We want our children to leave us in Yr.6 fully prepared for their secondary education. This means that they are able to read and write for a range of purposes. Our English curriculum maximises the opportunities for this through many cross curricular links too. The children have daily reading and writing lessons which include spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting. There are also daily guided reading sessions.
Our lessons are carefully planned so that the children have clear expectations. Phonics, reading and writing for children in Y1 and Y2 are taught using Read, Write Inc. Children are regularly assessed to ensure that they are making appropriate progress. 1:1 and additional intervention is provided for children who require additional support. In KS2 spelling is taught in a structured way to ensure that it builds on children’s skills learnt through The Spelling Shed curriculum.
The teachers use a variety of stimulus to engage the children and first hand experiences play an important part in this. The school uses the National Curriculum to support planning and expectations. A variety of techniques are used to ensure children are able to read, write and speak confidently. We have adopted the strategies developed by Alan Peat to develop children’s writing. We use elements of the Literacy Shed for spelling and writing as well as The Literary Curriculum where appropriate.
We are passionate about reading; when our teachers and support staff are passionate and talking about a text this creates a buzz around it and this inspires the children.
Being able to read well matters. It can significantly impact on success in school and beyond. It takes them into imagined worlds far beyond their own experience, and make possible endless opportunities to explore new areas of learning, thinking and ideas. The power of reading is immense, and we want children to be able to take full advantage of the benefits, pleasure and enjoyment that it has to offer. We aim to develop positive attitudes towards reading so every child thinks of themselves as a reader and has fostered a love of the written word in all its various forms. We wish to create a community of readers that share, enjoy and promote reading as a skill and desirable past time.
We teach whole class guided reading from Yr.2 upwards. Furthermore, all classes have a wide range of texts from a variety of authors: we have recently reassessed our reading curriculum to ensure that the books feature characters, and are written by authors, from a range of backgrounds, particularly those with SEND and those from ethnic minorities-children need to see themselves and their friends in the books that they read. These are read to them throughout the year; this helps to promote reading as a desirable past time and something that should be valued and treasured.
Reading to the Children
Our goal is to motivate children to want to read so they will practice reading independently and, thus, become fluent readers. That happens when children enjoy reading. At the end of every school day, the class teachers will read and share high quality texts to your children at a level which is beyond their reading age. This ensures that we continue to develop their vocabulary and understanding of characters and plot far beyond their reading level. It also gives them access to worlds and experiences different to their own.
We use VIPERS from the Literacy Shed to support children with their reading comprehension skills. VIPERS are a range of reading prompts based on the 2016 reading Content Domain Areas (CDAs) found in the National Curriculum Test Framework. Each classroom will have the Reading VIPERS displayed in the reading area of their classroom and the class teacher will make explicit links to the skill the children will be learning about. This gives all children across the school a common language to discuss their reading knowledge and understanding.
The impact of our English curriculum can be clearly seen across the school through children talking about their love of reading, the quality of texts the children are reading, the quality of teaching across the school. Phonics data is above national average. For 2019, Key Stage 1 and KS2 reading results are steadily rising over time.
Writing units generally follow the following structure:
Children are fully immersed in the genre that they are learning and skills are taught explicitly. This may include:
- Text analysis of the writing purpose
- Reading and identifying text and structural features of the purpose/genre. From this a writing toolkit is made by the teacher and/or children to use when they are writing.
- Discrete, explicit teaching of grammar/ punctuation features needed for the writing purpose.
- Teacher modelled, group or individual planning of the text to be written
Modelled Teaching of skills on a class text:
- Teacher instructed modelling of text including sentence structure to show how the grammar/punctuation objectives can be embedded into the text.
- Independent writing from the children incorporating all skills learnt. They draft, proof-read and edit and then peer assess using the SURPRISES editing tool from the Literacy Shed. No teacher input is given at this stage: all work is completely independent of adult intervention.
- WOW Write-Children then complete their final draft in their WOW books and work is marked using the assessment grids for their year group.