‘A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. ‘National Curriculum 2016
We recognise that reading is a child’s passport to the world: it is an essential and key skill for all learning. Our aim is that learning to read becomes reading to learn, so that children can access the breadth of our rich curriculum and the world beyond. We believe that with the right support, every child can learn to read.
We aim to:
- Instil a lifelong enjoyment and love of reading, and reading for pleasure.
- encourage children to discuss and form opinions about what they have read.
- improve vocabulary and language skills
- ensure that children are able to read fluently and with confidence in any subject, enabling them to make meaningful connections throughout the curriculum
- expose children to high quality texts in a range of styles, voices, forms and genres, which they can use to enrich their own writing
Research shows that when phonics is taught in a structured, systematic, and progressive way, children make excellent progress in reading and writing. Children are taught how to,
- hear sounds in words,
- recognise the sounds that each individual letter makes,
- identify sounds that different combinations of letters make such as ‘oo’ or ‘sh’, and
- blend these sounds together from left to right to make a word.
Children then use this knowledge to de-code new words that they see for reading, and en-code words they want to write. Children additionally need to recognise ‘harder to read and spell’ words which don’t follow phonic rules; these are taught in our phonics and reading lessons too. We use a scheme called Essential Letters and Sounds to structure our learning and ensure consistency across the school.
We place reading and quality books at the centre of our curriculum. There is a strong and purposeful culture where teachers talk with enthusiasm about reading, sharing examples of good books. Children should also be given the opportunity to recommend books they have loved to their peers. The reading environment is designed to be welcoming. We have a well-stocked library and designated book areas in every classroom which create opportunities for children to engage in book talk. By engaging with parents, we further ensure the culture of reading developed by the school extends into the home. We also raise the profile of reading through celebrating World Book, National Poetry Day events, weekly newsletter updates and author visits.
Reading is taught through structured daily whole class reading lessons in years 2 to 6. We use the VIPERS code to focus on strategies to teach during a session:
Sequence or Summarise
Techniques such as choral, echo and partner reading ensure that children are given a good model to follow and opportunities to read aloud.
Every child will experience a full range of reading experiences during their time in school from reading with an adult 1-2-1, reading in small groups of similar ability children and as part of a whole class lesson.
Our younger children in EYFS and KS1 will read routinely as individuals with an adult in a 1-2-1 session. This will allow adults to attend to the needs of the individual child. Some children in KS2 will also continue to have this support.
Small Group sessions will focus on reading a text suited to the children in the group which allows them to develop decoding, prosody and comprehension skills.
Whole Class reading will allow children to all read a text matched to the expected level for their year group. Again, within this lesson children will have the opportunity to read independently and work on comprehension skills.
The impact of our reading curriculum is measured through ongoing formative assessment such as pupil voice questionnaires, reading rivers and frequent quizzes. All children have opportunities to have conversations with adults about what they are reading.Termly summative assessments allow us to track progress from points in time; this is alongside teacher assessment.
We recognise that writing is an essential life skill. Successful writers are able to express themselves clearly and creatively across a range of genres.
We aim to:
- motivate children to become fluent, passionate writers who can write for technical purpose and for pleasure
- develop writing skills to enable children to write across all the subjects in the curriculum
- teach children to write legibly, presenting their work for a range of genre in the appropriate style
- teach children to plan, revise and evaluate their own and others writing effectively
- give children the writing tools to inform, entertain and persuade
We teach writing through the Pathways To Write programme which follows a Mastery-Learning model. Key skills are taught and repeated; there are multiple opportunities throughout each unit to use and apply the skills until they can be mastered fully. Each unit of work is based around a carefully chosen age appropriate picture book. Within each sequence, there are many opportunities for incidental short- burst writing with an extended written outcome built up to by the end of each unit.
A plan, draft, review and edit sequence is used to develop and improve each final piece or writing. Children are encouraged to build on what they have learnt at every stage of the writing process. Opportunities for peer and self-assessment are built into the programme to encourage a reflective approach to writing.
The impact of our writing curriculum is measured through ongoing formative assessment including, 1:1 conferencing, whole class feedback. All children have opportunities to have conversations with adults about what they are writing. More formal assessment is undertaken through moderation both cross phase and inter-school. Termly summative assessments allow us to track progress from points in time; this is a teacher judgement using a combination of the TAF, HAF and the Pathways to Progress assessment criteria.