Learning to read is one of the most vitally important life skills.
At Paganel we aim for every child to become confident, able and eager readers and leave us at the end of Year 6 achieving at least at the nationally expected level of attainment (level 4). In 2014, 29 out of 30 (97%) Year 6 children achieved above national level 4 (national = 89%) with half the class (50%) at level 5.
We believe that, in the same way “one size does not fit all”, following only one reading scheme does not suit all children in learning how to read. Consequently, we use a wide range of different schemes (including Oxford Reading Tree, Badger Books, Big Cat,Ruth Miskin…) and tailor them to suit the individual needs and interests of each child.
We encourage all parents/carers to work in partnership with, and support the school by reading with their child, ideally on a daily basis – little and often is the best way forward in order for children to best develop their fluency, accuracy and enjoyment of books, resulting in best possible progress being made.
In order to help children learn to read and spell they need to develop an understanding of the 44 different letter sounds (phonics) there are in the English language. At Paganel, from the Nursery class upwards, we mainly follow the Letters and Sounds scheme, but this is complimented by the best parts of other schemes, including Jolly Phonics.
At the end of Year 1 (5-6 years old) all children do the national phonics screening check to test each child’s level of understanding of the different phonics/sounds. This test is made up of 20 real words and 20 “pseudo” words, such as: fot, keb, shan, flarm, trem, shull, quigh… The expectation is that a child should score at least 32 out of 40 to reach the required standard. In 2014, 22 Paganel children (73%) achieved this standard (national = 74%) and 13 children/43% scored top marks with 40 out of 40 (national = 15%).
In 2013 the school introduced its own Paganel Super Spellers’ scheme. This has resulted in a significant improvement in children’s spelling skills, exemplified through the 2014 end of key Stage 2/ Year 6 spelling, punctuation and grammar test results with 83% attaining level 4 (National = 76%) and 60% at level 5 (National = 52%).
Should any parent/carer have any questions, queries or concerns regarding reading and phonics, or indeed any aspect of their child’s learning, then please do not hesitate to see your child’s class teacher or other staff member.
We place high value on children taking pride and care over their work and handwriting is a key part of this. In the Early Years there is a big emphasis upon fine motor skills and we use a range of resources to practise these basic skills. This moves into correct letter formation with a focus on both upper and lower case letters. Throughout our school we use the Nelson Handwriting scheme as the basis for our teaching, which links handwriting to common spelling patterns. We take the view that handwriting should be taught little and often – every day the children practise at the start of their English lessons.
At Paganel we strive to create an environment that will promote both reading and writing. To ensure all pupils learn to be confident writers, we encourage children to write creatively – we promote the use of magpie walls and books and ensure our children have access to the tools for writing such as word mats and planning frames etc. We incorporate key writing skills explicitly and systematically when planning units of work. Our children a have daily English lessons with an emphasis on quality children’s literature.
To ensure all children are taught the statutory spellings required for their year group, we also use the ‘No – nonsense’ spelling material. Spellings are taught systematically throughout the school and play a significant part of standardised assessment. Time is set aside daily to enable the delivery and practise of the statutory words and spelling patterns.