We are committed to developing literacy skills through uniting the important skills of reading and writing.
We teach children to read initially by a synthetic phonics approach, using the Read, Write Inc. scheme in Class 1 then supplementing it with a variety of other materials as children’s skills develop.
We are now using the Talk 4 Writing approach to develop children's understanding and skills with writing. We are coming to the end of the first year of a two year training programme. Talk for Writing, developed by Pie Corbett supported by Julia Strong, is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn.
Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. Schools that have adopted the approach have not only increased their children’s progress but have found that children and teachers alike love it. It not only works throughout primary schools from the early years to Year 6 but also in secondary schools where it is key to making literacy across the curriculum really work.
For more information click on this link to go to the Talk for Writing Website
Our school is now using Star reader and the Accelerated Reader approach to assessing reading. The children have the opportunity to select from a wide range of good quality reading books, from a well-stocked library in both Key Stages as well as book collections in the classroom. A variety of reading schemes are used flexibly to support reading development, from early decoding skills to complex and sophisticated reading comprehension.
In class, children are taught these skills directly through guided reading sessions and reinforced across the wider curriculum. At all stages, children have an individual reading book, which is brought home to read and spellings to learn. The children in upper key stage 2 learn to independently access computer based assessment activities after they have read a book. This provides the teachers with valuable information about the progress the children are making, particularly in terms of their understanding and comprehension.
Children’s progress in reading and writing is carefully monitored throughout the school. A variety of opportunities are provided across the curriculum for children to develop their writing skills. For example, writing reports, stories, poems, notes, plays, lists and diaries, and this is monitored to make suer that the same high expectations and use of skills transfers into all written work.
Children are provided with regular opportunities to develop the essential skills of speaking and listening. This is done through discussion, drama and specific listening activities in pairs, groups and as a class. Good oral work enhances pupils’ understanding of language in both oral and written forms.
From Foundation Stage, children are taught letter formation following our handwriting scheme, which enables children to develop an independent, mature style of writing. Good presentation is expected at all times and displaying children’s work is an integral part of this process. Ultimately we want each child to develop a fluent, legible and attractive style of handwriting.