At Woodcocks’ Well Primary School we aim for every child to become a fluent and confident reader by the time they leave us at the end of KS2. We want them to also develop a love of reading, with an enthusiasm in reading for pleasure. We aim for all children to meet their age-related expectations or make accelerated progress from their starting point.
Our curriculum is designed around the needs of the pupils in our school and there are a variety of approaches we follow to enable children in making good progress.
The aims of teaching reading in our school are to develop pupils who:
- show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards reading;
- rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of letters and sounds and make sustained progress in learning to read fluently;
- read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction;
- acquire a wider vocabulary;
- participate in the teaching of phonics knowledge, skills and understanding in a systematic and enjoyable way;
- develop their reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge;
- develop a love of reading;
- read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis;
- through their reading develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spirutally;
- develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge.
We believe that the teaching of phonics is fundamental to the development of early reading skills. At Woodcocks' Well phonics is taught in a systematic way. Our daily phonics sessions are taught following the Read, Write Inc. program from Foundation Stage throughout Key Stage One. Children complete a baseline assessment and are then grouped accordingly, moving to different classrooms and learning areas to be taught by the teacher or TA responsible for their group. Children will bring home books that are matched to their RWI group.
Teachers and TAs all have access to the necessary handbooks and online resources. Children are regularly assessed and groups are changed accordingly.
Assessment of reading
We have a whole school reading scheme, Collins Big Cat, which is accessed from our first readers. The scheme starts with pink books and progresses through to pearl. The scheme is structured to ensure children have access to a wide range of texts, and allows for pupils to develop their skills within a level before moving to the next. All children have a home-reading record which they are encouraged to take home daily and parents/carers are asked to record and comment on their child’s reading at home.
Children read with an adult at least once a week, either individually or during a group, guided reading session.
During the summer term of Year 1, children undertake a Phonics Screening Test, which assesses their ability to apply what they have learnt.
Reading for pleasure
At Woodcocks’ Well we foster an environment that nurtures reading for pleasure so that children can learn to enjoy and love their reading and understand the benefits of being a competent reader.
Each classroom has a reading area, stocked with well-chosen books suitable to the ages and abilities in their class. Children have the opportunity to visit the school library regularly to read and borrow books from this area. We encourage children to be a part of choosing new books for their classroom and the school library. Teachers and staff are encouraged to share their love of reading with the children in the form of book recommendations too. Time is also allocated daily for story time or the reading of a class book by either the teacher or pupils.
Reading assessments are carried out on a regular basis to ensure that all children are accessing books at the right level, yet are also being challenged in their reading. Books are also provided which foster a love of reading in children from an early age.
Children who are working at the level of age expected are deemed to be making expected progress or more than expected progress.
We measure the impact of the curriculum through the following methods
- Phonics assessment
- Phonics screening results
- Book banded reading books
- Summative assessments carried out on a termly basis
- End of Key Stage SATs results
In addition, if working below the expected for their age, some children may be assessed on their reading age which primarily focuses on reading ability skills such as decoding and fluency.
At Woodcocks’ Well CE Primary School we aim to equip all our children with the necessary skills to enable them to flourish in the world they are growing up in. It is vital that by the time children leave the school at the end of KS2, they are capable and confident writers, who are able to express their ideas clearly, accurately and creatively within a range of different genres and to suit a range of different audiences and purposes. We also intend to create writes who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing, and enable pupils to be able to use the essential skills of handwriting, grammar, punctuation and spelling in order to produce written work that they are proud of. We will use the objectives from the National Curriculum 2014, as well as a variety of reading and writing resources in order to support our pupils in meeting these targets.
The aims of teaching writing in our school are to develop pupils who:
- show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards writing
- use and understand language as speakers, readers and writers
- are competent, confident and independent in the use of language in their writing
- have an awareness of different audiences and purposes for writing
- apply their grammatical knowledge in their writing as stated in the POS 2
- apply their phonetical and spelling knowledge in their writing as stated in the POS 1
- apply the English language in all areas of the curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is followed to ensure continuity and progression from entering Reception Class and then through to the National Curriculum in KS1 & KS2.The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into prime & specific areas of learning and development. 'Communication & Language' is one of three prime areas that are fundamental to supporting children’s language development. 'Communication & Language' is made up of the following aspects: listening and attention, understanding and speaking. ‘English' is one of four specific areas which include the development of essential skills and knowledge and is made up of the two aspects: reading & writing. Pupil provision is related to attainment, not age. Children learn through play, speaking and listening activities, teacher modelling, group work and self-direction. The children are supported to use and hold a pencil effectively. In order to develop early writing, children are encouraged to “read” their text and tell staff what it means and why they wrote it. Staff celebrate children’s achievements without an over-emphasis on moving to “correctness”. In order to encourage the willingness and desire to write, the class teacher will ensure that there are opportunities for purposeful writing in all areas of learning in the EYFS so that children are interested and motivated in their work.
Literacy Counts ‘Read to Write’ units are used to support the planning of English in Early Years. Each unit has a book focus.
Key Stage 1 and 2
Literacy Counts ‘Read to Write’ units are used across KS1 and KS2, which ensures continuity and progression of both the planning and the teaching across the key stages. The Literacy Counts units use good quality texts as a focus for each unit of work. Through these lessons, children are taught inference skills; high level and adventurous vocabulary, which they will be able to use in their own writing and a wide range of punctuation and how to use this correctly. Teachers use modelling and shared writing as a way to teach and embed new skills as well as a way to teach editing.
As well as teaching the national curriculum objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that children are achieving the objectives at their expected level, including some children working at a greater depth standard.
Spelling and Grammar
Across the foundation stage, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 all children are taught phonics and spelling using the Read Write Inc. programme. Our phonics and spelling teaching is characterised by planned structure, fast pace, praise and reinforcement, perceptive responses and active participating from all children. Children are grouped according to their phonic and spelling knowledge and the groups are monitored continuously and changed accordingly.
All children are given spellings each week, including words from the spelling pattern they have been learning that week as well as words from the high frequency word list, year 3/4 spelling list and the year 5/6 spelling list.
In Key Stage 1 and 2 Spelling and Grammar is also taught as part of the Literacy Counts units.
Handwriting sessions are taught regularly to the children and we follow a cursive programme. Children are expected to write using a cursive script in their daily writing.
Assessment for learning strategies are used on a daily basis. These allow a picture to be built up of the pupils’ progress, any areas of strength or weakness which can then be addressed in teachers’ planning.
Assessment of learning is completed termly. Children complete independent writing pieces within a unit of work, which are assessed against our writing criteria. Analysis of the data impacts upon teachers planning so pupils’ needs can be addressed. Moderation of teacher assessment is also completed in order to ensure that judgements are accurate. Children are assessed using national curriculum level descriptors and analysed to ensure that they are making at least expected progress if not more than expected progress, this document is then monitored by subject leaders and senior leadership team. Children who are not on track are identified for intervention/target teaching.