At Milton Park, reading and writing is interwoven into all that we do. From the moment that your child arrives at our school, they are introduced to language-rich environments, and talk forms the basis of our teaching and learning. We believe that every child is entitled to leave our school with a high standard of reading and writing, ready to embark upon their secondary education and prepare them to become citizens of the world.
Our curriculum is enriched with many opportunities to support reading and writing, such as author visits, book awards, literature quizzes and special events.
Reading is an essential life skill, and being able to read fluently and confidently opens up so many opportunities for our children.
Phonics teaching starts on entry to Milton Park. Our Early Years teachers start with a focused programme of phonics, and children enjoy a varied and balanced introduction to reading.
Parental support is important in helping our young readers. We invite parents to attend phonics and reading workshops, to ensure the development of reading at home and at school is consistent. Our staff are always happy to support parents with reading, and actively encourage additional reading at home.
In Key Stage 1, phonics teaching continues. An overview for each year group is used to deliver a rigorous timetable for phonics reading and writing.
As children move up through the school, their home reading is closely monitored by the class teacher and TA, and they take books home that are suited to their reading ability.
Guided Reading takes place daily in all year groups from Year R-6. Teaching follows a programme of tasks, from whole class learning to a guided teacher session, and children are taught decoding skills, retrieval, comprehension and inference and deduction. The teaching of reading supports writing, and children are encouraged to read like a writer and to write like a reader.
At Milton Park, we believe that children should be given the opportunity to access a wide range of literature, and should be given the chance to experience books from a wide range of genres and authors. The teachers at Milton Park love books and love reading, and we aim to pass on our favourites too!
Milton Park’s approach to writing is through talk, and this starts in Year R. Role Play and creativity enables children to form sentences orally before putting pen to paper, and this oral rehearsal continues throughout our children’s learning journey. In both Key Stages, children are encouraged to orally rehearse sentences before writing and take part in role play and hot seating activities. Just like ‘real’ writers, our children plan what to write, write it and edit it until they’re happy with their finished pieces.
We provide many opportunities for children to write in a range of contexts, for a range of purposes and for a range of audiences. We teach writing in this way so that children learn the skills of crafting written language, and can apply their skills to many different pieces of writing. Lessons are planned using the objectives from the New Curriculum, and the grammar element is an important focus in every year group.
We try to give our children many real life experiences to base their writing upon. For example, children recount what they have learnt on the many school trips they enjoy; they write letters to authors who have visited our school or local politician; and create class books to go on display in our library,
Cursive handwriting is taught alongside phonics in Year R, and is taught daily in Key Stage 1. Taught handwriting sessions continue into KS2, with targeted interventions to support those children who need additional help.
How Parents can Support English:
- Read with your child at least four times a week – we have a wide selection of books for you and your child to choose from. Don’t forget to fill in your child’s reading record!
- Talk about words! Funny words, silly words, weird words… finding and using new vocabulary supports your child to use these words in their writing.
- Give them new experiences – can they write about what they have done?
- Practice the spellings and phonics that are sent home – they are tested regularly and we look for their spellings in their writing