At Bosley St Mary’s CE Primary School our aim is for every child to become a fluent, confident and enthusiastic reader. We want to ensure children meet their age-related expectations and additionally we want children to develop a love for reading and encourage reading for pleasure on a regular basis.
Our curriculum is designed around the needs of the pupils in our school and there are a variety of approaches to enable the pupils to make 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 spiritually;
- develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge.
Our school follows the Read, Write Inc phonics program from Foundation Stage and throughout Key Stage One. All children complete a baseline assessment in phonics and are then grouped accordingly by their teachers. Phonics sessions take place daily and last for approximately 20 minutes. Children move to different classrooms and learning areas for phonics and all staff including TA’s are responsible for a group.
When planning teachers have access to handbooks and online resources. Where a TA leads a group a designated teacher will be responsible for the planning, preparation and assessment of that group.
Regular assessments are carried out by both teachers and TA’s and the groups are changed accordingly.
Reading and Assessment
When children first become readers they have access to our colour book banded system which starts with pink books right the way through to white books. This is assessed using benchmarking.
Every child will read with a teacher once during a week. This will happen during group, guided reading sessions. Children will be assigned to a guided reading group based on the book band that they are currently reading.
Reading for pleasure
During guided reading time, the children who are not reading will have the opportunity to read quietly for pleasure. They can read their current reading book or access a wide range of texts from the library, including magazines, newspapers and non-fiction texts.
10 minutes a day is also allocated in both classes for Author Time. During this time the class teacher or pupils read aloud to the class. The class author changes on a half-termly basis.
Reading in our school is progressive and planned to meet the needs of all children. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are accessing books of the right level and are being challenged in their reading. At the same time we provide books to ensure that children read for pleasure and learn to love reading.
If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making expected or more than expected progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Phonics assessment;
- Phonics screening results;
- Book band colour – assessed using Benchmarking;
- Summative assessments each term;
- End of Key stage SATs results.
At Bosley St Mary’s CE Primary School, it is our aim to equip all our children with the necessary skills to enable them to not only participate fully as members of society but to flourish. Therefore, it is imperative for the school to ensure that by the time the children leave our school they are capable and confident writers. Through teaching a broad and balanced English programme, using objectives from the National Curriculum 2014, we will ensure that all children are able to write clearly, accurately and coherently; able to adapt their writing to suit a range of audiences and purposes. A variety of resources are used to promote a reading and writing culture. Children are given a range of writing opportunities including the use of paired, group and independent writing tasks. A culture of learning from each other is promoted through use of co-operative learning structures.
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 3 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 4 specific areas which include the development of essential skills and knowledge and is made up of the 2 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.
Key Stage 1 & 2
Teachers collaborate when planning English to ensure both continuity and progression between the key stages. Before introducing a key text, teachers complete text maps, identifying key questions and key vocabulary to study as well as outlining text types that will be covered within the unit and curriculum related writing and spelling, punctuation and grammar objectives. A key text can be used for a week, a few weeks or can span a half term. Other texts can be used in conjunction with the key text to inspire and influence pupils when writing different text types, for example if Key Stage 2 are studying Stone Age Boy, teachers may also introduce non-fiction books about the Stone Age. Teachers subsequently plan a sequence of lessons that explore the quality texts. To ensure lessons are structured and meaningful, the sequence of lessons will often the follow the pattern of:
- Text Exploration – during these lessons, children will be introduced to an example text type. They will explore the text type, identifying key features. This gives the children a clear understanding of what they need to write and a goal to focus on when it comes to publishing their own independent writing.
- Vocabulary Focus – children will collect adventurous vocabulary to use in their independent writing. They will be encouraged to expand their breadth of vocabulary through various methods.
- Sentence work/Grammar Work – children will use the vocabulary they have collected throughout the previous lessons and begin to write sentences, including age-related objectives and following the grammar POS 2.
- Modelling – teachers may model writing a certain text type through slow writes, group writes or pupils may edit a given model.
Spelling and Grammar
In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, children are taught how to segment words in order to spell them through the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics using the Read Write Inc. programme, which underpins reading and writing, as well as spelling. Our phonics teaching is characterised by planned structure, fast pace, praise and reinforcement, perceptive responses and active participation by all children. Children are grouped according to their phonics knowledge. To further develop children’s understanding of phonics, children in Year 2 receive additional spelling lessons. These structured lessons encourage children to apply their knowledge of phonics to unknown words and develop their understanding of spelling patterns.
In Key Stage 2 we teach regular Spelling and Grammar lessons. Children are introduced to a certain spelling pattern and practice the spellings throughout the week. Each year group has a different set of spellings relating to the national curriculum. They practise spellings during handwriting and by completing tasks relating to their spellings such as anagrams and crosswords.
Handwriting sessions are taught regularly to the children and follow a cursive programme. The children have separate handwriting books and are expected to apply this cursive script into their daily writing.
Assessment for learning strategies are used on a daily basis. These will 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.
Leadership and Management
The subject leader's role is to empower colleagues to teach writing to a high standard and support staff in the following ways:
• By keeping up to date on current issues; disseminating relevant information and providing training for staff members (either directly or through other professionals)
• Leading by example by modelling lessons or styles of teaching
• Having a knowledge of the quality of writing provision across the school and using this to provide a coaching and mentoring role
• Identifying and acting on development needs of staff members
• Monitoring expectations, provision and attainment across the school and providing feedback to develop practice further in order to raise standards
Monitoring and Evaluation
The quality of teaching and learning is monitored as part of the appraisal process through lesson observations and through the progress and attainment documents. In addition, continuity and progression across the school is monitored by the subject leader as is the implementation and impact of Assessment for Learning. The subject action plan and external advisors identify actions intended to raise standards.
The English Subject Leader will also provide an annual summary report to the Headteacher in which s/he evaluates the strengths and weaknesses in writing and indicates areas for further improvement.
A named member of the governing body is briefed to oversee the teaching and learning of English. The link governor meets, at least termly, with the subject leader to review progress.
Partnerships with parents
In September parents are invited to attend a whole school development plan meeting where they are informed of school priorities and year group overviews. Also parents are informed on how they can help their child at home by attending English and Mathematics workshops. Parents are kept informed of topics that are being covered through a newsletter sent half-termly. During Parents' Evenings curricular targets are shared and a written report is completed annually in the Summer Term. Homework is set weekly. Reception and Key Stage 1 can choose an activity from a list. Key Stage 2 are set tasks.
At Bosley St Mary’s CE Primary School, we want our children to become passionate and confident writers, happy and inspired when writing independently. We want them to understand how becoming successful and self-assured writers will aid them in future life.
“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
- Sylvia Plath