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Western House Academy

Where every opportunity shapes a life

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At WHA we believe that children need secure literacy skills to be a fully participating member of society.  In the Early Years and KS1 our teaching ensures all children have a good grasp of phonics and develop a love of stories.  Class reading texts have been chosen to deepen the knowledge of the wider curriculum; VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explain, Retrieval, Summarise) are used to ensure all children develop the reading skills needed, with vocabulary and retrieval focussed on in every lesson. Children learn to write for a variety of purposes and audiences using quality modelling from the teacher and additional guidance when required. Children are given the opportunity to make their writing shine through editing after teacher feedback.


In Nursery, Reception, Year 1 and for those who need it in Year 2 we use Letters and Sounds to teach phonics.  The reading books taken home by the children link to the sounds that they are learning in school that week, therefore reinforcing the sounds taught.  At the end of Year 1 children take the Phonics Screening Check; this allows us to identify if a child needs further support with learning the sounds in order to be able to read fluently.


At WHA we take a two-pronged approach to the teaching of reading.  We provide children with a personalised reading programme using Accelerated Reader, which tracks our children and supports them in making appropriate book choices for their reading ability.  We also use whole class texts, linked to our PBL, to develop the comprehension skills needed to become a reader.  Further to this we use tailored interventions for those children that require it.


Each unit of writing focuses on a specific genre.  Children are taught the grammatical conventions needed to write with accuracy; they are provided with a variety of stimulus (films, pictures, model texts) to inspire their writing; they identify the writer's tools used to engage the reader and are given a purpose and audience for each piece of writing.  Writing units frequently link to the wider curriculum or their class reading text.