Two key reading initiatives are encouraged across the school:
• The 100 books to read before you leave WBI aims to encourage reading for pleasure as they are all books that are highly regarded and are books that the children are encouraged to share at home as well as being key texts that we explore through topic work, assemblies and reading to the children at the end of the day. These books are available from the school library and through Wootton Bassett library who work with us to ensure the texts are available and on display. We have used the book covers to create butterflies which are displayed in the school library and some classrooms to highlight the initiative. The children receive a small prize from Mrs Pass for every 20 reads on the list.
• The 150 Club encourages all parents to read with their child 5 times a week and record those reads in their child’s reading record book. The prize is a trip to the local bookshop at the end of each term for a child in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2.
We also deliver a reading workshop annually to inform parents about how we teach reading; the importance of reading and the end of KS1 expectation for reading.
Pre- school children from the local area are invited into school for reading sessions with different staff and they are encouraged to borrow books from the school library.
All teachers read to their classes every day. Books are chosen by teachers and children and reflect new books, classics, non -fiction and poetry. We enjoy a Book Week in March (to celebrate World Book Day) where the children visit the book shop and receive a World Book Day book. They also visit the local library (when COVID restrictions allow) and are encouraged to take part in a book swap in our own school library.
Poetry plays a huge part in the work we do in school. We have created a poetry spine so that each year group is exposed to wonderful rhymes and stories in school - more information can be found here Wootton Bassett Infants' School Poetry Spine
Trips and events in school are often book related such as visiting theatre groups, the Year 2 trip to the Watermill Theatre and the Roald Dahl Museum and the Christmas play- 2019 saw all Key Stage 1 children take part in The Snow Queen while all EYFS children told the story of the Nativity. West End in Schools visit annually to help us to celebrate World Book Day through dance.
The school library is timetabled, and groups use it regularly. The EYFS and Year 2 children share books weekly in the library.
Being able to read is fundamental to education and proficiency in reading, writing and spoken language is vital for children to be successful learners. Here at WBIS, we aim to create successful and enthusiastic readers and we believe that parents and carers can play a major part in this success.
You will find more information about our Reading Progression maps in knowledge and skills.
At Wootton Bassett Infant School, we are passionate about ensuring all children have the opportunity to become confident and enthusiastic readers. Phonics is the process that is used to help children break down words into sounds, as well as building letters and word recognition and so we believe that phonics provides the foundations to develop fluent readers. Children learn to segment words to support their spelling ability and blend sounds to read the words.
We use a planned progression in phonics for each year group. Children are taught through discrete phonics lessons with time for additional practise for those children who need to keep up. Once children are confident with the phonics from the 5 phases taught, they go onto phase 6 which involves learning spelling patterns.
Phonics is taught daily using the progression shown below. Sessions last around 20 minutes. They follow a 4-part lesson of review, teach, practise and apply. Each teacher will have identified children who need extra support (spotlight children) and place them strategically on the carpet or at tables to ensure they have support when needed. Children practise oral blending within their phonic lessons. There are termly assessments to track pupils progress and identify children who may need extra support. Children are given decodable reading books that matches with their phonic phase.
Whist Letters and Sounds forms the basis of our phonics teaching at present, we are in the process of choosing and introducing a full systematic, synthetic phonics programme (SSP) validated by the DfE. Full training and resourcing will facilitate successful implementation in September 2022.
The children in Year 1 complete the standardised phonics check in the summer term. Due to Covid restrictions, the check was delayed in 2020-21 and 2021-22 and the children completed it In the Autumn Term of Year 2.
Outcomes in school are consistently above the National and LA averages.
You can use this link to help in your own understanding on how to produce the 'pure' sounds when teaching phonics to your child How to learn to read with Phonics - a parents guide
Writing is at the heart of all we do at Wootton Bassett Infants’ School as we want our children to enjoy writing and to view themselves as writers. We teach writing through our creative and cross-curricular approach, which is topic based. Across our school English lessons are taught using high quality books and supplemented with interesting and thought-provoking role play areas, visits, small world play areas, educational videos, visitors to the school and vibrant, creative displays. Writing is taught in response to these experiences which enables the children to think of themselves as writers so they enjoy producing imaginative texts of their own. Our genre map ensures that there is a balance between fiction, non-fiction and poetry and therefore our writing in response to these genres is also balanced and the children write in many different forms. We also promote writing for pleasure through ensuring the children have regular opportunities to write for an audience and enjoy regular ‘free writing’ opportunities where each child is provided with an exercise book which they can chose what writing they produce.
Classroom displays celebrate the children’s writing and a whole school writing display in our office building shows how the children progress though each year group. Each class has a ‘working wall’ which ensures that children know what they are learning and how to be successful writers in the lesson. This is then referred to throughout the lesson by the class teacher and the children. Classroom displays also include our ‘word of the day’ or ‘word of the week’ this is a challenging word that relates to the text that they are learning about. This ensures that vocabulary is expanded and embedded so they can then use it in their writing. These words are then transferred to a ‘treasure box’ permanently displayed so our magpie writers can continue to refer to them and use them in their own writing.
The children start to write from the very beginning in our Reception classes. Opportunities to write and embed learning is provided through the classroom continuous provision both indoors and outdoors. The children are taught to write using a phonetic approach and the children begin to write straight away through emergent writing with all efforts being celebrated and shared. Handwriting and letter formation is taught alongside phonics using the Letter-join scheme. The children develop their independence when writing and develop their ability to spell words and write in sentences using punctuation. They are also taught how to begin to use classroom resources to support them as independent writers.
In Key stage 1 a spelling and punctuation English lesson is taught once a week and the skills learnt are reinforced and embedded during all English lessons. The children are also writing during other lessons such as Science, History or Geography. The children have a separate Handwriting lesson which teaches joined writing in the cursive style using our Letter-join scheme. Into Year 2 the children begin to develop their ability to use spelling patterns in their writing and follow the school progression and Phase 6 Phonics scheme. The children continue to follow the Letter-join scheme for handwriting.
All classrooms have consistent resources to support the children’s writing. These range from letter and sound strips in Reception to finger spacers and common exception word mats (tricky words) in year 1 and year 2. All classes display our Letter-join cursive handwriting style.
At Wootton Bassett Infants’ our children learn in a very language rich environment. Children are encouraged to speak clearly and in an audible voice and they are exposed to and encouraged to use a wide and varied vocabulary. Books are often chosen as the centre of our topics so that the children are exposed to a creative and often challenging use of words for their age. Adults provide good role models of spoken language and listening skills. Children are taught how to listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers. They learn how to maintain attention and participate in conversations. They also learn how to ask relevant questions to extend their understanding and knowledge. Children have structured opportunities to build their vocabulary and learn to speak audibly and fluently. They are also encouraged to answer and speak in complete sentences justifying their answer, eg, “I think ….. because …..”. They learn how to articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.