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English Subject Page

Welcome to the English subject page for Bedgrove Infant School! Here, our English curriculum focuses on building essential literacy skills. Through engaging writing activities, we encourage creativity while developing fluency, vocabulary, and writing techniques. 

We want to help all our children to be successful readers who love reading. 

We follow Lesley Clarke’s Letter and Sounds Programme. It is a synthetics phonics program and is taught in phoneme and grapheme order.

Phonics

At Bedgrove Infant School, we follow Lesley Clarke’s Letter and Sounds Programme. It is a synthetics phonics program and is taught in phoneme and grapheme order (as listed in the programme).

Reading

At Bedgrove Infant School, we want to help all our children to be successful readers who love reading. We believe that reading is a fundamental skill for life and teaching our children to become articulate readers is absolutely integral to what we do, ensuring that they possess the essential skills and enthusiasm to learn for the rest of their lives.

Our approach to reading

Whole class reading skills lessons – Reading VIPERS

Our reading skills lessons take place three times a week in Foundation 2 and Year 2 for 20 minutes and once a week in Year 1 for an hour. Within these sessions our teachers model reading strategies during guided reading lessons in Year 1 and shared whole class reading sessions in Foundation 2 and Year 2. These involve high quality, age-appropriate texts which are carefully selected by our staff. These are read to or with the children and provide an opportunity to teach children specific reading skills to widen their vocabulary and develop their levels of comprehension, as outlined in the National Curriculum. Questions are planned by teachers in advance to help children access a range of skills to help them to develop a greater understanding of a range of reading materials including fiction, non-fiction and poetry materials.

In our reading lessons, we use reading VIPERS (based on materials from ‘The Literacy Shed’) to help support our pupils to understand what a good reader looks like and how to approach answering reading questions.

VIPERS is an acronym which stands for:

Vocabulary
Infer
Predict
Explain
Retrieve
Sequence

All children work on VIPERS during class reading whether this is reading as a class, in a small group or one to one with an adult. We encourage children to orally talk through their answers before formally recording their answers. Children do this in a variety of ways such as discussing the answer first with their peers and/or an adult and then writing their best answer.

Vocabulary 
Draw upon knowledge of vocabulary in order to understand the text.

Example Questions:
- What does the word________ mean in this sentence?
- Find and copy a word which means______
- What does this word or phrase tell you about…….?
- Which word in this section do you think is the most important? Why?
- Which of the words best describes the character/setting/ mood etc?
- Can you think of any other words the author could have used to describe this?
- Why do you think_______ is repeated in this section?

Infer 
Make inference from the text.

Example Questions:
- Why was ____feeling ____?
- Why did _____ happen?
- Why did _____ say _____?
- Can you explain why___?
- What do you think the author intended when they said____?
- How does _____ make you feel?

Predict
Predict what you think will happen based on the information that you have been given.

Example Questions:
- Look at the book cover/blurb
- What do you think this book will be about?
- What do you think will happen next? What makes you think this?
- How does the choice of character or setting affect what will happen next?
- What is happening? What do you think happened before? What do you think will happen after? - What do you think the last paragraph suggests will happen next?

Explain
Explain you preference, thoughts and opinions about the text.

Example Questions:
- Who is your favourite character? Why?
- Who would you link to live in this setting? Why/why not?
- Is there anything you would change about this story?
- Do you like this text? What do you like about it?

Retrieve
Identify and explain the key features of fiction and non-fiction tests such as: characters, events, titles and information.

Example Questions:
- What kind of text is this?
- Who did ____?
- Where did ____?
- When did ____?
- What happened when ____?
- Why did _____ happen?
- How did ____?
- How many ____?
- What happened to ____?

Sequence
Sequence the key events in the story.

Example Questions:
- Can you number these events 1-5 in chronological order that they happened?
- What happened after____?
- What was the first thing that happened in the story?
- Can you summarise in a sentence the opening/middle/end of the story?
- In what order do these chapter headings come in the story?

Individual reading in school

Adults will listen to children read in school once a fortnight to develop their fluency. They will read a book linked to our phonics scheme that is appropriate to their ability.

Some of our children may receive more support in reading, some reading every day and some reading at least three times a week if they are working below age-related expectations. Our class teachers monitor each child’s progress carefully and children will move up the phase/week decodable book order, following a combination of evidence from reading skills lessons, reading assessments and the child’s improving fluency.

Reading for Pleasure

At Bedgrove Infant School, we encourage a reading for pleasure ethos through weekly reading sessions, daily class story for story time, book club, reading buddies, outdoor reading, reading challenges, author visits and reading events, such as World Book Day. Children also have independent access to a wide variety of high-quality spine texts in their classroom reading areas. It is these tools and opportunities that we believe give our children the necessary skills to become thoughtful and confident readers for life.

Our staff nurture a love of books by introducing books with enthusiasm and enjoyment, promoting a sense of wonder and expectation as the book is explored. Our staff use high quality texts in all aspects of their teaching across the curriculum and provide opportunities that extend and enrich the children’s learning in their class. When we read for pleasure, our children can choose the books they wish to read and enjoy. They can choose to share a book with a peer, choose to read topic books related to our wider curriculum or listen to an adult reading aloud to them.

Writing

At Bedgrove Infant school we aim to provide a broad, balanced and creative curriculum that encourages our children to become confident, imaginative and proficient writers. We prioritise our interactions so that the children develop a wide and extensive vocabulary ensuring that when they are ready to write they have a secure and confident starting point with language. Our overarching aim is for children to develop the ability to communicate effectively, express their ideas creatively and use language competently. We believe outstanding writing is essential as it equips children with the skills they will need to succeed in their learning journey and beyond.

Our approach to writing is embedded in the ‘ShREC’ pedagogy in which high quality language interaction appears effortless:

Our Approach to Writing:

At Bedgrove Infant school we both celebrate and promote all writing opportunities within our school curriculum. Our cross curricular approach features ‘Epic’ which is fundamental to promoting writing opportunities, merging English and topic together, hence Epic. This provides all children with the opportunity to develop their writing with fluency and interesting detail on a range of topics throughout the curriculum and facilitates writing for a purpose and nurtures well rounded writers.

Our Learning Journey:  

Year Group

Purpose

F1 

Focus is on preparing children for writing through developing areas such as their knowledge of print, letter knowledge and beginning to engage purposefully in early writing (mark making). They also begin to match some letters to phonemes e.g. /m/ for mummy. 

F2

They begin to learn to write for a purpose through the ability to describe, narrate and inform. In order to achieve this, children are provided opportunities to sequence 2 to 3 sentences within purposeful fiction and non-fiction writing.

Y1

Building on prior learning children additionally develop the ability to explain within their purpose for writing. 

Y2

Children further develop their writing skills through the addition of adding the ability to persuade and entertain within their writing.

Promoting a Love of Writing

In the Early Years

Writing, which begins in the Early Years with mark making using different writing tools, necessitates a need to build children’s dexterity, posture and fine motor skills. This is achieved through the use of ‘Squiggle while you Wiggle’ a fun approach which uses dance and large movement to help children develop the fine muscle control they need for writing. When appropriate, this is further enhanced through the exciting use of ‘Dough Disco’ which helps to strengthen children’s fine motor muscles to enable them to develop their pencil grip which in turn will help to develop their writing skills.

In Key Stage One

Through Years 1 and 2 we strive to develop children’s writing skills alongside their enthusiasm and passion for writing. To best achieve this, we use our ‘Epic’ lessons to culminate in the celebration of children’s writing with their family and peers. We have also developed the ‘Proud to be Purple’ pencil approach which promotes a sense of pride and achievement within their writing. Children are increasingly exposed to a wider range of genres throughout Key Stage One, for example, their highly motivational participation within our poetry competition ‘The Young Writers’ Poetry and Creative Writing’ which seeks to publish children’s writing celebrating them as authors and poets.