We pride ourselves on having high standards of literacy throughout our school and provide a language rich environment so that children can improve their skills of speaking and listening, reading, writing, spelling and handwriting. The school has adopted a mastery style approach to English using the National Curriculum as a scaffold. This is based on the importance of linking reading and writing, speaking and listening. This begins in Foundation Stage with Time to talk, ‘big book’ shared reading and guided writing. It then progresses through KS1 to include a unit of work based around a class text for each half term. Reading and writing sessions both provide opportunity for children to learn new skills, practise and consolidate and then apply the skill set to a different genre or context.
To ensure our practice is inclusive and successful for all children, Communication groups such as LEAP (Language Enrichment Activity Programme), VIP (Vocabulary Improvement Programme) and NIP (Narrative Improvement Programme) take place throughout the school.
Our daily phonics lessons use the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme and are interactive for all and engaging. They help the children to decode effortlessly so that they can build fluency when reading independently and spell words accurately when writing. RWI books are then used within school and at home to practice and consolidate the decoding and blending skills to become fluent readers. Earlybirds small intervention groups before school, support those learners who find phonics challenging. Reading for pleasure is of upmost importance at Dobcroft and the children love to share their experiences of text around them with their classmates. Throughout the school you will see the love for reading shared by both pupils and teachers!
We teach our children to enjoy writing. They learn to mark make and write legible letters before progressing to pre-cursive writing using Disco Dough activities and the Sheffield Structured handwriting scheme by the end of Year 2. We weave writing throughout the curriculum. Where possible, we provide real purposes to write. Spelling, punctuation and grammar are an integral part of our writing and children learn to use dictionaries and thesauruses. We systematically teach sentence structure and generate sentences first before we write them. Children in Key Stage One learn to proof read and edit their own writing. Dobcroft encompasses a love of literature and allows children to express their own thoughts and ideas through the skills we give them.
Go Read and Bug Club
As a school we have signed up to the Go Read app and access to Bug Club. The pupils have their own login for both and are used within school as well as at home. The Go Read app is used to log all of the reading the children do and Bug Club gives access to extra texts and comprehension practice.
We asked the children at Dobcroft about their learning in English. This is what they said…
Foundation Stage 1:
- I like it when we have a story read to us.
- We love going on a sound hunt!
Foundation Stage 2:
- We can choose to do our own writing when we are playing in the classroom.
- I love spotting the new sound of the day when it is hiding in the pack.
- I love when we act out the story we have been reading – I like the scary bear part best!
- We can use the red words to help us write.
- The pictures help me remember the sounds.
- Funky fingers is always fun to do.
- I like English… It’s fun to learn!
- You don’t do the same thing every day.
- The library has lots of lovely books about animals.
- We have lots of different books that we can learn from about different things.
- There’s always lots of different things to learn!
- I like to use my whiteboard to practise my spelling before I write it properly.
- Shape coding makes it easier to write my sentence.
- I love our reading for pleasure time with a friend.
- I enjoy writing stories based on our class text.
- Story time with our snack is so much fun. I love being able to vote for which book we read.
- I like that we get to make comic books.
- I’m glad I can practise my handwriting.
- Early birds helps me with learning my new sounds.
- We love to share stories!
- I like the songs we sing to help us learn, especially the noun one!
- I love to share the class texts and can’t wait to hear more of the story.
- The phonics mats on my table help me to spell the words I need help with.