As a school we aim to :
- Fulfil the requirements of the National Curriculum and EYFS Curriculum, providing a broad, balanced and stimulating scheme of work.
- To promote the importance of reading and writing as skills for life and as tools for enjoyment and personal development.
- Promote a stimulating literacy environment, where pupils and staff are encouraged to explore the four key skills of language teaching and learning – i.e. speaking, listening, reading and writing.
- Encourage the use of these four skills, in all areas of learning, to develop understanding of the English language and thereby provide a key to unlocking the knowledge available to them in the wealth of literature around them, in our multi-media society.
- Provide an English Curriculum to which every pupil has equal access by differentiating the curriculum, where necessary, in terms of learning objectives, learning outcomes and teaching methods, in order that all children should reach their potential, ensuring that each child is included and supported.
- Teach children to become effective and independent communicators, both in speech and writing, who can adapt their talking or writing according to any purpose and audience.
- Plan in opportunities for cross curricular activities, which will extend pupils knowledge and understanding of the world around them and their own selves within the world; and to develop their personal literacy skills to the full.
- Plan for external agencies to have an input into the school’s curriculum by inviting authors and theatre groups in to school and by arranging for educational visits to relevant plays, theatres, libraries etc. outside of school.
- Respond to the professional development needs of the staff in order to fulfil the above aims
The teaching of reading is an integral part of our curriculum. We believe that being able to read gives children access a wide range of information in the world around them and supports their learning and development in all other areas of the curriculum. Our main goals are to foster a love of reading and give children the skills they need to be fluent, confident readers.
High quality, age appropriate texts are selected carefully to ensure children are enagaged in the text immediately. West Woodburn offers a rich literary environment, with the provision of quality reading material covering fiction, non-fiction, poetry and reference books. These books are supported by those from our key reading scheme along with Read, Write, Inc books for less experienced readers which are matched to their phonic level. Reading Scheme books are colour banded according to level of difficulty.
We work hard to ensure children find pleasure in reading. All children take part in daily, whole class reading related lessons. Children take their books home daily, with their Reading Record in which we ask parents to make constructive comments. We recognise and value our shared role with parents in encouraging children in reading, not only in the strategies for learning to read but also to develop understanding, give opinions and extract information. Children continue “learning to read” throughout their years with us and we use a whole school planned progression of skills, knowledge and understanding.
In the Foundation Stage, the children’s phonic knowledge is developed through daily phonics teaching based on Read, Write, Inc. The children are taught the 26 graphemes and practise them in the context of simple words and sentences. In addition to this, children learn to read a range of common and familiar words on sight. Children’s skills are further developed through shared and guided reading.
Daily phonics teaching continues in KS1 and children continue to learn new graphemes for the phonemes they already know as well as alternative pronunciations for the graphemes. In addition to this, they are taught the Common Exception Words for Year 1 and 2 set out in the National Curriculum (2014). Children continue to practise and apply their skills in Literacy and guided reading sessions. In Literacy, children are introduced to a range of age appropriate texts and authors. They are encouraged to discuss the texts and give their opinions. Teachers also model reading strategies, allowing children to apply their phonics skills and word recognition in context.
Read, Write, Inc is used for the teaching and assessment of EYFS and KS1 phonics. This is in line with the National Curriculum and ensures that children are making necessary progress. Read, Write, Inc assessments are completed which clearly shows which phase children are up to and the sounds that they know. Staff use assessments to inform effective provision for all children, using this to plan and deliver well-differentiated lessons that engage and challenge all children within the lesson. Any children at risk of falling behind, are identified quickly and necessary support is put in place.
In Year 2, reading skills are explicitly taught through the use of VIPERS. Alongside the skills of decoding, reading fluently and comprehension, book talk encourages children to discuss their preferences, likes and dislikes about a book.
In Key stage 1 and 2, children are taught reading through daily, whole class sessions. Teachers focus explicitly on teaching the skills of reading; vocabulary, infer, predict, explain, retrieve and sequence or summarise. Reading Vipers cover the key comprehension skills in line with the 'new' content domains.
Writing - Implementation
Exciting texts are used as stimuli for writing. Children also enjoy the use of film, images, artefacts and visits to enhance their writing. Vocabulary is imperative; we strive to equip children with a wide range of vocabulary to help bring their writing to life. Basic skills and non-negotiables which are progressive across each year group underpin writing in all areas of the curriculum. All teachers model the writing process and demonstrate writing to a high standard.
Children are encouraged to plan their work and then make improvements throughout the writing process.
At West Woodburn we have adopted a cursive style of handwriting which concentrates on correct letter formation and the joining up of letters. We value, encourage and expect well-presented work on a daily basis.
Each year group has a list of spelling patterns and conventions from the National Curriculum appendices for each year group. Children spend time investigating different spelling patterns and have time to practise during the week before a spelling test on a Friday.