English

Reading 

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 Telford Infants are rich and varied – from free choice from our class book corners, playtime trollies or school library to regular shared, guided and individual reading sessions.

Children are encouraged to apply many reading strategies and reinforce their phonics skills (see below) through our Phonics and colour banded books. Children are encouraged to experience a range of different text styles.

We follow a colour Book Banding 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. The books follow this order:

  1. ‘Phonics’ books/Pink/Red
  2. Yellow
  3. Blue
  4. Green
  5. Orange
  6. Turquoise
  7. Purple
  8. Gold
  9. White
  10. Lime
  11. Copper
  12. Topaz
  13. Ruby
  14. Emerald

Children learn to read at different speeds – they may make a lot of progress and then spend several weeks, or months consolidating their knowledge. This may mean they remain on the same colour band for a while. Please do not worry if this is the case.

Every child is given a book bag by the PTA when they join our school for the children to carry their book and reading diary to and from school.

We are very proud of our library which is open plan and situated at the heart of our school for everyone to enjoy. Our lunchtime library club children help to keep our library tidy and regularly change our library display. 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 and World Book Day. We have also really enjoyed visits from children's authors.

Reading at home every day makes a huge difference. Here are some ides 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, greetings cards are all reading too. Please note these in your child’s reading diary as we are always pleased to see children enjoying a varied reading diet.
  • Even older children love being read to – make time for a bedtime story every night.
  • Borrow a book from your child’s classroom book corner. Please remember to return it when you have finished.
  • Join a local library and become regular visitors.
  • 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.

Writing

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 labelllng classroom displays and writing lists.

Handwriting – We teach cursive writing using the Letter Join scheme. www.letterjoin.co.uk/index.html

Helping your child with writing at home.

Early skills

  • 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.

Beginner writers

  • 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.

Confident writers

  • 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!

Phonics
At Telford Infant School use Pearson Phonics Bug programme to teach Phonics and we also complement and enrich the materials provided with other resources.
 
We use a synthetic phonics approach teaching reading which first teaches letter sounds and then builds up to blending these sounds together to achieve full pronunciation of whole words.  Synthetic phonics teaches the phonemes (sounds) associated with the graphemes (letters).
 
In year 1 children take part in national phonics screening.  Children are asked to read forty words, some of which are made up ‘non-words’.  The current expected level is to get thirty-two out of forty correct.  Children who do not reach that level, take the phonics screening again a year later.
 
Resources
Please click the link below for our Telford Infant Glossary of Phonics Terms and advice on how to help at home.
For further resources and support please follow the links below:

Here is some further information and some activities that you can do at home ...

T. 01926 425544
E. admin2326@welearn365.com