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 KS3. 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 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 three times weekly. Pupils are taught one phoneme (letter sound) per week, alongside its corresponding grapheme (letter name). Each week, one lesson introduces a new phoneme, as well as revisiting previously taught phonemes. Pupils also engage in a reading and writing session to consolidate the taught phoneme/grapheme, using a multi-sensory approach. Pupils in Early Years to KS2 read at least once weekly, using a book to support their current phonics knowledge. Pupils also engage in guided reading sessions (KS1 and 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 who are following the green pathway (moderate learning needs) and some pupils on the purple pathway (severe learning needs), study towards an appropriate accredited qualification (WJEC Entry Level English). Pupils on the purple and orange pathway (children with more complex needs) develop their English learning through the AQA Unit Award Scheme. Post 16 pupils on the green pathway continue their English skills through OCNWMR Life Skills and Work units. Post 16 pupils on purple and orange pathways work towards the ASDAN Towards Independence.