English in the Early Years Foundation Stage
In EYFS 1 and 2 reading and writing are taught through Literacy, a specific area of learning. The physical development of writing features in the Moving and Handling aspects of Physical Development and Exploring and Using Media and Materials in Expressive Arts and Design. The prime area Communication and Language also plays a key role in supporting the development of the skills needed to underpin effective reading skills.
The EYFS staff use the non statutory guidance The Early Years Outcomes to plan activities and assess children against their age and stage of development. The complete document can be found on the EYFS section of the curriculum section of the school web site.
At Portland our aim is to have a school full of people who enjoy reading. We believe that if a child can read, they can achieve! Therefore a lot of our time is spent teaching reading. From daily phonics in EYFS and year one and two, to Guided Reading and comprehension practice further up the school, we do all we can to immerse the children in the skills needed to become fluent readers. Reading comes into all of the other subjects too, such as in maths problem solving, to using sources in history, to following written instructions in DT.
Recently we have invested in a whole new reading scheme, called Bug Club. These books, from EYFS up to year 6, are bright, colourful and packed full of exciting stories. We aim, in Guided Reading sessions, to teach through these texts, a love of reading, as well as the strategies needed to become a reader.
Our newly refurbished library has become a wonderful reading hub within our school. Our 'librarians' from the KS2 classes supervise the daily lunchtime Library Club, and our PTA librarians ensure that we can take books out to enjoy at home every week.
Here at Portland we love reading, and we hope it stays that way.
We try to inspire the children to become confident and fluent writers as well as readers. To do this this, we share high quality texts with the children, inspiring them to be authors. At Portland we also use lots of drama and Spoken Language activities to enhance vocabulary, which we then encourage them to use in their written work. We encourage the children to realise that they can always improve their work, and that even published authors draft and redraft their work. Using their purple pens becomes a routine as the children move further up the school, and they also read each other's work, giving feedback.
The writing on display is the work that the children feel they have worked extremely hard to improve, and this is helped by the focus which we put on handwriting and presentation. We have recently introduced the 'Pen Licence'; the children have to present their work to Mr Crossley, who judges whether their handwriting is of a high enough standard to deserve to write in pen.
Writing also comes into other aspects of the curriculum, and the children write a piece of cross curricular writing each half term, so that their writing has a purpose.
Phonics is taught through daily sessions from EYFS 1 to Year 2. At Portland we use Letters and Sounds to support the teaching of reading and writing through a phonic based approach.