Our pupils enter our EYFS with limited, if any, phonetic knowledge. We are passionate about reading so read a large variety of books which helps to increase their vocabulary and knowledge of the English language.We encourage our pupils to listen to sounds around them as well as learning a range of rhymes before embarking upon our synthetic phonics program. This approach ensures all our pupils make rapid progress and learn to read swiftly.
If you would like to support the learning journey of your child we highly recommend the website https://www.phonicsplay.co.uk/
At Longwood we want our pupils to read for pleasure. To achieve this love of reading, it is embedded in all we do across our school. Reading also feeds our pupils’ imagination and opens up a world of wonder and joy for their curious minds. Teachers and pupils alike share personal recommendations ranging from magazines, newspapers, graphic novels and facilities for online reading as well as traditional novels.
Our well stocked library has been specially designed by the pupils to be inviting and inspirational. All the books in the library are purchased based on pupil recommendation and are consequently thoroughly enjoyed by all. Many of the books are used for our daily whole class story sessions across the school.
We emphasise phonics in the early teaching of reading when our pupils first start school. Despite the fact that our pupils join us with a very low starting point, our use of the ”Letters and Sounds” scheme ensures that our teaching of phonics is consistent and effective. This means that by the phonics screening test, our data is above national average.
Good comprehension draws from vocabulary and grammar and on pupils knowledge of the world. We develop comprehension skills through structured guided reading and our class story as well as immersing our pupils in texts relating to the theme for that term. This increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in their everyday speech.
By the time our pupils leave Longwood, they can confidently read fluently, opening up a world of opportunity to them.
Our English lessons develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and grammar and vocabulary.
Writing is taught through ‘Talk for Writing’ and applied through all areas of the curriculum.
This is particularly important for our pupils as many of them join us with lower than average language and vocabulary skills.
‘Talk for Writing’, is a powerful strategy because it is based on the principles of how children learn. Here at Longwood, we adapt the movement from imitation to innovation to independent application to suit the needs of our pupils across the school.
The ‘Talk for Writing’ approach enables our pupils to read and write independently for a variety of audiences and purposes within different subjects. Our pupils internalise the language structures needed to write through ‘storymapping’ as well as ‘reading as a reader’ (expressing personal opinions regarding the text) and ‘reading as a writer’. By ‘reading as a writer’ our pupils explicitly learn how to draw on their reading to enhance their writing, noticing how the writer is creating effects through vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure. It is impossible for our pupils to write any type of text without being familiar with the linguistic patterns. For many of our pupils at Longwood, imagination is no longer an issue but rather a lack of the writing skills with which to structure their imagination. The aim of ‘Talk for Writing’ is for these skills to become embedded and drawn upon when writing. Our pupils will move from dependence (hugging closely to the text), towards independent writing with our teachers modelling good writing to develop our pupils' ability to write creatively and purposefully.