Phonics & Early Reading
This section outlines the essential aspects of Phonics teaching at Buxton School. We follow the Monster Phonics programme, and in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) and Key Stage 1 (KS1), we conduct discrete Phonics sessions. However, it is crucial that Phonics skills are taught across the curriculum and not just during designated Literacy sessions on the timetable.
High-quality Phonics teaching ensures the vital skills of word recognition, allowing children to read fluently and automatically. Fluent readers can focus on comprehending the text. The 'simple view of reading' demonstrates that both dimensions are necessary for fluent reading. The balance between word recognition and language comprehension shifts as children acquire secure and automatic decoding skills, transitioning from 'learning to read' to 'reading to learn' for both purpose and pleasure. The ultimate goal of learning to read is comprehension. As children develop knowledge of graphemes and their phoneme correspondences, they can segment words and apply their phonic knowledge to spell with increasing confidence and accuracy.
For more details about Phonics at Buxton, please head to our ‘Phonics’ page.
At Buxton School, we are passionate about fostering a love for reading among our pupils. We implement various initiatives to nurture a reading culture, such as stay and read sessions with parents and World Book Day activities. Regular structured reading sessions throughout the week help children develop essential comprehension skills, which are vital for understanding complex ideas, fostering critical thinking, and enhancing communication abilities.
We provide ample opportunities for our pupils to engage with literature by granting access to their class library, year group library, and the school library. This allows children to choose age-appropriate books to read at home. In addition to this, they may also have a colour-banded book tailored to their reading level. It is crucial for children to read daily at home, preferably to an adult, and record their progress in their reading journals. These journals should be brought to school for review by a staff member.
Reading not only enhances children's academic performance but also impacts all other areas of the school curriculum and their lives beyond the classroom. A strong foundation in reading opens doors to a world of knowledge, creativity, and imagination, equipping our pupils with the skills and confidence necessary to excel in their educational journey and beyond.
We encourage all parents to support their children's reading journey by engaging in daily reading activities and celebrating their progress. Together, we can build a lifelong love for reading that will enrich the lives of our pupils and inspire them to reach their full potential.
At our school, we believe in fostering a strong foundation in writing for our pupils. Children are given opportunities to write daily across a range of subjects, ensuring they develop versatile writing skills. Our literacy lessons focus on specific genres, with particular emphasis on the unique language and structural features of each genre.
We provide opportunities for children to orally rehearse and perform their writing when appropriate, such as with poetry and playscripts. This approach enhances their confidence and presentation skills while also improving their writing abilities. By exposing children to a variety of texts and genres throughout their time at our school, we ensure that they can write confidently at an age-appropriate level.
As children progress through the years, they revisit genres, building upon the knowledge and skills they have acquired previously. This method reinforces their understanding and enables them to refine their writing abilities continually. Ultimately, our aim is to nurture a lifelong passion for writing and empower our pupils to excel in their written communication.
At Buxton School, we encourage all of our pupils to take pride in their work and ensure that their work is presented to the highest standard. We conduct regular handwriting sessions throughout the week to practice letter joins using the Nelson Handwriting Scheme. The National Curriculum requires children to produce 'fluent, legible, and eventually, speedy handwriting.' The attached document offers useful tips on practicing handwriting at home with your child and suggests activities to develop their fine motor skills.
At Buxton School, we award children a Pen Licence when they consistently demonstrate legibility, accuracy, and neatness in their work. This includes using the correct pencil grip, writing on the line, joining letters correctly, starting each letter in the correct place, maintaining consistent letter sizes, forming letters with the correct shape, leaving appropriate gaps between words, ensuring ascending and descending strokes are the correct length, and writing clearly enough for others to read their work.
Upon receiving their Pen Licence, children can write in pen during class and will be given a Stabilo Pen Licence Certificate to take home. This includes a voucher towards the cost of a new pen.