English teaching is at the heart of our entire curriculum. The skills pupils develop in oracy, reading and writing is the key which unlocks learning in all other subject areas. The resources below we hope will help to support parents in working with us to ensure the best outcomes in these areas for your child.
At Houghton on the Hill we know that reading is the key to children’s success. If a child reads fluently, they are more likely to enjoy reading and will be exposed to a wider range of vocabulary and sentence structures as well as having a better knowledge of the world. We know that reading opens doors to other worlds, helps children to develop empathy and understanding and is vital for academic success at school and beyond. We aim to teach children to read fluently and with understanding. We promote enjoyment for reading and a love of books. Books and reading are at the very heart of our English curriculum.
Children are taught to read as soon as they enter Foundation Stage. We use a synthetic phonics based approach, following Letters and Sounds. Children are taught to identify sounds in spoken words; recognise the common spellings of each phoneme (sound); blend phonemes into words for reading and segment them into phonemes for spellings.
Children are also expected to know the High Frequency Words. These are simple, common words like ‘had’ and ‘the’ and are split into separate lists for the first 100 most frequently used words and then the next 100. These words are essential for the beginner reader to recognise as they are contained in the simplest of sentences and are words that they will quickly come across. Many of these words can be decoded in the usual way but some are trickier (for example ‘said’ contains an ‘e’ sound). These words are often called ‘tricky words’ and your child will have lots of practice reading and spelling them at school. Copies of these words can be found below.
Phonics underpins the very start of early reading, and is the priority for teaching in EYFS and Year One.
At Houghton School, we have been developing our own Reading Rubrics, to help children to improve their reading skills and to develop pupil efficacy in reading lessons. You can see some of our rubrics here:
As part of the National Curriculum, children are expected to learn a list of compulsory spellings. These are words that are either used a lot or are tricky to spell. The words are split into two lists: those that should be learned in Years 3 and 4 and those that should be learned in Years 5 and 6. Children are expected to be able to spell these words by the time they leave Primary School.
These are in addition to the High Frequency Words that should have been learned by the beginning of Year 3. Copies of the Statutory Spelling Lists can be found below:
In 2017 we introduced a new cursive handwriting scheme. This has resulted in an increased focus on presentation across the whole school.
In Foundation Stage children are taught to start their letters on the line and ‘fly up’ and then the letter should end in a flick. Upper case (or capital letters) do not join and so they do not need to either ‘fly up’ or flick. If you would like to help your child practice their letters at home then a copy of the correct letter formation is below.