Our essential characteristics of writers

• The ability to write fluently and with interesting detail on a number of topics throughout the curriculum.
• A vivid imagination which makes readers engage with and enjoy their writing.
• A highly developed vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or description.
• Well-organised and structured writing, which includes a variety of sentence structures.
• Excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented and punctuated, spelled correctly and neat.
• A love of writing and an appreciation of its educational, cultural and entertainment values.

Our essential characteristics of readers

• Excellent phonic knowledge and skills.
• Fluency and accuracy in reading across a wide range of contexts throughout the curriculum.
• Knowledge of an extensive and rich vocabulary.
• An excellent comprehension of texts.
• The motivation to read for both study and for pleasure.
• Extensive knowledge through having read a rich and varied range of texts.

Our essential characteristics of communicators

• An exceptional talent for listening attentively so as to understand what is being said. 
• A rich and varied vocabulary that gives clarity and interest to conversations.
• Clear speech that can be easily understood by a range of audiences.
• An excellent grasp of the rules used in English conversation, such as tenses and the grammatical structure of sentences.
• A highly developed ability to tell stories that capture the interest and imagination of the audience.
• A delight in initiating and joining in conversations.
• Respect for others when communicating, even when views differ.

Our handwriting font

This is how we teach children to form letters.  The top picture shows how children are taught in Reception to form letters individually and the bottom one is introduced when children are ready in KS1, continuing throughout KS2.  Please see your child’s teacher if you have any questions about handwriting.  Thank you 

What is phonics?

Phonics is a way of teaching children to read quickly and skilfully. They are taught how to:

  1. recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes;
  2. identify the sounds that different combinations of letters make – such as ‘sh’ or ‘oa’
  3. blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.

Children can then use this knowledge to ‘de-code’ new words that they hear or see. This is the first important step in learning to read.


Vocabulary –

phoneme is the sound a letter or a group of letters make (there are 44).   

grapheme is what the phoneme looks like (it could be represented in more than one way e.g.  ai  ey  ay).   

A digraph is when two letters come together to make a phoneme (‘oa’ as in boat).   

A trigraph is when three letters come together to make one phoneme (‘igh’ as in high).  

split digraph is when a vowel digraph is split by a consonant letter (e.g. ‘ae’ in make).    

Segmenting consists of breaking words down into phonemes to spell. 

Blending consists of building words from phonemes to read.

How do we teach phonics at Eastoft C of E Primary School? 

In school we follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds programme.  Letters and Sounds is a phonics resource endorsed by the Department for Education and Skills. Discreet phonics sessions are taught daily and are fun and multi-sensory to appeal to the different learning styles.


 Phonics Screening Check 

The National Phonics Screening Check is a quick and easy check of your child’s phonics knowledge. It helps school confirm whether your child has made the expected progress and helps teachers identify which children need extra help with phonic decoding.  It is for Year 1 children and it takes place in the Summer term. The check contains a mix of real words and ‘non-words’ (or ‘nonsense words’). The purpose of including nonsense words is to check that the child knows the sounds and can blend them together to read the words. They will be new to all pupils, so there won’t be a bias to those with a good vocabulary knowledge or visual memory of words. Children who have not met the standard in Year 1 will retake the check in Year 2. 

Reading  –

At Eastoft C of E Primary School we use the Collins Big Cat Reading Scheme from reception through to year 6, this is a banded scheme. The children get a choice of books from within their band. These books range from decodable books through to chapter books, they support the children in becoming fluent readers. The books are accessible and enjoyable for all readers. The children in foundation and KS1 also read phonically decodable books from a range of schemes.

In Foundation planning is based on a book for around 2 weeks, with enhancements within provision. Within KS1, children take part in guided reading as part of a small group. In KS2, the children are taught reading through whole class reading, whole class texts are used to promote reading skills, and to further develop fluency and reading comprehension.

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How you can support your child at home

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Supporting your child with reading

Although your child will be taught to read at school, you can have a huge impact on their reading journey by continuing their practice at home.

There are two types of reading book that your child may bring home:

A reading practice book. This will be at the correct phonic stage for your child. They should be able to read this fluently and independently.

A sharing book.  Your child will not be able to read this on their own. This book is for you both to read and enjoy together.

Reading practice book

This book has been carefully matched to your child’s current reading level. If your child is reading it with little help, please don’t worry that it’s too easy – your child needs to develop fluency and confidence in reading.

Listen to them read the book. Remember to give them lots of praise – celebrate their success! If they can’t read a word, read it to them. After they have finished, talk about the book together.

Sharing book

In order to encourage your child to become a lifelong reader, it is important that they learn to read for pleasure. The sharing book is a book they have chosen for you to enjoy together.

Please remember that you shouldn’t expect your child to read this alone. Read it to or with them. Discuss the pictures, enjoy the story, predict what might happen next, use different voices for the characters, explore the facts in a non-fiction book. The main thing is that you have fun!

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