Reading is always a key focus at Burston and Tivetshall, it is taught from day one and is at the heart of our curriculum. We want to enable all of our children to not only become skilled and confident readers but to enjoy reading for pleasure.
We use the Letters and Sounds phonics programme to teach early reading. Phonic skills are essential for the decoding of and spelling of words. The children are taught to discriminate and produce sounds of speech, to develop their knowledge of spelling patterns and how to apply grammar rules during daily, systematic and enjoyable sessions. It is our aim that by the end of Key Stage 1 the children will have developed fluent word reading skills and have a good foundation in spelling and comprehension.
Comprehension skills are a huge aspect of reading and these skills are developed through one to one reading, whole class story sessions and short sessions planned by class teachers to meet the needs of their classes delivered three times each week. Adults read with all children on a regular basis to help them secure their word reading and comprehension skills. During reading sessions, pupils are given the opportunity to secure the core elements of reading: summarising, vocabulary work, question asking, prediction and question answering.
All children take home reading books. Children here are encouraged to read at home daily and we ask adults to support their child’s learning by recording the reading that they do at home in the individual record each child brings home. We want our children to become proficient readers to enable them to access all areas of the curriculum and so that the children can develop a lifelong passion for reading.
Throughout the year we promote reading widely for example by celebrating World Book Day and by sharing a range of exciting, high quality class reads.
At Burston and Tivetshall Primary Schools, it is our aim for all children to develop the necessary skills needed in order to communicate effectively in their spoken and written language.
Literacy is delivered using Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ approach. Talk for Writing is used to teach fiction, non-fiction and poetry through a multi-sensory approach. Learning activities engage and inspire our children to communicate both verbally and in the written form and cover the objectives for each year group from the National Curriculum, including grammar.
Each half term, each year group focuses on a different fiction and non-fiction genre and a poem in order to create opportunities for cultivating a rich vocabulary and both technical and compositional skills in writing, ensuring that all our children write for a range of different purposes and audiences.
Where appropriate, this aim for our pupils is supported by the links between the English curriculum and the wider curriculum.
The Talk 4 Write method follows three main stages:
IMITATION – familiarisation
This involves retelling a story or text until it can be told fluently. It also involves analysing the text and understanding the structural and language features.
INNOVATION – adapting the text
This involves using the model from the ‘imitation’ phase and developing the text even further.
INDEPENDENT APPLICATION – creating your own text.
This involves building up a new story or text and applying the features taught throughout the unit to independent writing. To support this, we use a range of high-quality texts to engage all pupils and allow them to write for a purpose.
Spoken Language is integrated throughout our curriculum. We place a high emphasis on learning vocabulary across the subject areas and weave in opportunities for application.
We also link teaching closely to our ‘Talk for Writing’ units of work. This includes creating story maps, oral rehearsal of texts, drama, language games, sentence construction and grammar activities.
We follow the spelling rules for each year group as laid out in the 2014 National Curriculum. Children in each year group, 1-6, are set spellings weekly on which they are regularly assessed. Where individuals require additional support in spelling rules they have already been taught but are not secure with, individual or small group interventions are carried out either in class or with an experienced Teaching Assistant.
Handwriting is a basic skill that influences the quality of work throughout the curriculum. By the end of key Stage 2 all pupils should have the ability to produce fluent, legible and, eventually, speedy joined-up handwriting, and to understand the different forms of handwriting used for different purposes.
Our intention is to make handwriting an automatic process that does not interfere with creative and mental thinking.
· To develop a neat, legible, speedy handwriting style using continuous cursive letters, which leads to producing letters and words automatically in independent writing.
· To establish and maintain high expectations for the presentation of written work.
· For pupils to understand, by the end of Year 6, the importance of neat presentation and the need for different letterforms (cursive, printed or capital letters) to help communicate meaning clearly.
All teaching staff are encouraged to model the cursive style in all their handwriting, whether on whiteboards, displays or in pupils’ books.
Handwriting is a cross-curricular task and will be taken into consideration during all lessons. Formal teaching of handwriting will be carried out regularly and systematically to ensure Key Stage targets are met.