At ABS, we want our children to realise the potential of their Literacy skills and how they can be a powerful tool in everyday life. Literacy is purposeful and we aim to give children the opportunities to see this for themselves. Our cross-curricular approach to learning means that children are using their Literacy skills in all areas of the curriculum. Good quality texts are chosen to complement the children’s termly topics. For instance, in Year 4, the children look at ‘Oliver Twist’, ‘Street Child’ and ‘Fair’s Fair’, three very different books but all which deepen and extend their knowledge of Victorian Britain. The teachers are encouraged to take a creative planning approach to the texts and children explore these texts through drama, art and music which along side the teaching of key skills enable the children to develop as writers.
The Literacy curriculum is also enhanced by the varied and exciting trips and visitors that we provide. In the past we have been visited by many famous authors such as Floella Benjamin, Charlie Dark, Michael Foreman and Alexis Deacon all who have worked with groups of children to inspire their learning. We also have strong links with local (national) bodies such as the Imperial War Museum and the National Theatre, who run projects with selected classes. We also take opportunities that arise throughout the year. For example, one year we invited a theatre group to perform the Anansi stories during black History Month which fed into the children’s own work on Anansi.
There is a strong emphasis on reading at ABS. We want our children to become well-rounded readers who enjoy reading for pleasure and also for information. Every classroom has an inviting, well-stocked book corner and reading opportunities are again found throughout the curriculum.
PHONICS AND EARLY READING
At ABS we use a system of synthetic phonics, which means that we teach children to say all the sounds in a word from left to right. They then blend the sounds together to read the word. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme, which outlines the sounds and spellings which the children should be learning at each stage of their development.
Children who require extra support with their phonics are taught in small groups to help them catch up. Some of the strategies used in this intervention are:
Bug Club (a fun interactive programme which links to Alphablocks
One to One reading with additional phonics (with a kinaesthetic approach)
Toe to Toe (repetitive programme which builds up sound leading to blending)
Lexia (this also takes children beyond phonics into reading)
Once children enter Reception, we use the 'Oxford Reading Tree' book scheme to help them develop their reading. We also like the children to have experience of 'real books' so we often send home a scheme book in addition to a book chosen by the child. This book can be enjoyed with a parent or on their own.