Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening are at the heart of our English curriculum at Ashchurch Primary School, and it is our aim that no matter what the circumstances that every child will learn to become confident readers, writers, speakers and listeners. Our intent is to teach children the key skills that they need, and provide many opportunities to consolidate and develop those skills over their years at primary school.
Jesymn Ward says, “I believe there is power in words” and we believe that too, whether it is written, spoken, heard or read. To equip a child with the skills and an enjoyment of English is to equip them beyond school. Our desire is to encourage a love of English so that they become life-long learners, carrying the skills and the experiences they have had at Ashchurch into later life. We do this by creatively implementing the National Curriculum (NC) for English which is underpinned by experiences and purpose.
How will we develop English in the classroom?
- provide many different opportunities to develop oracy skills
- systematic teaching of phonics
- systematic teaching of letter formation
- systematic teaching of spelling
- structured writing lessons with a strong focus on vocabulary choice and modelled writing
- purposeful writing outcomes with real audiences
- opportunities for children’s writing to be celebrated and shared both with and beyond the school community
- Guided Reading groups in EYFS
- Guided Reading groups in KS1 and KS2
- Intervention and booster groups at all stages to support those who are assessed as underachieving or ‘at risk’
- One to one reading support.
How do we teach EYFS writing?
Emergent writing is taught through the systematic teaching of synthetic phonics supported through Twinkl Phonics. As their phonic knowledge increases, this will be reflected in their writing. Their developing knowledge of key words and sentence construction is supported through reading and writing activities, including shared reading and writing and independent writing.
How do we teach Key Stage One and Two Writing?
To help develop children’s writing we use a range of approaches which include:
- Modelled, shared and guided writing
- Independent or paired writing
- Peer and self-assessment against success criteria
- Continual opportunities for oral rehearsal of sentences and texts
- Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation activities, taught both discretely and as part of writing units
- Phonics in EYFS, KS1 and in KS2 for teaching of spelling
Our curriculum content, which is underpinned by the National Curriculum 2014, ensures that a range of text types are taught from Years 1 to 6. During each term, we teach poetry, rhymes, non-fiction and stories. Oral skills are encouraged and used regularly across all year groups. In order to improve language and communication, Nessy (Based on the Science of Reading) is used as an intervention where necessary. Alongside explicit English lessons, we include additional writing experiences through the implementation of Learning Means The World where they link to our current theme.
What does writing look like across the school?
- Writing always has a purpose and an audience from the outset.
- Writing is displayed and celebrated all over the school.
- Teachers provide regular constructive and encouraging feedback both verbally and through marking.
- Writing is taught as a carefully sequenced activity.
- Writing is often linked to class topics to promote engagement.
- Children are often given opportunities to respond to each others writing.
- Time is given in lessons for children to respond to marking and feedback.
How do we develop children’s oracy skills?
- Listening to and performing stories, poems, rhymes and songs
- Questioning across the curriculum
- Reciting and reading aloud
- Opportunities to take part in drama activities
- Re-telling and role play.
- Opportunities for children to discuss what they have read and written.
- Opportunities for children to discuss what others have read or written.
- Collaborative group work involving reporting back.
- Presenting in front of an audience.
What does Reading look like across the school?
At Ashchurch Primary reading is at the heart of everything we do, and our curriculum is centred on reading high-quality texts. All texts relate directly to developing children’s knowledge and understanding, as well as broadening their social, moral, spiritual and cultural awareness.
We believe that every child should leave school as literate learners who have a passion for reading for pleasure.
The Importance of Reading at Ashchurch Primary School:
- Reading is given high priority in whole school development planning so that every pupil, regardless of background or circumstances will learn to read and have access to high quality texts.
- There is a whole school approach by staff to encourage a love of reading and develop a deeper understanding of texts through reading through stories, rhymes, poems and non-fiction.
- Teachers provide structured and well thought out reading programmes across the school based on the expectations laid out in the National Curriculum and the Early Learning Goals, with a systematic approach and clear expectation of pupils’ phonics progress across Reception to Year 2.
- Teaching and learning of phonics begins from the very start of school; teachers ensure books are well matched to the sounds being taught in the phonic programme.
- Teachers use frequent assessment to ensure that children who fall behind are offered targeted support immediately.
- We encourage parents and carers to support their child’s reading at home, and staff offer support where parents/carers themselves struggle with reading.
To ensure that every child becomes a competent and skilled ‘reader’ we implement the following:
- Systematic teaching of phonics using Twinkl Phonics
- Use of cued articulation to support the learning of phonics.
- Teaching of comprehension skills through 1:1 reading, Focus Reading Groups, Whole Class Teaching of Reading and regular independent reading times throughout the day.
- Immersing children in great literature through daily story time.
- Providing children with a great variety of text types to read for pleasure both within the classroom and the school library.
- Exposing children to a wide range of authors, illustrators and poets and providing time for children to share recommendations.
- Giving children time to read for pleasure and to have control over their own reading choices.
- Creating spaces around the school in which children can enjoy reading E.g in the school garden.
- Giving children access to carefully banded reading schemes so that home reading books match their phonic and reading ability.
- Establishing a reading culture within the school in which every member of our school community is regarded as a reader.
Our list of core texts for each year group can be found below. However, this only gives a flavour of some of the texts each year group will experience during their time at Ashchurch.
Our reading spine is fluid and gives scope for teacher voice. With so many wonderful new books being published all the time, we have to have one eye on the 'now' as well as including a taste of the past.
Reading to a class for 20 minutes per day means 100 minutes per week; about 65 hours per year. That's a lot of curriculum time and therefore it needs to be focussed on quality reading.