At St Anthony’s Catholic Primary school, we firmly believe that good spelling is an essential skill which allows children to communicate their understanding in all curriculum subjects. In order for pupils to develop into effective and confident writers, they need to develop and use a range of effective spelling strategies. By providing the children with a range of strategies we will equip them with the independence to attempt spellings before asking adults for help.
Our Aims at St Anthony's
- Develop and teach the children to use a range of effective spelling strategies
- Encourage creativity and the use of more ambitious vocabulary in their writing
- Enable children to write independently
- Enhance proof reading and editing skills
- Encourage children to identify patterns in words and spellings
- Promote a positive and confident attitude towards spelling
- Help children to use a range of dictionaries and spell checks effectively
- Help children recognise that spelling is a lifelong skill
- Provide equal opportunities for all pupils to achieve success in spelling
Useful links for parents to support their children with spelling:
Information for parents
How to help your child with spelling
Spelling games for children
Tic tac toe
At St Anthony’s, we aim to inspire every child to develop a love of reading through immersing them in high-quality, engaging texts. All year groups share a wide range of stories with their children, from traditional tales and nursery rhymes to intriguing picture books and gripping novels.
We celebrate children’s achievements in reading with regular awards assemblies such as termly Reading Stars and a half-termly 100% Readers prize-draw. Children at St Anthony’s have access to their very own Reading Shed as well as two well-stocked, ever-changing libraries. Each class also has their own reading corner where children can enjoy their new favourite picture book or a timeless classic.
Early reading and phonics are taught through the Read, Write, Inc. Programme. The programme supports the development of sound and letter recognition, blending and decoding through fun, creative activities. Guidance for parents and carers to support their children is available at: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EYx1CyDMZSc.
As children progress through the programme they also learn how to structure simple sentences and derive meaning from texts. Pupils begin the program when they arrive at our school in Nursery and once they have been assessed, they are streamed into ability groups. They are assessed on a regular basis to ensure they are progressing through the scheme at a rate suitable for them as an individual. More information about the program and ideas on how to support your child at home can be found at http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/
Once pupils are beginning to decode words, they are introduced to the Oxford Reading Tree - a series of banded books which pupils take home to share with parents and carers every night. Pupils are also encouraged to borrow storybooks from the school libraries to read simply for pleasure.
As pupils move into key stage two, they begin to read books from the whole-school library which have also been banded to support different reading abilities. These should be read aloud with parents each night to develop fluency and comprehension skills. They are still encouraged to borrow books from their class libraries to read for pleasure.
Tips for reading with your child at home: TOP TIPS
EYFS and KS1
- Read for 10 minutes with your child every day – this can be at any time which is best for you!
- Listen to your child read to you but also read to them and model fluency and expression
- Make reading fun – change your voice for different characters or ask your child to join in and do their own voices for characters when they speak
- If your child struggles to read a word, don’t tell them the word straight away – encourage them to use Fred-talk to sound it out first
- Visit the parents section of the Ruth Miskin Read, Write, Inc. website or the Facebook page to learn more about how to teach early reading at home - http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/parents/
- Ask them questions about what they have read – What has happened to this character? Who is your favourite character? What do you think will happen next?
- If you are looking at a picture book, ask them questions about the pictures – look at character’s facial expressions and what they tell us about the character
- Ask your child to tell you a story – if they struggle at first give them a story starter such as ‘Once upon a time there was a lonely alien who was in need of a friend. One day he…’
- Visit the local library and ask about their story-telling sessions
- Reading comes in many forms – you could share a comic with your child, look at children’s news articles online or use a recipe to create a new dish in the kitchen
- Read for 10-15 minutes with your child each day – this can be at any time which is best for you!
- Listen to your child read to you but also remember they are not too old to be read to – you can show them good fluency and expression
- Ask them questions about what they have read – which characters do you like? What do you think will happen next? Are you enjoying the book?
- If they aren’t enjoying the book, encourage them to stop and choose another book they will enjoy more
- Pay attention to illustrations – do they tell us anything that the story doesn’t?
- Talk to them about what they are reading in school – what can they tell you about their class book?
- Challenge your child to tell you or write down a 5 Sentence Story using these sentence starters –
- Once upon a time…
- One day…
- In the end…
- Visit the local library – there are always new titles! Encourage your child to read a wide range of books – different genres, non-fiction, poetry etc.
Texts recommended by literacy guru Pie Corbett on the Scholastic website (https://www.scholastic.co.uk/piecorbett/resources)
Useful websites/links for parents:
Read, Write, Inc. (help for parents): https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EYx1CyDMZSc