Mrs Merion Shippam
English Subject Leader - Oracy, Writing, Reading and Phonics
At Telford Infant School we place a great emphasis on reading and believe that every child should develop a lifelong love of books and enjoyment of reading. We aim to make reading meaningful by immersing children in a rich literacy environment. Opportunities for Reading at our school are varied from free choice from our class book corners, online eBooks, playtime trollies or the school library to regular shared, guided, whole class and individual reading sessions.
Children are provided with a range of different text styles and the books children are encouraged to read match the phonics phase they are learning. Once children are secure in levels 1- 5 of phonics, they follow a colour book banded system made up of books from a variety of reading schemes. Each colour band allows the children to choose from an exciting range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry books.
Our library is open plan and situated at the heart of our school for everyone to enjoy. All classrooms have their own book corners, stocked with reading materials to tempt readers of all abilities and interests.
Much of our curriculum is taught through exciting texts and we always enjoy celebrating special literary events such as National Poetry Day, when Andy Seed visited our school. He is the author of 'Razzle Dazzle', 'Interview with a Tiger', ' Wild Facts About Nature' and many other exciting and funny books. On World Book Day, author Lucy Rowland and local illustrator (and past pupil) Ben Mantle visited us.
Reading at home every day makes a huge difference. Here are some ideas for helping your child with reading.
- Reading does not have to be from your child’s school reading book. Books from home, leaflets, instructions for games, comics, signs in the environment (eg. supermarket), internet research, greeting cards are all reading too. Please note these in your child’s Tapestry account as we are always pleased to see children enjoying a varied reading diet.
- Enjoy a bedtime story every night, this is a great way to model reading to your child.
- Children who wish to bring in a treat for their classmates on their birthday are asked to donate a book to their class book corner rather than bring in sweets. Children can write a short message in the front of their birthday book and it is shared by the whole class at story time and will be available to be enjoyed by many children for years to come.
Updated 25 April 2022
From early mark making right through to our oldest children, Telford Infant children are encouraged to see themselves as writers.
Endless opportunities for writing are available not only in English lessons, but across the whole curriculum. Teachers promote writing skills in topic, maths and in every-day classroom routines such as labelling classroom displays and writing lists.
In Reception we teach handwriting that coincides with the letter formation in our phonics scheme and introduce pre-cursive handwriting during the summer term in Year 1 and cursive handwriting in Year 2 using the Twinkl handwriting scheme.
Helping Your Child With Writing at Home
- Try fun activities that strengthen your child’s hand and fingers e.g. cutting, painting, squeezing playdough, picking up small things with tweezers and pegs.
- Praise play writing – early squiggles and marks show that your child is beginning to understand writing.
- Use magnetic letters and make small words together.
- Make up a story together about one of their toys. You write the story as they say the words. Make up a little booklet. Take photos and use the pictures in the book.
- Let your child write their own Christmas cards, thank you letters, cards or emails to friends or relatives, invitations to a party, or a list of things they need to take on holiday.
- Cut up letters from magazines for children to make their names and short sentences.
- Make handwriting interesting – practise drawing letters in sand, water, or paint, use white boards, playdough, pastry or shaving foam.
- Keep talking! This remains the key to good writing. Talk about what has been seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched with as many details as possible.
- Play word-building games to develop descriptive vocabulary such as Boggle, Scrabble, Guess Who, ‘What am I?”
- Create silly sentences or tongue twisters using alliteration (a group of words that all begin with the same sound) e.g. Sad Sid slipped on Sam’s salad sandwich.
- Encourage your child to rehearse their sentence out loud before they write it down.
- If a tricky word has been used in an interesting way, this should be praised even if it is spelled wrongly. Remember, it is difficult to get everything right when you are learning!
- Let children write part of shopping lists and then let them be responsible for carrying the list and finding certain items.
- After making a cake, doing a craft activity or playing a game, challenge children to write instructions for someone else to follow.
- Make up fun ways to remember how to spell difficult words e.g. Big Elephants Can Always Understand Small Elephants = because.
- Play ‘I Spy’ and ‘Hangman’ which encourage use of sounds and spellings.
- Practise phonics, high frequency words and handwriting.
- Praise effort as well as success in writing.
- Help your child write a letter to their favourite author. Details can be found on the internet.
- As with early writers be aware of occasions when children can be involved in writing – shopping lists, cards, phone messages, notes to friends, invitations to family occasions etc.
- Write information pages or booklets about a hobby or something they find interesting e.g. dinosaurs, class topics, sports stars etc. Illustrate and label.
- Encourage use of paragraphs for blocks of information.
- Write postcards from holidays and record holiday events in a diary that can be shared with friends or family.
- Provide your child with a quiet, comfortable place to write if they want it, as well as exciting writing materials. Pound shops sell cheap but attractive notebooks, scrap books, post it notes, cards, pens, pencils, felt pens and rubbers.
- Let your child see you as a writer.
- Read books to, and with, them that are at a higher level than their own reading to expose them to ambitious vocabulary and complex sentence structure.
For all children – make writing fun!
At Telford Infant School we follow the Twinkl phonics programme to deliver the Department for Education’s phonics scheme 'Letters and Sounds'. Throughout Phase 1, children develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to discriminate between and use auditory, environmental and instrumental sounds. Phase 1 is taught in Reception. In Reception, children work within Phase 2 and Phase 4. Children are introduced to phonemes (sounds) and graphemes (letters) systematically. They also learn to develop and apply blending and segmenting skills for reading and writing.
Phase 5 and Phase 6 are taught in Key Stage 1. In Phase 5 children apply their phonics knowledge and skills as the prime approach to reading and spelling. It focuses on phonetically decodable two-syllable and three-syllable words and the alternative ways of pronouncing and representing the long vowel phonemes. Children will develop their ability to read and spell increasingly complex words. By Phase 6, children explore spelling patterns and grammar while also developing a breadth of knowledge, skills and understanding in the recognition and spelling of common exception words.
Please click the link below for our Telford Infant Glossary of Phonics Terms and advice on how to help at home.