At Woodcocks’ Well CE (VA) Primary School we are continuously discovering a world of wonder empowered by God’s spirit. 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 passion for reading, with an enthusiasm in reading for pleasure. We encourage book choices, which foster the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ values; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. 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 the very first day children join us in Reception. Children complete regular assessments and are then grouped accordingly, moving to different classrooms and learning areas to be taught by the teacher or TA responsible for their group.
Teachers and TAs have received quality CPD from Ruth Miskin advocates and the English Hub. All staff have access to the necessary handbooks and online resources.
Assessment of reading
For those on the Read Write Inc Phonics programme, reading books match the children’s phonic level and are pitched so children develop accuracy, fluency and expression. Once children move on from their phonics group, they become a ‘Free Reader’. Children are still assessed regularly and given a ZPD. This allows children to choose a book from a wider selection. After completing the book children complete a quiz to check their comprehension of what they have read. 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. We are fortunate enough to have volunteer readers who also listen to children read in school.
During the summer term of Year 1, children undertake a Phonics Screening Check, 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. All 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 – this is exposing the children to a range of Authors.
Through our assessments we are able to set high expectations for the children, encouraging them to develop perseverance and self-belief to problem solve and achieve their full potential. 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
- Accelerated Reader Assessments
- 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 (VA) Primary School we are discovering a world of wonder. Through God’s spirit, we aim to equip all our children with the necessary skills which will allow them to flourish in the world they are growing up in. Throughout the English curriculum we wish to harbour the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’ values; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. It is vital that by the time children leave the school at the end of KS2, they are capable and confident writers, who are passionate about their work and who 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 writers 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
- 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. Through our early-years framework we also foster the individuality and uniqueness of each child, ensuring they are aware of the diversity of our community and world we live in.
Through another Prime Area – Physical Development - 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 during the Summer Term. 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. These texts are varied and diverse; incorporating different ethnicities, world-wide settings, and gender identities. 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 knowledge and the groups are monitored continuously and changed accordingly.
Children who are no longer part of the Read Write Inc Programme, have daily spelling lessons according to their year group expectations. These children are given spellings each week, from the spelling pattern they have been learning that week which include words from their statutory 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.