At Coppetts Wood, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills. We aim to provide an interesting and engaging English curriculum that is underpinned by the belief that developing children’s language is crucial to their success across the curriculum and for life-long learning. At Coppetts Wood, we want children to enjoy and appreciate literature for all its rich variety.
Teaching Reading at Coppetts Wood
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. As children’s reading develops at different rates, teaching is tailored to each child and their ability, with a focus on instilling in our children a word-rich vocabulary that will enable them to access a variety of texts. This begins in the classroom with cross-curricular displays that provide a vocabulary-rich environment to inspire and encourage our children to understand, practise and apply new words to their everyday oracy and written language. By including a vast range of vocabulary in all lessons and the physical learning environment, we aim to embed high quality language and increase children’s retention of key vocabulary, which they can then understand and use accurately and independently. Through the tiered approach, children also learn how to group vocabulary based on their common usage and make links between words based on definition and etymology.
Children read daily in the classroom, either in shared reading pairs, one-to-one with a member of staff, or within whole class sessions. Staff teach and model reading skills to all children, before building on each child’s understanding of vocabulary, to increase their confidence and individual bank of word knowledge. We continuously encourage all children to read a range of texts both in school and at home, so that they have as many opportunities as possible to discuss the meaning of texts, build on their knowledge of language and make links between texts and vocabulary. Children are given lots of opportunities to ask questions, explore texts in depth and become used to answering a range of questions accurately and and in a clear, succinct manner. They then have further opportunities to independently apply their knowledge and skills.
Teaching Phonics at Coppetts Wood
The approach to the teaching of phonics at Coppetts Wood School is based on the Phonographix Reading Programme Phono-Graphix is based simply on:
- The nature of the English code (Written English)
- The three skills needed to access that code
- How children learn
The nature of the English code is as follows:
- Letters are ‘pictures’ of sounds (visual representations) known as graphemes (In the word ‘please’ for instance, there are four sounds and each is represented by a ‘sound picture’ /p/, /l/,ea/, /se/)
- ‘Sound pictures’ (Graphemes) can be made up of one or more letters
- It contains variation (Most sounds have more than one way in which they can be represented. The sound 's', for instance, can be represented in these ways: sat city voice house fuss castle, science)
- Sound pictures are sometimes reused, they overlap (The same sound picture that spells the sound 'ee' in beach spells the sound 'e' in bread and the sound 'a-e' in steak.
- Segmenting (Segmenting is the ability to separate the sounds in spoken words)
- Blending (Blending is the ability to blend sounds into words)
- Phoneme Manipulation (Phoneme Manipulation is the ability to pull sounds in and out of words)
How Children Learn:
- Children learn best in context and through active discovery. (sound to symbol relationship is taught in words and in real books rather than in isolation)
- All new learning takes place in the context of errors
Phonographix does not…….
- Teach that letters "make" sounds, rather that sounds are represented with ‘sound pictures’ (Graphemes)
- Rely on rules to teach children about our written system, e.g. "When two vowels go walking the first one does the talking"
Teaching Writing at Coppetts Wood
Writing forms a significant part of all subjects across the curriculum. We pride ourselves on good presentation skills in literacy and therefore we teach children at the Coppetts Wood from Year 2 onwards. We know that using a cursive script helps most children become more confident, fluent writers and also helps improve spelling.
Our consistent aim if for all our children to develop into skilful and imaginative writers across the curriculum. Writing is organised around a clear phased learning sequence where-by children study and engage with a high quality model text and practice the grammar skills necessary for the specific genre, before progressing into extended writing and editing independently.