“There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island.” Walt Disney
“A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.” Sacha Salmina
Reading is at the heart of our curriculum. If children do not learn to read, they cannot read to learn. Therefore, reading really can change lives.
Great importance is placed on promoting and instilling in children a deep love of literature. We aspire for our children to be confident, independent readers, in the best place possible for their continued learning at our Junior School. Our main reading scheme is Active Learn BugClub, which includes Phonics Bug books (100% phonically decodable, matching the children’s specific stage in phonics). This is supplemented with additional home practice reader books, which are also carefully matched to the children’s reading stage. Learners at Black Horse Hill follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, starting from Foundation 1.
Across the curriculum, children are exposed to high quality texts, and reading skills are taught explicitly in all year groups. Moreover, reading for pleasure is a cornerstone of our approach, with themed class libraries in every room.
“Literacy is the means though which every man, woman and child can realise his or her potential.”
Writing units are supported by high quality texts using the Read to Write scheme. Aspirational modelled writing helps provide our children with an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. Each unit carefully builds on the learning of the previous one.
Before a child can write a sentence, they must be able to be speak in one and considerable emphasis is placed on thinking about an idea and saying it aloud before writing it. At Black Horse Hill Infant School, we have high standards for spoken language, and provide a language-rich environment for our learners. We strive to equip our children with the vocabulary and grammatical awareness needed to communicate their ideas effectively.
Children develop a fluent, legible handwriting style and are able to spell quickly and accurately applying their learning of letters and sounds appropriately.
“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.”
At Black Horse Infant School, our systematic approach to teaching phonics means we take a planned, multi-sensory, thorough approach, teaching children the simplest phonemes (sounds) first and progressing all the way through to the most complex combinations of letters. Consequently, almost all children quickly become confident and independent readers. They soon move away from the mechanics of identifying and blending letter sounds (or ‘decoding’ words) and start reading fluently and skilfully, even when they come across words they have never heard or seen before. They can also use this knowledge to begin to spell new words they hear. Children at Black Horse Hill follow the Letters and Sounds phonics programme, starting from Foundation 1 (nursery).