At Cranfield Church of England Academy we aim to help children to develop a love of the English language through the spoken and written word. We believe that literacy is not just an end in itself but it provides the key to unlock all other areas of learning enabling all pupils to take a full and constructively critical part in society empowering them aesthetically, socially, spiritually and morally.
Our motto for Literacy at Cranfield is “Literacy at the heart of the Curriculum”. This means we explore and develop children’s writing, reading, phonics, speaking and listening skills across all elements of their learning, not just in their daily Literacy lesson.
We hope, as you walk around the school, you are able to see wonderful examples of Literacy at Cranfield on display – celebrating the children’s skills!
At Cranfield Church of England Academy, we believe that children should develop the ability to communicate through written language in a lively, interesting and informative way in response to a variety of stimuli and for different purposes and audiences. They will be taught a range of strategies to develop their writing skills. Cranfield is a ‘VCOP’ school in which children’s writing and the elements which make it effective are developed through an understanding of the Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation which they use. Grammar and spelling are also developed alongside this.
At the end of each term a piece of independent written work is completed in the form of a ‘Big Write’. You may hear your child mention their “Big Write”. A Big Write is a special time for all members of the class, where “we show off our very best writing”. Below is a list of changes to the classroom your children will experience when embarking upon a Big Write:
- Softened lights
- Lit candles
- Soft music playing
- Use of “special” VCOP pencils
- Use of a themed writing template
- Silence for writing
Children at Cranfield Academy are encouraged to use their Levelled Writing Stepping Stone Checklists to support and remind them of the skills they are being encouraged to embed in their own writing. These lists are available to view by clicking here. The pathway relevant to your child can be found in your child’s Home School Link.
"I tickled my target pink today".
To continue to build on our children’s writing standards, all children in Key Stages One and Two are given individualised “I Can” targets to enhance their writing skills. Targets given will be based on each child’s own areas for improvement. Their practise and achievement of the given target will move the children forwards in their writing ability.
We hope you will hear your children speaking with enthusiasm about them having “tickled their target pink” in their Literacy lessons. This will be an activity in which the children will use pink highlighters to “tickle their own and/or a friends target pink” and discover if they are achieving their own target! We hope this will give the children greater ownership and awareness of their own improvement in Literacy.
Phonics and Spelling:
At Cranfield, we believe that phonics is the key to ensuring that every child in school learns to read and spell exceptionally well. We use a rigorous and systematic programme employing a variety of resources but centred on the “Floppy's Phonics” scheme. By offering multi-sensory learning experiences and a rapid pace, we have seen a huge improvement in our phonics screening results (which take place in Year One in June and in every school in the country).
In the most recent 2015 - 2016 academic year, 93% of our matched pupils passed the Phonics Screen.
Teaching phonics is valuable because…
- Children learn letter sound correspondence.
- They learn to blend sounds to read, to break up words into sounds to spell (segment), and how to form each letter (handwriting).
- Children to put the above skills to use to decode words sentences and texts.
Some children may have many words they know by sight but learning how to use phonics gives them the tools to tackle unfamiliar words and to become familiar with spelling patterns.
In EYFS children have three phonic sessions based on reading and two where they practise segmenting and blending to follow the initial input for each sound. Each week they bring home a sound book to support their acquisition of each sound and to revise those already taught.
In Year One phonics continues in daily twenty minute sessions, where children revise familiar sounds whilst being introduced to alternative spellings for each sound. They also identify and learn tricky words which are often exceptions to the rule.
In Year Two, daily phonics continues with phonic alternatives, revision of sounds and additional intervention group work for those who may not have passed the phonic screening in Year One. For all other children, the children enjoy daily spelling lessons based around a given spelling rule or convention.
In Key Stage Two, phonics continues for those who need further lessons, whilst the emphasis for the majority now continues to be on spelling patterns and exceptions. To ensure consistency and progress in spelling, the entire Academy follows a rigorous scheme of spelling.
Throughout school we also support children with individually targeted games using “Nessie” software. We assess children termly on their phonic progress and plan necessary interventions as needed.
Finally, we teach children to love books and reading, and that phonics is an efficient tool towards this goal!
For any questions about phonics or Literacy, please do not hesitate to speak to Mrs Rachel Merry.
Click here to view the Early Years and Key Stage One list of words to learn to read and spell.
Click here to download look, say, cover, write check sheets for the Early Years and Key Stage One list of words to learn to read and spell.
Click here to download look, say, cover, write check sheets for the Key Stage Two list of words to learn to read and spell.
Click here to view the Year Three and Four list of words to learn to read and spell.
Studies show that reading a variety of literature by the age of 15 is the single biggest indicator of future success, outweighing negative factors such as socioeconomic background or family situation.
At Cranfield Church of England Academy, we believe that reading is part of the total development of the child on the path to being a literate adult. We are proud to have recently spent thousands of pounds on updating the entire Academy's Oxford University Press book supply with high quality, supportive and enriching literature for the children to enjoy, blending seamlessly and moving on from our Phonics programme. We believe that reading should encourage a positive view of the written text as a source of pleasure as well as a valuable source of ideas and information to support all areas of the curriculum.
- Books will be sent home daily in a reading bag with an accompanying Home School Book. Teachers may indicate which pages the child is to read at home. When heard read in School, this is recorded by the Teacher or volunteer helper.
- Children are allocated a reading stage each term (and more often if required). The reading stage given will provide your child with a level of books which will allow them to read with the appropriate fluency and challenge.
- If you have any questions about your child’s reading stage, do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher who will be happy to help.
The below resources will be of use in supporting your child's reading development at home.
Research has found that many employers select job applicants on the basis of their communication skills rather than formal qualifications.
We believe that the children’s ability to speak and listen is fundamental to their language development, learning in school and to their social development. We will provide a range of opportunities to develop speaking and listening skills in a variety of contexts, including discrete speaking and listening teaching, matching style and response to audience and purpose.
Should you require any additional information or have any questions, please do not hesitate to do any of the following: