Reading is a fundamental skill that all children need in order to develop a lifelong love of books and learning. It enables them to access the school curriculum, and an inability to read provides a handicap in all areas of learning. As adults, the ability to read is essential for economic success and independence.
From their earliest days, children begin to ‘read signs’ in their environment. They learn to recognise different faces and start to ‘read’ facial expressions. The visual environment helps them to predict what they may do, where they are going, what may happen next, to understand the world. Pictures and text are part of that environment, so that long before a child can officially ‘read’ s/he knows which carton of juice to choose or that s/he is in a branch of a particular chain store by recognising associated pictures, signs and symbols.
At All Saints’, we aim to support children in:
- Developing an enthusiasm for reading
- Becoming fluent readers
- Encouraging their imagination
- Extending their knowledge through using a wide range of texts
- Accessing the full curriculum
- Expressing opinions about texts and their contents
- Understanding the intentions of writers
- Using ICT to extend their reading experience
Through providing a challenging and exciting curriculum, offering interesting and sufficient resources and creating a positive reading environment, the staff intend to achieve these aims. Key factors in achieving success will be children:
- Developing a positive opinion of themselves as readers
- Talking about books, authors etc.
- Using a variety of skills to read unfamiliar words
- Thinking about what they read from the very early stages so that they are able to monitor their own reading and identify when they have made an error and need to stop and correct it
- Re-reading until they have solved any difficulties with meaning, grammar or letters
- Being able to select appropriate texts
- Knowing how to extract relevant ideas and facts from a text
- Reading extensively
- Parental involvement
Teaching and Learning
Good readers read fluently drawing on meaning, structure (grammar) and visual information (print). They monitor their own reading, and re-read as necessary until they have solved any problems. This is our goal for pupils within All Saints CE Primary.
We teach reading through:
- Good quality whole class instruction from Foundation Stage through to Year 6
- Small group instruction (Guided Reading)
- Individual reading
- Shared reading
- Small group and individual support to overcome minor difficulties
Whole Class Teaching: Daily literacy lessons include instructions on reading appropriate to the level and age group of the class. There are regular opportunities for quiet independent reading and access to a range of books within the classroom. Regular phonics lessons support the teaching of reading. Pupils have access to the school library. Teachers read to their class regularly to enable pupils to experience a wider range of books that they may not yet be able to read themselves.
Shared Reading: This is where the whole class read the same text.
Guided Reading: Small groups of pupils lead by an adult, taught according to the specific needs of the group. This does not follow a set scheme of books, but is planned for each group by the teacher. Regular assessment using questioning identifies the teaching points and progress of the group.
Small Group Support: Sometimes it may be appropriate for support to be provided to a small number of pupils who have very similar needs. They are carefully assessed and the programme is planned to specifically meet these needs.
Is evident and frequent, where appropriate. The reading lead has had frequent opportunities to attend events within the cluster and further opportunities and avenues are explored where necessary. This is then fed back to the SLT and developments are explored and implemented in school.
- Pupils are engaged and enthused by what they are reading. Regular discussion around reading and promoting the culture is frequent in class.
- Class teachers are passionate about reading and books, frequently sharing them with the children.
- Pupils are read to, by an adult, frequently throughout the day. This promotes an ethos of reading.
- Topics are supplemented by a linked class novel.
- Children in Year 5 have got the opportunity to engage with the Calderdale ‘Book of the Year’ scheme this year.
- There is an extra-curricular Book club starting in the Summer term.
Planning and Work Scrutiny
Informal drop in’s take place with the chance for the Reading lead to see and discuss strengths and developments within each year group. This is supplemented with book scrutinies and regular opportunities for pupil voice. Children document their work in reading journals and planners are used to encourage reading at home.
There are regular assessment opportunities throughout the year in reading. Students are tracked using our online assessment portal: Target Tracker.
Students are also assessed in line with statutory requirements, with Phonics Screening Checks in Year 1 and SATs Reading papers in Years 2 and 6.
Key Targets (1-3 on the Action plan for 2018-19)
1) To enhance the profile of reading across school.
2) To raise the attainment of both Autumn and Summer born pupils, to be in-line with the Spring born pupils (KS1).
3) To raise the number of children working at the expected standard in reading from 87% to above 90% (KS2).
The ability to read fluently, confidently and with enjoyment provides a crucial step towards achieving success not only at school but also in later life. Through our varied approach to the teaching of reading and regular re-assessment of our materials and methods, we aim to give our children the best possible start to secondary school and beyond.
At All Saints’ we aim to create a writing environment that engages all children. This is achieved through careful selection of texts, linked with the Topic of the Half Term, and a careful scaffolding of the writing process means that all children are able to produce work that they are proud of us and fulfils the requirements of the genre.
We believe that our teaching structure encourages development of critical thinking skills, logical analysis and improvements in lexical cognition. A foundation which can be utilised and built upon throughout life enabling success in whichever future path children should choose for themselves.
The change to text-based English lessons is now fully embedded at the heart of writing at All Saints’. Through this teaching technique we have seen a high level of improvement in pupil engagement leading to an improvement in attainment within writing. Across the year groups, a high level of greater depth writing can be observed this is a testament to our commitment at All Saints’ in making writing accessible and enjoyable for all.
Throughout the year, children will cover a range of genres in fiction, non-fiction and poetry, linked to each class book/novel being studied per half term.
In addition to learning about the features of writing, children are taught spelling through the ‘No Nonsense Spelling’ scheme. Phonics is embedded in Key Stage 1 using a range of teaching and learning aids, e.g. Jolly Phonics. The specific teaching of the phonics scheme is streamed across the key stage.
Handwriting is taught weekly. This is a discrete session that teaches children the techniques to perfect cursive handwriting. Handwriting is modelled and taught in each class- the hand writing expectation sheet is in each classroom for all children to consult at any time necessary.
Every new text commences with a Wow! Moment intended to hook the children and immerse them into the world of the text. This can be achieved through video clips, drama, guest speakers and interactive lessons.
World Book Day offers the chance for pupils to create pieces of writing based on their love of a particular book or author. This strategy of writing from a place of enjoyment aims to allow all children to find the opportunity to create a piece of writing they can take ownership of as authors and create in the style of a favourite writer – providing inspiration and pleasure.
Cross Curricular Links
In all wider curricular subjects, a piece of extended writing is expected every half-term. This can take the form of a written report or write-up of an experiment in Science; a newspaper report or investigation in R.E; a leaflet or a poem in Creativity; a non-chronological report or informative poster in PSHE.
Each of these pieces of writing still has the same high standards attached to it as it would if it was to be completed as part of an English lesson.
By incorporating varied and carefully selected texts into English lessons, children are able to experience different cultures and religions and different perspectives. This facilitates a learning environment that encourages questioning and debate and fosters a deeper understanding and respect for others and their views.
Progression of Skills
Children are gradually introduced to age appropriate concepts and increasingly complex literary principles. As children progress through school they are taught additional grammatical features of writing and are exposed to a progressively more varied vocabulary. Through the focus of a different genre of writing every fortnight, children are able to learn about the features of said genre and learn how to implement them successfully in their own writing. It is expected that by the time they reach Upper Key Stage 2 children will have a functioning knowledge of all the requirements of writing and can utilise them to full effect in their independent pieces.
Book scrutinies and lesson observations ensure that all year groups are receiving the same, high level of instruction in the subject.
English working walls and displays are looked at to ensure a consistent approach to the teaching and scaffolding of writing across school.
Moderation and Assessment
As the subject is taught every day, we are able to closely monitor the progression of the school at large, classes and individual pupils. Holding formalised assessments half-termly, with progression records on Target Tracker for each student means that we are able to provide a teaching and learning experience tailored to each child’s individual needs.
Intervention groups and booster groups help children to progress in areas where students find aspects of writing more challenging. These can be a short-term boost or have a long-term supportive focus dependent on the child and their needs. The aim of this support is to equip children with the skills necessary to advance their understanding and independence as writers.
Throughout this year there have been multiple opportunities to work within the cluster and develop teachers’ knowledge of how to teach writing with a focus on altering the culture within schools so that a creative and non-restrictive environment is created to help all children succeed and achieve as writers. There has also been a focus on writing at greater depth and how that presents itself within all year groups, not just Year Two and Year Six.
- An alteration of the marking policy that allows teachers to constantly assess the successes and development points of pieces of writing whilst simultaneously helping children to develop their skills as writers and achieve their targets.
- A greater selection of books within classrooms to inspire children as writers.
- More evidence of challenge in English books.
- To continue to celebrate writing wider than the school environment through the use of seesaw.
- To monitor the writing process in Spring term, to ensure this approach is consistently maintained.