At Rigby Hall School we believe that the development of language and literacy skills is a high priority. Language is the main tool of learning and communication; it is present in all aspects of school life and the world beyond. Therefore, we aim to place English at the heart of the curriculum. We aim to enable all children to become literate; to be able to read and write with confidence, using words and/or symbols and signing. Children should be able to express themselves clearly using a suitable method of communication and know how to listen to others. Children at Rigby Hall School will use their English skills to communicate and work effectively with others to develop as independent learners. We aim to ensure children's literacy skills are taught through school, which will allow them to become active participants in society, beyond the school community.
Children learn Literacy skills through a thematic approach from Early Years up to KS4. Teachers plan individually for the children, tailoring the learning to the children's individual needs. Children cover non-fiction, poetry and fiction topics equally throughout the year, with specific lessons for handwriting, reading, phonics (up to KS2) and communication.
Pupil's love of reading is developed through story, rhyme time and sensory story telling in Early Years and Key Stage 1. Pupils also enjoy a range of sessions to enhance writing and fine motor skills, such as playdough disco and Write Dance. From KS2 pupils explore texts in depth in taught sessions. They learn key skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing to enable them to inform and develop functional skills to build on as they move up through the school.
In EY-KS2 Phonics forms a key part of English teaching, with pupils following the Bug Club Phonics programme, which is a systematic, synthetic phonics programme (validated by the Department for Education). Phonics sessions take place daily. Pupils are taught one phoneme (letter sound) per week, alongside its corresponding grapheme (letter name). Pupils read at least once weekly, using a book to support their current phonics knowledge. Pupils also engage in guided reading sessions (KS2) as well as shared reading across the curriculum.
Pupils in KS3 access reading through 1.1 sessions with an adult, guided reading sessions and cross-curricular reading. Children consolidate their previously taught phonics skills by reading phonics books at their level which are age appropriate. During 1.1 and guided reading sessions children work through individual targets and discuss a text at their level within these sessions.
Pupils in KS4 and KS5 study towards an appropriate accredited qualification suited to their pathway. Currently, our KS4 pupils on the green pathway are accessing the WJEC Entry Level English, pupils on the purple pathway are accessing the AIM Entry Level Award in English and pupils on the orange pathway are accessing ASDAN Personal Progress English units. Pupils in KS5 follow AIM Skills for Living and Work English units (green and purple pathway pupils) or ASDAN Towards Independence English units (orange pathway pupils).