At Silver Tree Primary School, we recognise the crucial importance of studying the English language. Improved performance in speaking and listening, reading and writing will enable our pupils to express their thoughts and ideas more fluently, to engage more successfully with other curriculum subjects and will ultimately enrich their lives beyond school. The teaching and learning of language skills are, therefore, given a high priority in our school.
We have high expectations for our pupils and we encourage them to become independent learners and who strive to be confident in all areas of English. Our overarching aim is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature.
For further information, please click the links below.
At Silver Tree Primary School and Nursery we recognise the importance of early reading and aim to create an inclusive, inspired and challenging curriculum which develops children’s knowledge of phonics, enabling them to become successful readers who develop a life-long love of reading.
We aim to give children the best possible start to their reading and writing journey by teaching them the essential phonological skills and knowledge to decode and encode words independently from the outset. We recognise that the development of spoken language and the enjoyment and comprehension of quality literature go hand in hand to develop a life-long love of reading and aim to nurture and develop these attributes alongside the phonics programme.
At Silver Tree Primary School and Nursery we teach Phonics using a DfE validated Systematic synthetic phonics programme called ‘Rocket Phonics’.
Children are taught:
- to see the letters and say the sounds for reading
- to hear the sounds and recall the letters for spelling
- blending for reading (oral, modelled, supported and independent blending at word, sentence and text levels)
- segmenting for spelling (oral, modelled, supported segmenting, knowing which spelling alternative to use)
- the skill of handwriting (pencil hold, letter formation, position on a writing line).
Children are also taught to recognise and write ‘common exception’ words gradually throughout the programme. These are words that cannot be sounded out e.g the, no, said, was.
Each lesson has 4 parts:
- Revisit and Review– Flashcards are used to revise previously taught sounds.
- Teach– Children are taught a new letter-sound correspondence. They are taught to form letters accurately.
- Practise– Children practise blending for reading and segmenting for spelling. Initially, this is done at word level, then sentence and text levels (when appropriate).
- Apply– Children apply their knowledge and transfer their skills in continuous provision (in Reception), in English and wider curriculum lessons in Key stage 1 and beyond.
Children practise, apply and consolidate their phonics skills and knowledge during weekly ‘Guided Reading’ sessions in school. Fully decodable texts are sent home (these contain only sounds/common exception words which have been taught previously) for the children to practise their phonics skills with their parents or carers. Children are encouraged to re-read books from the earliest stage to practise and improve their fluency (the ability to read with speed, accuracy and expression).
We recently held an online meeting for the parents of our Year 1 pupils to provide them with information about the Phonics Screening Check. Please find the slides from the meeting below.
In the Autumn term, we held a Reading meeting for the parents and carers of our Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 pupils. Please find the information slides linked below.
If you require any further information, support or guidance regarding Phonics, Rocket Phonics have put together some handy guides for parents and carers, which we have linked below. Alternatively, please ask a member of school staff who would be happy to help.
Accelerated Reader is a reading programme that we use at Silver Tree Primary School and Nursery to monitor our pupils’ independent reading practice. Children in Year 3 to 6, who have passed the Phonics Screening Check, are able to access the Accelerated Reader programme. Pupils in Year 2 may be ready to start using the system after Christmas. Children using Accelerated Reader choose their own books, rather than having one assigned to them. This makes reading a much more enjoyable experience as they can choose books that are interesting to them. With Accelerated Reader, pupils pick from a selection of books that are pitched to their individual reading level. When they finish a book, the pupils then take a short quiz on an iPad or a Kindle to check that they have understood what they have read. Further information can be found by clicking the link below.
Promoting a Love of Reading
Our pupils love taking part in the events that we run to promote a love of reading. Take a look at the photos below to see what we’ve been up to!
World Book Day – March 2022
Axel Scheffler online workshop with Seven Stories The National Centre for Children’s Books – January 2022
Polar Express afternoon – December 2021
Puffin Virtual Visit from author Jacqueline Wilson – November 2021
Roald Dahl Day – September 2021
Outdoor Reading Picnics – July 2021
Pupil Reading Survey
We recently conducted a survey to find out about our pupils’ attitudes towards reading. We’re really proud of our pupils’ reading and we feel the results reflect that; please click below to see them for yourself!