year 1 Phonics Screening Check - A Guide For Parents
At Grange Primary Academy we follow the Kinetic Letters Handwriting Scheme.
It is based on ensuring the children have the strength in their bodies, arms, wrists, hands and fingers to prepare them for the skill of handwriting.
The underlying principles of Kinetic Letters
- Building physical strength underpins handwriting, as poor writing may be due to poor strength.
- Children are not expected to do anything before they are developmentally ready for it.
- The different components of writing are mastered individually before being used in combination.
- Letters are learnt as movements not as visual shapes and movement remains central to developing flow and accuracy.
- When handwriting is automatic, the brain can concentrate on content.
- Reading and writing are a reciprocal process and so strengthening handwriting skills will support reading and writing development as a whole.
As part of this we have been doing lots of activities that will make our bodies stronger for writing. You could try some of these activities at home as well!
- We do some of our writing lying on our tummies, resting on our elbows with our legs out straight; we call this our strong body position. We also do our writing with the whiteboards stuck onto the wall as this builds strength in our core, which helps to support a comfortable and strong writing position at the tables.
- We like to do lots of climbing on apparatus to make our shoulders strong. You could do this by going on the monkey bars at the park. We are also becoming experts at the ‘plank’ position and chair push ups.
- To make our ‘three friends’ (thumb and first two fingers on our writing hand) really strong we have been doing lots of pinching and squeezing activities using rubber bands, pegs, play dough, foam shapes and tweezers and threading activities.
Once the children learn to form the letters, they hear stories about Brave Monkey and Scared Monkey who help them to know where to start their letters. We use special whiteboards to give the children a prompt to remember this.
Ask your child about Brave and Scared Monkey to find out more!
At Grange Primary Academy we use the Spelling Shed Scheme to help our children learn and develop their spelling skills. The scheme is divided into six stages, each stage corresponding to the respective school year. Within each stage there are weekly objectives and spelling lists that give a steady progression through the curriculum as well as review and challenge lists to extend vocabulary
The teaching of reading focuses on developing the children’s competence in both word reading and comprehension. During reading lessons, teachers model fluent reading, using high quality texts to engage the children. They teach the skills needed to support comprehension: prediction, questioning, clarifying, summarising, thinking aloud, identifying the text structure and visualising. Encouraging the children to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction, allows them to establish an appreciation and love of reading, as well as gaining knowledge across the curriculum. Reading widely and often, increases the children’s vocabulary, as they encounter new words that they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds their imagination, inspiring them as writers.
We actively encourage all children to read at home for pleasure every night. We aim to instil a life long love of reading through weekly library lessons and offer access to our wonderful and inspiring Imagination Hub every day.
At Grange Primary Academy we use the blended principles of best practice to ensure that all of our children have the skills and knowledge to become confident writers across the curriculum. We build Reading and Speaking skills to help children internalise language patterns to ensure that they are able to use them to structure their own writing.
Developing our children as writers, we encourage them to be creative and confident, producing a variety of genres for a range of different purposes and audiences. Making writing real is an important part of our teaching sequence, as we believe this motivates the children and allows them to fully engage with the reader. The teaching sequence not only develops the children’s writing skills, it also teaches them to become critical readers, reading their writing from both a writer’s point of view and a reader’s. High quality examples of fiction, non-fiction and poetry, provide the children with models to learn and apply to their own writing. Drama is used to support the children explore these texts, engaging with the characters and improving their understanding and use of vocabulary.