While listening to learners, the children in most classes were able to discuss Oracy strategies they have used in detail. The strategies have been used to develop vocabulary and also to imbed sentence stems. The impact of the Oracy work can be clearly evidenced in stories at Key Stage 2 and non-fiction work in the Foundation Phase. They have been enriched and standards improved through the process.
Throughout a learning walk it was evident that Reading time is being carried out as part of a carousel in many classes. When listening to learners, it was clear that many children change their books before their next reading day. Giglets has been introduced in many classes and children speak positively about its impact and how it has improved their enjoyment of reading. During work book scrutiny it was evident that Comprehension based activities are carried out in nearly all classes and are linked to topic work. They are also used as a means for gathering information about the topic. In nearly all classes across the school are using the Question Matrix in order to research their topic work. There is evidence in most classes of reading for research and investigation through texts and digital based media in order to further their own understanding of a topic or theme. There is also evidence in a minority of classes of reading to research scientific based enquiry work to aid their predictions and evaluations.
Phonics (Foundation Phase)
Professional dialogue and learning walks demonstrated a progressive and consistent approach to the teaching of phonics in the Foundation Phase. Letter sounds are introduced in Reception through sound of the week. Daily phonics sessions are discreetly taught in Year 1 and 2 using the same practical approach. The children then investigate blends which then form part of their weekly spelling lesson. Blends are reinforced through the writing process and to support reading development.
Spelling (Key Stage 2)
The new spelling scheme is being introduced in KS2. Spelling lessons focus on an investigative approach where children focus on their pattern or words within words. When listening to learners, nearly all stated that they enjoyed their spelling lessons and the range of activities that took place particularly pyramid and rainbow writing.
A range of genres and creative stories and poetry are evident in workbooks in all classes. It is evident through workbook scrutiny that the drafting and editing process is having a positive impact on standards of written work. All pieces of work are linked to the topics and are a high standard.
Nearly all classes use the Helpwyr Y Dydd in class time and drillo features as a regular routine in most classes across the school in order to develop key Welsh patterns and phrases.
Welsh texts have been recently purchased for guided reading sessions and will be incorporated into the reading time carousel. Further training and resources are required to support all staff in embedding reading further. A range of online Welsh texts have also been purchased as part of Giglets and Welsh resources are stored centrally for all staff to access. Evidence of opportunities for children to read and show an understanding of text are evident in most classes.
There is a rich variety of topic based written and oral work across the school. Written work is of a very good standard. In most cases, written work is drafted and then redrafted to improve further. A majority of children highlighted in our discussion that they enjoy being taught Welsh when it is linked to their topic.
The Criw Iaith now have their own weekly assembly in which members of the Criw Iaith give out the Seren Cymraeg awards for bilingualism both in and outside of the classroom. They also introduce the new pattern of the week and model responses. Most children enjoy the weekly assemblies and feel Patrwm Y Pythefnos has helped to improve bilingualism both inside and outside of the classroom. Nearly all children felt that the introduction of the Welsh Dojo has helped to reward children and staff for the use of Welsh inside and outside of the classroom. Welsh is evident in all classrooms through displays and classroom signage. Displays out of class also all incorporate key Welsh phrases or vocabulary. Lesson observations demonstrate that bilingualism has improved across the school.
Criw Iaith – Playground Games
Most children enjoy taking part in outdoor games with the Criw Iaith. Many felt that their standard of Welsh had improved as a result of joining in with the games, particularly vocabulary associated with colours, numbers and weather. A minority of children felt that resources would help to improve engagement from other children in playground games e.g. coloured bean bags.