At Hollesley Primary School we place great emphasis on developing children’s language skills. English is embedded in our cross-curricular themes as well as being taught as a discrete subject. These lessons cover the development of speaking, listening, reading and writing.
We aim to engender a love of reading in our pupils and so provide them with a wide range of materials, as well as time every day for reading. We are lucky to have the support of local residents who regularly give up their time to read with the children. The school has a well-stocked library which the children are taught to use both for pleasure and to support their studies.
Children are taught the skills to become fluent and effective writers and develop their techniques in creative writing, poetry and reporting. They are also encouraged to use word processing programs where appropriate.
Each year, two of our Year 6 children are appointed as school reporters and as part of their role write an article for the Village Voices every month.
We use the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme as a basis for our phonics teaching. Alongside this, we use ‘Jolly Phonics’. ‘Jolly Phonics’ introduces an action alongside each new phonic sound. Children have a phonics book to take home in which the new sounds we learn are added each week. Parents can then help their child at home by practising the sounds and actions with them, as well as helping their child to read and write some simple words containing the sounds we have learnt. The book of sounds gradually builds up as children’s knowledge of sounds increases.
Children take a book from the reading scheme to share at home as soon as they start school. At the beginning, these books are picture books with no words, from which children are encouraged to tell a story and talk about the pictures. As the children begin to learn new sounds, simple words are introduced to the books. The children progress through the levels of reading books as their ability to decode words increases. We mainly use the ‘Oxford Reading Tree’ scheme of books. Alongside these we also use a range of other books. Children also have access to a wide range of books in our class and school libraries, and are encouraged to enjoy other books at home.