So much of what we do in all the curriculum is linked to English. From the talking partner work we do to plan our ideas in lessons, to the writing we do in all subjects. The most important thing we always try to do is give a purpose to the activities we write about.
Pupils at Wellsprings will leave Year 6:
- reading and writing with confidence, fluency and understanding
- with a love of reading and a desire to read for enjoyment
- with an interest in words and their meanings
- understanding a range of text and genres
- able to write in a variety of styles appropriate to the situation
- be able to use their developing imagination and inventiveness
- having a suitable technical vocabulary to share their ideas
Speaking and Listening
The four strands of Speaking and Listening – Speaking, Listening, Group Discussion and Interaction, and Drama – permeate the whole curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in order to raise reading and writing standards. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life.
Teachers model reading strategies during shared reading sessions, whilst children have the opportunity to develop reading strategies and to discuss texts in detail during guided reading sessions. Independent reading provides time for both assessment and 1:1 teaching. Daily discrete phonics lessons in FS and KS1 enable children to decode efficiently. This is continued into KS2 where necessary. Reading Detective roles support the process of reading (and writing) by giving children strategies to ‘unpick’ texts. We use Read, Write Inc as our phonics approach across the school.
Here are some of the things we are dong to help your children read better:
- Buddy reader classes- older children supporting reading in paired classes with younger readers.
- ‘Secret Reads’, where classes go read their favourite texts in different places- around the school grounds!
- Reading Ambassadors from Year 5/6, are pupils who go to support individual readers in KS1 after their lunchtime.
- Visiting adult readers, notably males- we have had local policeman, governors and members of the local secondary school come to read.
- ‘Story-go-round’ where teachers read a story to a different class, and ‘swap round’ each time.
- ‘5 minute reads’ after lunchtime.
- ‘Book banding’ of higher end texts (and purchase of additional texts).
- Reading Awards once every half term for each class as part of our Celebration Awards.
- Reading awards weekly for ‘best reads’ which we total for each class.
- In Year 3/4 they have reading competitions to see how many books they can read at home. They track their progress with their ‘space-related’ book marks as they travel across the reading solar system!
- Book Club runs every Thursday after school, and is open to all age groups.
- Special book areas in class and around school – with featured authors (like Alan Ahlberg in Hedgehogs Class).
- Book Week – it only comes around once a year, but we start to plan well in advance! We have had non-fiction, Royals, maths, poetry themes all with an usual and stimulating assembly at the beginning of the week, a dressing up day linked the the theme (at the end of the week) and a ‘sharing assembly’ on the Friday.
We hope from this (and other work) that we will continue to raise the proportion of children achieving above national expectation across the school in reading. Here are some Reading Lead reports/monitoring about the work undertaken over the last couple of years:
Since September 2016, Wellsprings Primary school have used Read, Write Inc as there main form of teaching phonics across the school. We use a variety of reading schemes across the school, including the Oxford Reading Tree, Oxford Literacy Web, Scholastic, Collins, Longman, Rigby and Pelican Big Books. The combination of books is used for individual readers for children as well as whole group ‘Guided Reading’ sessions in class.
Children are encouraged to be as independent as possible choosing their new individual reading book, but are often supported by adults at an early stage to know where to find their age-appropriate texts. The books are ‘banded’ by age/ability and the children work through the bands in a sequence. By upper Key Stage 2 (Year 5/6) many children use ‘Free readers’ (eg not necessarily those books part of a scheme) to use as their individual reading book.
Children have a book bag/reading log that they take home, and all classes now take part in a reward scheme to encourage children to read for pleasure. We also work hard on making sure the children have a varied range of readers – different fiction and non-fiction types are important in making our children ‘adventurous readers’.
Below is the reading spine progression used at Wellsprings Primary School.
We aim to develop the children’s ability to produce well structured, detailed writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. Attention is paid throughout the school to the formal structures of English, grammatical detail, punctuation and spelling.
Teachers model writing strategies (with links to the Talk for Writing approaches) and the use of phonic and spelling strategies in shared writing sessions. Guided writing sessions are used to target specific needs of both groups and individuals, whilst children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at the end of each unit.
Whole school projects (Science Week, Health week, History Week and Book week which we have had in the last year) are all used to inspire our children to write for a purpose.
We also now formally teach elements of Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling as part of the new KS2 Spelling Bee competition!
National Curriculum across the school.
These have been helped by the new Grammar Policy that teachers refer to, to make sure they cover all the key teaching points.
Here is our Writing Action Plan