At Willen Primary School the teaching of reading is integral to our curriculum and reading skills are developed and nurtured through all curriculum areas.
Beginning in Early Years via phonics, we aim for all children to learn to read quickly and accurately by the end of Key Stage One. We do this through teaching phonics using the Read, Write, Inc (RWI) program. This program allows children to learn all 44+ sounds of the English language and then apply those sounds to words. We teach children the skill of decoding words as this ensures that they are able to read almost any word they come across. Within the daily RWI sessions children will be encouraged and supported to not only practice and develop their decoding skills but also their comprehension and fluency skills.
In order for learning to be personalised, we assess all children at the end of each half term; we then place them in a group that is matched to their ability allowing them to flourish and become more confident readers. If required children will receive additional support to help them on their journey to becoming a confident reader.
From year 1, reading is also taught via a whole school approach through whole class ‘Exceeding Reading’ sessions where the children work on the following key skills:
Put your finger on it- where the children have the opportunity to develop their retrieval skills
Tell me why- allowing the children to think about why the author has chosen certain words/phrases
Get it, got it, good!- developing the inference skills of the child
Bring down the house- giving the children the opportunity to perform
Have your say so- allowing the children to give their opinions on a wide variety of different text types.
Children are exposed to a varied range of texts at an aspirational level for them to allow them to apply these core skills. Texts are carefully selected to make sure they are engaging and challenging whilst also making links with their non-core topic areas.
These Exceeding Reading lessons sit alongside RIC sessions in which the children use a range of different genres and media to develop their skills of Retrieval, Inference and Choice (RIC). In addition to this, the children have a daily story time session in which they have the opportunity to listen to their teacher read a high quality book of interest.
A daily Everybody Reading In Class (ERIC) session is scheduled, in which children read for pleasure. Not only fostering a love of reading, but also allowing the teacher to read individually with children to further their development and understanding of text structures and authorial tools. This one-to-one time also ensures teacher assessment is well-founded.
Within KS2 the children use Accelerated Reader to quiz on their reading and ensure a depth of understanding and comprehension. This also allows teachers to be sure that the texts the children are accessing are suitably challenging but within their reading ability.
Reading is really at the heart of the curriculum at Willen and we aim to not only develop the mechanics of reading but a love of reading too.
Curriculum Intent- English Writing
At Willen, writing is taught primarily using the Talk for Writing Scheme. This allows the children to become immersed in a chosen text type and absorbed in the vocabulary and structure of texts through a carefully planned series of oral rehearsal. Children learn the text type and within the structure the children are exposed to the features, grammar, appropriate punctuation and style of writing. Progress is easily seen through the use of hot writes.
In addition to Talk for Writing we also study a range of different text types exploring the features of them and learning from their structure, this allows the children to develop their own imagination and writing style. Spelling is taught in isolation at an ability appropriate level via Jane Considine spelling books, aimed at each year group from Year 3-6. Children also have the opportunity to develop a joined up cursive handwriting style.
Care is taken to match writing opportunities to the wider curriculum subjects that the children are learning about as well as making links to national events to ensure that the work is relevant to the children and they have a purpose for writing. Within writing lessons children are exposed to a range of enrichment activities to enhance their learning; such as hooks or big finishes and a whole school writing opportunity each year.
As part of the writing process, high value is placed on children’s planning of work as well as fostering an ethos that work is never final and should be edited to make it as successful as it can be. Children are used to using self and peer assessment to identify strengths and next steps, in not only their work, but that of their peers.
Finally, children are exposed to daily Read Write Inc spelling sessions which are 10 minute sessions of learning spelling rules and applying their knowledge gained from their investigations. This allows the children to drill deeper into their understanding of spelling rules and embed their knowledge to establish sticky learning during later writing sessions.
We aim to develop an enjoyment of writing and give children the opportunity to develop and grow as authors.