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. 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 become more fluent readers:
- 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. This is something we have not done for a while, but we may reintroduce in the future.
- 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 through a reward system.
- Previously we have run a Book Club after school, which was open to all age groups. This is something we may reinstate.
- 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 to a theme 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:
English at Wellsprings
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.
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 phonics 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.
We recently had an Arts week that was linked to poetry. Henri Rousseau’s ‘Surprised!’ painting was the focus study for the week, but we used it as an opportunity to link it to the poem, ‘That Stormy Night’ by Berlie Doherty. Berlie even did us an assembly (virtually) to talk to the children about how to become better writers. Even better still, Berlie read her poem aloud to the whole school!
We had a competition to help raise the children’s handwriting skills, and all children submitted their best handwritten version of the poem, and we awarded some class winners. The children will learn a poem to recite by heart every half term, and the whole school has learnt ‘That Stormy Night’ as the chosen poem for Autumn 2023. See below some of the wonderful examples of handwriting.