We believe that reading is an integral part of the school curriculum and a fundamental life skill that impacts on all learning. Our aim is that every child becomes a fluent reader with good comprehension skills. We inspire to encourage a love of books and to develop the habit of reading widely for pleasure whereby our children are enthusiastic and motivated readers who feel confident to be able to talk about books and authors.
To nurture a love of reading every class across the school is read to by an adult on a regular basis, fostering a love for reading through exposing the children to high quality literature. Teachers are encouraged to choose challenging texts that will uncover new vocabulary and themes, opening up discussions around the language of books. All classes have book areas and reading displays and the children are encouraged to borrow books and to recommend titles to their peers. In all classes, reading at home is celebrated with praise, certificates and house points.
Early reading is prioritised in EYFS and KS1. It is underpinned by a coherent and systematic phonics scheme (Read Write Inc) taught daily. This is supplemented by teaching high frequency words through sight recognition, discussion through picture books and whole class reading.
In KS2 the children are taught through whole class reading, where they have the opportunity to widen their experience of reading alongside their peers. All children have access to the same reading materials, vocabulary and discussion throughout these carefully planned lessons to enrich their reading experience. A range of texts are used including extracts from novels, poetry, song words, the class story book and non-fiction. During these sessions, which take place at least three times a week, children answer questions both orally and in writing with an emphasis on vocabulary, retrieval and inference and comprehension. Vulnerable readers in each class are identified and these either read regularly to an adult to encourage fluency and comprehension skills or undertake further phonics teaching.
We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce writing which is detailed, coherent and well structured. To engross children in the writing process, they are given opportunities to write for a range of purposes; to entertain, to inform, to persuade and to discuss. They are encouraged to consider and engage the interest of the intended reader. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
Writing is promoted across all areas of the curriculum and classrooms and corridors are vocabulary-rich environments. A range of sources are used to stimulate the interest of the children: fiction, non-fiction, visual literacy, artefacts, trips, visitors. Children are provided with regular opportunities to have their writing published.
Writing is taught in whole class lessons through modelled, shared and guided writing sessions and the compositional and transcriptional skills are taught alongside the creative aspects. The children develop an understanding of the requirements of each text type and have good examples to follow before being asked to produce their own. Opportunities for discussion are provided e.g. role play, pair talk, drama and hot seating to prepare children for the writing process. The pupils are given opportunities to write at length and a piece of work may take several days to complete as they go through the writing, editing and publishing process.
This year, we are introducing ‘The Write Stuff’ when teaching writing, an approach devised by Jane Considine. Staff will be receiving training and teaching writing using the approaches studied.
Spellings: Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum. Teachers use the Spelling Shed Spelling Scheme to support their teaching and to provide activities that link to the weekly spellings. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week.
Grammar and Punctuation: Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand-alone lessons, if they feel that the class needs additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.