EnglishAt Mangotsfield CE Primary School, we pride ourselves on having a bespoke English curriculum which encourages learners to read and write with confidence. From the youngest age, we prioritise ‘Unlocking Letters and Sounds’ in order to ensure a necessary foundation for reading. We promote a love of books and inspire our learners to read for pleasure, enabling them with a life-long confidence. As authors, our young learners develop taught skills across a variety of narrative and non-fiction writing, learning to revise and improve as they progress. Enjoyment is at the heart of our writing intentions, allowing our learners to independently flourish.
At Mangotsfield we believe that from EYFS and Year One, children ‘Learn to Read’ enabling them from Year Two to ‘Read to Learn. This is our reading slogan that can be seen in every classroom. As soon as the children start school they begin to learn that all print carries meaning. We have a structured and multifaceted approach to the teaching of reading at our school.
We use picture books, novels and factual texts to engage and stimulate learning, ensuring children enjoy high quality writing that elevates their knowledge and understanding. We draw upon Oxford Reading Tree texts which are supplemented with a number of books from different schemes and recommendations. Children are encouraged to read widely both in and outside school and we are proud of the texts we have in classrooms and our excellent school library that is at the heart of our school.
Look at some of our children taking part in our Extreme Reading competition 2018!
Please see the homework section of our website for recommended reading lists and suggested questions to support home reading with your child.
We are proud to use Unlocking Letters and Sounds. Unlocking Letters and Sounds was validated by the DfE in December 2021.
We begin teaching phonics in the first few weeks of term 1 in Reception and children make rapid progress in their reading journey. Children begin to learn the main sounds heard in the English language and how they can be represented, as well as learning ‘Common Exception’ words for Phases 2, 3 and 4. They use these sounds to read and write simple words, captions and sentences. Children leave Reception being able to apply the phonemes taught within Phase 2, 3 and 4.
Please see here for an example of our Phase 2 GPC, picture, and action document.
In Year 1 through Phase 5a, b and c, the children learn any alternative spellings and pronunciations for the graphemes and additional common exception Words. By the end of Year 1, children will have mastered using phonics to decode and blend when reading and segment when spelling. In Year 1 all children are screened using the national phonics screening check.
In Year 2, phonics continues to be revisited to ensure mastery of the phonetic code and any child who does not meet age related expectations will continue to receive support to close identified gaps.
For further details please see here for the 'Unlocking Letters and Sounds' progression here.
To ensure no child is left behind at any point in the progression, children are regularly assessed and supported to keep up through bespoke 1-1 interventions. These include GPC recognition and blending and segmenting interventions. The lowest attaining 20% of pupils are closely monitored to ensure these interventions have impact.
At Mangotsfield, we promote a 'phonics first' approach and in both our individual reading and group reading sessions at school as well as in the books children take home. Texts are very closely matched to a child's current phonics knowledge so that every child can experience real success in their reading.
In these crucial early stages of reading we primarily use books aligned with the Unlocking Letters and Sounds progression (including from Ransom Reading Stars) to ensure complete fidelity to the phonic progression we follow. Once children progress beyond decodable texts, they move onto our book scheme so that they can continue to progress in their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills to become avid, expert readers.
Phonics Screening Check
In 2012, the government introduced the statutory checking of a child's understanding of phonics for Year One pupils. The Year One Phonics Screening Check is a national check of children's phonic knowledge that all children in England are required to complete. The check combines a mixture of real and pseudo (nonsense) words which the children have to decode (read). The check takes place at the end of Year One. An example of the check published by the Department for Education can be found below:
Phonics Screening Check Example from DfE
In Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, children use their phonics skills to spell words as well as learning the High Frequency words (including tricky words). As children progress through the school, they are taught spelling rules and patterns. All children are tested on the rules and patterns they have been taught each term, with the expectation that they apply them in their independent writing. Common Exception Words are also shared with parents and children, on the school website, and are expected to be built upon throughout the year.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening activities are purposefully woven throughout our curriculum from EYFS to Year Six. Good oral work enhances pupils' understanding of language, in both oral and written forms, and of the way language can be used to communicate. As children develop, we foster their understanding of speech and their abilities to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in words.
Please approach your child's class teacher if you have any further questions.
Useful Websites and Resources
KS1 Book Ideas organised by genre - a fantastically easy-to-access resource which gives suggestions of books for KS1 pupils based on their interests.
KS2 Book Ideas organised by author - alternative books to read if you like stories by a particular author. Use the key to select your favourite author and then follow the corresponding coloured line to see a range of titles by similar authors.
Phonics Pronunciation Video - This video demonstrates how to pronounce pure sounds