At High Down we teach phonics using the Letters and Sounds programme, supported by the use of a modified version of Jolly Phonics with its kinaesthetic actions and stories.
As children move through the early stages of acquiring phonics, they practice by reading texts which are entirely decodable for them from the Rigby Star Phonics, Big Cat and Oxford Reading Tree schemes.
Once children have a secure knowledge of letter/sound correspondences and can blend words confidently, they access our Book Banded reading scheme which has books from various published schemes and is designed to give children experience of a variety of reading genres. There are fiction and non-fiction books within each level. In addition, children access Bug Club e-books at school and at home from a personalised selection made by the teacher.
All children are encouraged to select books from the classroom, library or home to share with their parents to encourage a love of reading.
When children can read fluently and with a good understanding, they self-select books for independent reading from the school library.
We aim to teach writing and reading in an interesting and engaging way through the introduction of a range of topics. For example in year two a topic on dinosaurs is extremely popular with everybody. The children first of all immerse themselves in facts about dinosaurs by reading non fiction books: learning how to use contents pages, indexes ,sub-headings and glossaries. They then write everything they know about dinosaurs ,they become real experts and take great pride in their knowledge.
A visit from a "Dinosaur Dome" will enable the children to see life sized dinosaurs will add to the excitement and will give the children the opportunity to learn the skill of writing a recount.
They then spend a week reading and writing dinosaur poetry and being creative in art and dance.
The next three weeks are then spent writing their own dinosaur stories using imaginative vocabulary. The children learn how to use adjectives, interesting verbs and adverbs as well as correct punctuation. A dinosaur day also adds to the excitement and stimulates the children's imagination and creativity. The classrooms are full of dinosaur paintings, drawings and models and most importantly the children enjoy learning new skills.