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Supporting Learning

"It goes without saying that high parental aspirations, parental interest in school life and parental support at home are key to ensuring your child goes from strength to strength in their education. In fact one study proved that the impact of parental involvement and support on pupil achievement (that is showing an interest, being positive about school, supporting children with their learning at home,) without doubt, had the most significant impact upon a child’s achievement in school beyond all other factors." - Charles Desforges, 2003.

With this in mind, this page offers you advice on how you can best support your child’s learning at home. We hope you find this page useful.

If we can help you in any other way please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s class teacher. And don’t forget we run parent workshops each year on reading, phonics and mathematics. Past attendees have said these have improved their confidence and knowledge of how to support their child’s learning at home. Keep your eyes out for invitations in bookbags.  

We warmly welcome parents and members of the community into school and are fortunate to already have several adults who regularly come into school to hear our children read. If you have some spare time and are interested in hearing children read at our school or have a particular skill you are able to offer us then please submit your interest by contacting the school office on 01480 398046 or email office@hartfordinfantschool.org.

The school is fully committed to safeguarding children and therefore we will:

i) ask all volunteers to have a full DBS check

ii) seek two references to gauge their suitability to working with children

iii) ask them to read and sign to say you will act in accordance with our safeguarding policy and code of conduct.

We have a coherent whistle-blowing policy in school so there are clear processes in place to report misconduct. All members of staff are vigilant in this matter.

Phonics

At Hartford Infant School we use the Letters and Sounds and Jolly Phonics programs to support our teaching of phonics across Reception and Key Stage 1. We use these programs as a resource and have adapted them to suit the needs of our children. Our phonics is taught through 6 phases.

  • Phase 1 supports the development of listening and speaking skills.
  • Phase 2-5 is a systematic approach to phonics teaching and word recognition skills.
  • Phase 6 focuses on word-specific spellings and the rules for spelling alternatives.

These are clearly mapped out with specific phoneme/grapheme correspondences in our school Phonics Long Term Plan and further detail is provided in our year group Phonics Medium Term Plans. Across the school phonics is taught as a discrete 20 minute session every day. Each lesson follows the structure of revisit and review, teach, practise and apply. Further opportunities for practise and application are given during Guided Reading sessions. In Key Stage 1 parents/carers are notified of the weeks phonics focus through our homework. The children can then choose to practise these in their own way if they wish.

Use the resources linked to develop your understanding of the English phonetic code, which we call 'phonics'.

Don't forget every year we offer a series of parent workshops on reading and phonics...look out for our next workshop in the school newsletters.

Download our Phonic Subject Knowledge booklet for Parents/carers  [if printed double sided it folds to create a handy booklet!] and hear how to pronounce each of the 44 phonemes by clicking here.

Reading

Hearing your child read can be a very rewarding experience for both of you, but we also appreciate that it can be quite stressful! We normally in non COVID -19 times have a Reading Tree Challenge. However, in these uncertain times we have invested in an online reading programme called 'Bug Club'.

Bug Club is a great place where children can enjoy reading books online. Each child has a unique homepage and can log into it by following these steps:

1. Go to www.activelearnprimary.co.uk

2. Enter your login details: Username: XXXX [see individual letters] and Password: Hartford1

3. Your child’s homepage will appear.

Reading a book online

Your child will be allocated 2 new books according to their reading levels. These books will appear in the ‘My Stuff’ area of their personal homepages. Throughout the books there are quiz questions for your child to complete. To answer a question, just click on the bug icon. Your child does not need to finish all the quiz questions in one sitting and can come back to a book later. Once your child has read a book it will go into their library where they can read it again. Once one book has been read a new book will appear in ‘My Stuff’.

When your child has finished all the quiz questions in a book, he or she will earn ‘ActiveLearn Coins’. By reading more books, your child will earn enough coins to ‘buy’ a reward in one of the many reward schemes. The answers to the quiz questions will be sent back to the teacher site so that we can see how your child is progressing. When your child has finished a book, it will move to ‘My Library’. Children can read these books again if they want to, or they can choose new books from ‘My Stuff’.

Don't forget to look out for our annual reading workshops advertised in our weekly newsletter. Feedback from these events is always very positive.

Writing

Alongside phonics we teach how to read and spell the year group specific Common Exception Words (set out in National Curriculum – Appendix 1). Spelling enables us to become more effective writers. Put simply, the less thought we have to put into spelling, the more thought we can put into what is said. Children can labour under the pressure to spell and at Hartford Infant School we aim to support the development and skill set of the children as spellers from an early age. Children are encouraged to develop their spelling skills alongside their decoding skills in phonics. Children are taught that theme-based word mats, Common Exception Word mats and classroom displays are there to support and reinforce their spelling. In Key Stage 1 parents/carers are notified of the weeks Common Exception Words through our homework. The children can then choose to practise these in their own way if they wish.

Mathematics

At Hartford Infant School we have a whole school Mastery approach to Maths. This section is being updated.

Bringing out the Best in Everyone