English is central to the curriculum at Briary School. We recognise this by giving a substantial amount of time to teaching the essential skills involved in reading, writing, listening and speaking.
Reading is an extremely important skill. The very carefully planned teaching that we provide in school must be supported by plenty of individual practice at home. We have two well stocked libraries and an award-winning Book Swap Shed available to all children before and after school. These provide access to a wide variety of texts to suit all abilities and interests. Parents can support and encourage their children by reading with them at home daily and signing the diary. Rewards and incentives for regular reading practise throughout the school including Buster’s Book Club.
We teach reading through a combination of meaning, structure and visual information, using phonics as a primary skill for beginning to read. We have combined a range of commercial reading schemes, phonically decodable books and real books which are colour banded to ensure progression. Teachers monitor the children regularly within daily reading sessions. Book Talk ensures active engagement in discussion about texts in order to promote comprehension.
We follow the Essential Letters and Sounds phonics programme from Reception and throughout KS1. From Y2 onwards these skills are further developed and supplemented within the No Nonsense Spelling programme.
We use the Power of Reading during our literacy lessons to develop the children’s love of books through drama, speaking and listening and writing activities. Children have many opportunities to discuss, debate and develop their ideas. Writing skills are scaffolded to enable children of all abilities to make progress. Children are given opportunities for extended writing and are encouraged to edit and find ways of improving their work. Handwriting is taught using a pre-cursive script, with a consistent letter formation throughout the school. As soon as a child is ready they are encouraged to join their writing and when writing is consistent they are expected to write in pen.