Reading is key to accessing all areas of the curriculum. Being a proficient reader is skilful and essential for success in education and life beyond. It goes beyond decoding a text, it demands understanding and skill in the essential elements of inference, deduction and comprehension. It is not enough to get the ‘gist’ of a story, children need to drill down into the text and gain a deep understanding of what they are reading – precision in the answers they give to questions about a text is vital. Fluency is key to being a successful reader, as is having a wide and varied vocabulary.
In KS1 we have Guided Reading every day, and children read with an adult daily. We have a graduated reading scheme and we reward children who read at home with RED TED.
To address the key skills needed we use Reading Plus in KS2. This is an internet based reading programme, which gives children access to a huge range of texts, full of variety and challenge. Reading Plus simultaneously develops all three domains of reading–physical, cognitive, and emotional–by integrating them in one personalised online reading program. The children are assessed and the programme sets them tasks to develop the skills and areas needed for their further development into proficient, life-long readers. We also use Close Reading in KS2. Close Reading is a teacher led activity where the children are taught how to unpick a text and to give precise answers to questions about the text.
Our English curriculum is based around The Power of Reading. The Power of Reading explores a range of genres within the scheme. Children develop their writing through their exploration of the text and thus the Power of Reading provides a cohesive learning experience, knitting the reading and writing together. Teachers model expression and fluency in reading which is key to understanding the written word. Our English lessons are based on these quality texts which give children the opportunity to become immersed in fascinating books, often beyond the norm. Through using these texts analytically, we enable the children to develop both their understanding and the skills demanded to become proficient writers.
Phonics are taught daily in EYFS and KS1. The school follows the Letters and Sounds Programme. Termly assessments enable teachers to assess understanding and a child’s ability to apply the essential skills needed to decode and build words.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPaS) are taught discreetly in all KS2 year groups. The children are taught the age appropriate GPaS and assessed termly through the independent application of this in their Big Write/sustained writing opportunities.
We develop our young writers through using Pie Corbett stories and strategies. This helps children become confident in retelling stories they are taught, using actions and props, before then putting them into writing. As children develop a firm understanding of different genres and story structures, they are then able to become confident writers.
Every other week, we make sure children have a Big Write/sustained writing session which goes in to their Writing for an Audience’ book. Big Writes allow children to carry out a longer piece of writing, generally as a culmination of learning around a text or part of a text. They are written with complete independence and gives clear assessment opportunities to teachers.
Speaking and Listening is an essential part of our Literacy curriculum. Talk for Thought is often used with our younger children where language needs to be further developed. Likewise, children also retell Pie Corbett stories. Children have the opportunity to present to others their own areas of interest on a regular basis and some homework events also encourage this.
For details on Reading and Writing Assessment for your child(ren)s year group - please see the Assessment page