At Wickford Primary School, our aim is for the children in our school to become confident and skilled communicators to enable them to participate fully in society. Consequently, we seek to provide to rich experiences that prepare them to participate fully in society.
Literacy incorporates the essential skills of reading, writing (including spelling and a secure understanding of grammar and punctuation), speaking and listening. The skills are needed in all subjects. Literacy skills should be seen as a “toolkit” that can be used in all lessons.
We base all teaching and learning on the National Curriculum (2014). The children have daily Literacy lessons and additional daily reading sessions and apply Literacy skills throughout the curriculum.
The key areas of teaching and learning for English are:
- Writing composition
- Writing transcription – spelling
- Writing transcription- handwriting
- Vocabulary, grammar and punctuation
- Spoken language
Areas of Literacy
ReadingThe ability to read is an essential foundation of all aspects of learning. Our school has a strong reading culture, where reading is valued, rewarded and celebrated. Children’s reading skills should enable them to access all areas of the curriculum, both in junior school and as they move on to their secondary education. Additionally, we aim to foster a lifelong love of reading. The National Curriculum 2014 identifies word reading and comprehension as the two aspects of reading, both of which need to be taught and mastered in order for children to be considered successful readers. Word reading involves decoding of new words and the ability to recognise familiar words, both of which rely on a secure understanding of phonics, based on the Letters and Sounds document (2007) We recognise the essential role of phonics in reading and continue to build on children’s foundation from EYFS, through Key Stage 1 and into Key Stage 2. Children must be able to confidently blend sounds in order to read. Phonic skills should be embedded by the beginning of Year 3, but we recognise the different starting points of our pupils and the need for some pupils to complete the six phases of letters and Sounds. Therefore pupils continue to be taught phonics in Year 3 (and beyond if necessary) should continue. We also value the role of other strategies, for example the recognition of “tricky words” which do not follow phonic rules, using pictures (for early readers) and contextual clues to support decoding. When children are able to combine these skills and phonics independently, we consider them to be fluent readers. Comprehension involves the understanding of words and grammar and knowledge of the world. Comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher and reading and responding to a range of texts.. In Key Stage 2, all children have a daily reading lesson in addition to Literacy lessons. These lessons take the format of shared reading (teaching of specific reading skill or strategy to whole class), individual reading tasks to practise skills with regular guided sessions (led by an adult with specific focus). Sessions conclude with the sharing of a class reading book to promote the love of reading – this may also be read at other times of the day. Children have a dedicated reading activity book in which to record their learning. In addition to this, children are given the opportunity to read for sustained periods to develop their ability to focus on longer texts. Reading skills are also be taught and consolidated through other curriculum subjects. We recognise that in the future, pupils will be accessing more and more texts using information technology tools and use a range, including our computer-based reading resource Bug Club(which pupils can use at home), through which children can access a wide variety of texts online. We take every opportunity we can to encourage and celebrate reading. This includes encouraging participation in the Keep On Reading project (set up to encourage parents of Year 3 and 4 children to continue reading aloud to their children). The yearly reading award (carried out over the course of a month) rewards individuals and classes for regular reading. We arrange book events and for authors to visit our school. Reading clubs also take place, including reading ambassadors which encourages boys in Years 3 and 4 to read by working with a mentor. All children regularly visit the local public library and parents are asked to provide them with library cards. We appreciate the vital role parents and guardians play in developing children’s reading. Information on strategies for supporting reading at home are provided. Reading is part of each child’s homework and parents are expected to assist their child. Each child has a reading journal in which reading at home should be recorded and teachers monitor this regularly. Parents are encouraged to discuss any concerns about their child’s reading with the class teacher. Initially, most children will work through banded books which will be at the appropriate level for their reading ability, organised with coloured stickers. When children have progressed through banded books and are fluent readers, they are taught strategies for choosing books at the right level ie they are able to access them independently but also be challenged by them. The ‘Five Finger Rule’ is a suitable strategy (a separate document is sent to Year 3 parents). We provide a range of books to cater for all areas of the curriculum and for the wide range of reading levels of the children. These include: In class reading book collections, there is a selection of genres including non-fiction - pupils are encouraged to read a range of texts. The reading material is the pupils’ free choice but teachers will need make sure that the book is suitable to the child’s ability. The children may take these books home. The online resource Bug Club also provides a range of texts children can access at both home and school at an appropriate level.
WritingWe aim to enable our pupils to:
- write with confidence, fluency and understanding
- know and understand the features of a range of genres including narrative, non-narrative and poetry and use these features successfully in their own writing
- change the way they write to suit different purposes and audiences.
- develop their creativity and vocabulary through written tasks
- write successfully for all subjects, knowing that writing skills should be applied in all curriculum areas
- use writing in a range of contexts, including real-life situations wherever possible
- enjoy writing
- Sentence structure
- Punctuation and syntax
- Organisation of text, including links within and between paragraphs
- Ideas, details and author viewpoint
- Interest for the reader and purpose
- Evaluating, editing and responding to feedback
- develop a positive and confident attitude to spelling
- have a secure understanding of phonics
- have a large bank of words (based on National Curriculum appendices) they can spell correctly
- develop a range of strategies that they can apply in order to be successful spellers including recognising and using common patterns/letter strings, words with prefixes and suffixes, visually identify misspelt words, recognition of root words
- efficiently proof read and edit their own work for spelling accuracy
- be able to use dictionaries quickly and efficiently
- be able to use ICT-based tools to support spelling eg spellcheck facility
- give children strategies to cope with real situations that require accurate spelling
- spelling bees
- through handwriting to develop muscle memory through fluent joined handwriting that facilitates a multi-sensory approach
- use of mnemonics
- practising writing dictated sentences (specifically mentioned for LKS2 in National Curriculum 2014)
- word games/ playing with words (Pie Corbett’s Jumpstart)
- word searches
Year 3/4 Spelling List
Year 5/6 Spelling List
- to write according to our school handwriting exemplar
- to write legibly, fluently and at an appropriate speed
- to apply handwriting skills consistently and in all curriculum areas
- to understand that handwriting requirements vary according to the task.
- Pen/pencil grip. A three-fingered grip is encouraged. Some pupils may benefit from using a rubber grip.
- Correct posture
- Left or right-handed?
- Correct letter formation for both upper and lower case letters, including ascenders and descenders
- Joining letters correctly and consistently
- understand and use a wide range of vocabulary appropriately
- use appropriate vocabulary based on audience, purpose and context
- use their understanding of spelling, grammar and punctuation correctly in order to communicate their ideas clearly
- use standard English and ensure writing is grammatically correct
- use the language of grammar correctly
- be prepared for using this skills in real-life situations
Spoken LanguageAt Wickford Junior School, we acknowledge that speaking skills underpin communication and learning and place a very high value on them. In essence, the best speakers make the best readers and writers. We aim for children to:
- speak confidently and appropriately in a range of situations and for different audiences
- use Talk For Writing skills across the curriculum (see below)
- listen and respond appropriately to adults and their peers
- ask relevant questions
- build their vocabulary
- articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions
- give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives
- speak audibly and fluently with an increasing command of Standard English
- participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates
- Book Talk
- Writer Talk
- Oral rehearsal – to develop ideas, practise and improve before writing
- Word games
- Role play
- Using a text as a basis for writing using imitation, innovation and invention
Supporting pupils with additional needs
Pupils who are finding reading, aspects of writing, spelling or spoken language challenging also have additional sessions in one to one or small group sessions in order to develop their skills, for example additional Read, Write Inc. activities or focussed precision teaching. These activities are tailored to the pupils’ specific needs and, if appropriate, in consultation with the SENCo.
Similarly, more able and gifted and talented pupils are provided with opportunities to further develop their Literacy skills, for example through extension groups, lunchtime and after-school clubs.
Miss Styles, Literacy Subject Leader