Our Approach to English
Fostering a love for reading and writing and celebrating creativity and independence underpin the teaching of English at Mayfield.
Our Approach to Reading
Mayfield’s Reading Charter
Every child at Mayfield has the opportunity to:
- Read for pleasure.
- Choose from a wide range of books, and help decide which books are bought for our school.
- Receive advice and recommendations from a librarian, well-read staff and peers.
- Own their own book.
- Be read aloud to.
- Have a choice of what they read, alongside selected texts.
- See an author event at least once.
- Watch a story come alive through dramatisation at least once a year.
- Read to an adult or peer at least once a week.
- See themselves reflected in a book.
At Mayfield we strive to empower children to develop the confidence to read for pleasure. Reading for pleasure is promoted throughout the school. We are fortunate enough to have a well-stocked and spacious library at the heart of the school which is run by our amazing librarian Mrs Le Vann. Families are welcome to share books in the library after school on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 4.30pm. Y2 to Y6 have special reading areas outside their classrooms to help them engage with the books they enjoy. Each class explores a range of authors and genres through class books shared by teachers in story time. We encourage children to recommend books to one another through reading sessions and assemblies. From Y1 all children have a book buddy from another year group to share their reading and writing with.
Our “reading superheroes” scheme encourages children to challenge themselves to try different types of books to earn special bronze, silver, gold and platinum wristbands.
We love celebrating World Book Day every year, and also celebrate a whole week dedicated to reading in book week, which this year will be 27th – 31st January.
Our English and SEN teams, alongside class teachers, offer support and intervention for children who may need additional help to allow them to feel confident and engaged with reading. This may include the opportunity to read 1:1 with grown-ups, to participate in intervention schemes run with Cambridge United, or to read with our dedicated reading dog Smidge. Please visit the dyslexia area of our website for more detailed information: Dyslexia
For children to become confident and enthusiastic readers, we also need to take reading beyond school. We value your support at home: listening to, reading with and discussing books with your child is much appreciated. Please find our lists of recommended reads below!
To teach reading and comprehension we use a range of quality texts and activities to engage and inspire, as well as developing children’s skills as readers and writers. To support the teaching and learning of the reading content domains laid out in the National Curriculum, we have adopted the reading VIPERS from “The Literacy Shed”. VIPERS covers the key comprehension skills that are taught in both Key Stage 1 and 2. They enrich reading skills and learning across the curriculum.
Our Approach to Phonics
At Mayfield, phonics is taught through Visual Phonics: a specially adapted version of the Letters and Sounds scheme which incorporates BSL (British Sign Language) supported phonics. Phonics is taught daily in Reception and KS1 through song, stories and activities indoors and outdoors. In KS2, special provisions are in place to support those children who require consolidation of phonics in order to access their learning.
Our Approach to Writing
Our pupils enjoy learning writing in many different ways. Children learn to base their writing on books. One of our approaches to teaching writing is called ‘planning through quality texts’. In these lessons, children read books linked to their topics as the stimulus for contextualised grammar teaching which builds up to a longer piece of writing each week. Teachers model writing using the events in the book to generate ideas for whole class writing. Another one of our methods is called Talk for Writing. This active approach not only gets pupils moving, but also offers them opportunities to explore a range of texts and to become immersed in them before they start to innovate their own versions.
Talk for Writing is a specialist approach to teaching writing developed by Pie Corbett. This approach follows a sequence from designing actions to represent words to using ideas to create an original piece of work. Spelling, punctuation and grammar work is promoted throughout, through the use of games and activities which use examples from texts to reinforce understanding.
We aim to inspire children to enjoy writing through experiences and imaginative play and planning. We offer this through the use of high quality literature, films and pictures to stimulate imagination, as well as learning outdoors and exciting trips related to topic learning.
Offering a purpose for writing and platforms to share it is important for motivating children to write. We celebrate children’s work through shared readings and performances in class, displays, assemblies, learning journals, class books and publishing work on our new inspiring authors’ blog: Authors’ Blog
Our Approach to Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (GPS)
We teach GPS through reading and writing, and endeavour to give context to GPS concepts. Games and activities are also an important part of GPS learning at Mayfield!
We use a range of methods to practise and investigate spellings and spelling rules and patterns. All children have a Spelling Shed account which can be used at school and at home to play games and practise spellings from Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 spelling lists (https://www.spellingshed.com/en-gb/index.html).
What is Dyslexia?
Dyslexia is a common specific learning difficulty which can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling.
It is likely to be present at birth and to be lifelong in its effects.
The dyslexic brain processes written and spoken information differently. Sometimes the information is forgotten, jumbled up or bits are missing. Intelligence is not affected.
It makes learning to read and write much harder and can also cause difficultly with organisation, maths and memory. Dyslexic children need to discover self belief and determination to succeed to give them the mental strength to get through school. Every person is slightly different depending upon what sort of dyslexia they have.
Facts about Dyslexia:
- It can be hereditary – 1 in 10 people have dyslexia
- More boys than girls have dyslexia
- Can experience difficulties with multi-tasking
- Affects people across intelligence range
- Differing degrees of severity
- 40% also have difficulties with maths
- Up to 50% suffer from visual stress
- Difficulties persist into adulthood
- All have strengths and difficulties
- The learning difficulty is not a result of lack of motivation but can lead to low self esteem if not recognised and diagnosed
Strengths of Dyslexics:
- Seeing the bigger picture
- Thinking outside the box
- Intuitive problem solvers
- Lateral thinkers
- Visual thinkers
- Can think in 3D – great special awareness
What to do if you think your child is dyslexic?
Signs of dyslexia usually become apparent when a child starts school and begins to focus more on learning how to read and write. A person with dyslexia may read and write very slowly, often confuse the order of letters in words, put letters the wrong way round and have poor or inconsistent spelling. Processing of information can be affected so that dyslexics often understand verbal instructions better then information that is written down. Planning and organisation and anything that requires the use of short term memory can also be a struggle.
Speak to your child’s teacher. They will be able to talk with you and address any concerns that you may have. They will be able to offer additional support to help your child if necessary and there are resources that the teacher can try such as coloured overlays and other reading aids.
It is very useful for your child’s teacher to know if dyslexia runs in the family.
Make sure your child has regular eye tests and discuss any concerns with the optician with regards to dyslexia and visual stress.
Dyslexia Support at Mayfield:
Mayfield wishes to take the fear out of school for children with dyslexia; many of whom, if not correctly and expertly helped can feel alienated and disorientated with an increased risk of becoming disinterested in education. Mayfield ensures teaching is multi-sensory; something that benefits ALL children, not just those with dyslexia.
School library – the school library has a dedicated ‘dyslexia’ section with books chosen specifically for their dyslexic friendly style.
Reading teacher – Rachel Barnes is currently undertaking training to support children with dyslexic tendencies and specifically works with children who need extra support with their reading fluency.
Parent group – a group of parents with dyslexic children both at Mayfield and at local secondary schools meet once a term. The aim of the group is to provide support to each other to help their children. Topics covered include book sharing, website recommendations, visual aids, tutor contacts etc. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information.
Recommended websites for more information:
Toe by Toe reading manual– Keda Cowling
Tom Gates – Liz Pichon
Dog Man – Dav Pilkey
Danger is Everywhere – David O’Doherty
Diary of a Wimpy Kid – Jeffrey Kinney
Seriously Silly Stories – Orchard Books
Captain Pug – Laura James
The Storey Treehouse series – Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton
Zita – Ben Hatke
Dixie O’Day – Shirley Hughes and Clara Vulliamy
Titchy Witch – Rose Impey and Katherine McEwan
Dyslexia can be seen as an advantage, some even say it’s a Super Power!
Some Famous dyslexics include: Steve Jobs, Albert Einstein, Walt Disney, Agatha Christie, Jamie Oliver, Keira Knightley, Lewis Hamilton, Orlando Bloom, Dom Wood, Leonardo Da Vinci, John F Kennedy, GW Bush, G Washington, John Lennon, Pablo Picasso, Liz Pichon and Richard Branson (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbWspi2_A1Q)
For advice and activities to help support your child with reading at home, please visit the following website: Oxford Owl