Statement of Intent
By the end of Year 6 we aspire for children at Grove CE Primary school to:
Speaking and Listening
We value the need to be able to ‘say it’ before we can ‘write it’. To support this, we have adopted the Jane Considine approach for teaching writing. In accordance with this method, children have opportunities to engage in ‘chotting’ in each sentence stacking lesson giving them the opportunity to share and jot down words. They also have opportunities to internalise speaking patterns (sentence construction within the text) and use those structures to then go on and write independently. In addition, they have ‘experience days’ as part of their teaching sequence where they have opportunities to express their thoughts and ideas about relevant topics. We believe that this approach not only improves speaking and listening, but also significantly broadens pupils’ spoken and ultimately written vocabulary. In addition, we provide opportunities for children to develop speaking and listening in a broader sense, including school council elections, performing poetry and year group productions (which are performed to parents).
We provide daily systematic synthetic phonics teaching to enable our children to become successful readers and writers. We have adopted the Read, Write, Inc Phonics programme to support consistency and progression in the teaching of early reading. This programme is designed for pupils in Year R to Year 2 but can be used to rapidly catch-up reading for older pupils, through the Fresh Start programme.
Although Phonics is the main way in which early reading is taught, we nurture a love of reading and books through RWI and English lessons, using high quality reading texts to allow pupils to fully engage in reading for pleasure. Furthermore, we carefully develop recall and comprehension skills, using tailored ‘find it’ and ‘prove it’ questions.
Once fluent in decoding, children in Key Stage 2 have a daily guided reading lesson, which focuses on one of the strands of VIPERS (Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieve/Respond, Summarise/Sequence). As readers become more fluent, we move towards embedding and deepening reading skills through a whole class texts or extracts, in guided reading sessions. This is where pupils read whole books or extracts, looking in-depth at: characters, setting, inference, deduction and prediction. This approach nurtures a broadening of vocabulary and understanding the writers’ craft in much more detail. In turn, this feeds into pupil writing skills, reflecting on how authors write.
Children are exposed to a broad range of texts which fit into the different text types. Our reading progression table below maps out our approach to the sequential teaching and assessment of reading.
Children in Key Stage 2 who have completed RWI progress onto the OUP banded book system, which they read in school. Children read this to an adult in school. Children are also free to choose books from the library which could be at their reading level, a picture book or one that is more challenging and is read to children by parents and carers at home.
We recognise that writing draws on a wide range of skills, including spelling, handwriting, composition, and impact. We believe that ‘good readers become good writers.’ To this aim, we acknowledge that there is a close link between reading a wide range of high-quality books and the impact that this can have on the ability to write well.
Teachers prepare children for writing by modelling the ideas, grammar, or techniques of writing. In lessons children are given the opportunity to write sentences that use the new knowledge and skills they have been taught and then further weekly independent opportunities to apply the new skills and knowledge they have been taught in lessons.
At the end of a unit of work children are given opportunities to edit their work with three purposes; to correct spelling and punctuation errors, to rewrite a section and to add more detail to a section.
Children in EYFS and Key Stage 1 follow the RWI programme for handwriting, focusing on correct letter formation and finger spacing. In key stage 2, we focus on all children joining in a cursive fashion. We believe fluent handwriting is an essential skill required by all children. We believe that high expectations in handwriting not only raises standards in presentation, but also develops confidence, enabling the pupil to focus on the composition of what they are writing as opposed to the transcription skill.
Spelling and Grammar
Spelling is a crucial part of the writing process. We teach spelling and grammar discretely, and as part of English lessons. We are currently developing our spelling provision.
Reading plays an integral part in building children’s spirituality at Grove. Reading can be a connection to something that is bigger than ourselves, increasing our empathy and helping children to ask questions about their lives and experiences, and recognising the rich inner lives of others. Reading is a conduit to awe and wonder, whether this is through non-fiction books sharing the wonders of the world, or a story that opens children’s eyes to other people and nature, encouraging empathy and care. It is also a fundamental skill in appreciating the stories of the Bible and other religious texts.
To foster a love for reading, children are challenged to collect ‘Reading Miles’ each week. Children record their reads at home and these are tallied for our Celebration Assembly where children achievements are recognised through a Bronze, Silver, Gold or Platinum certificate. Cumulatively, classes are rewarded with a brand-new class book when they attain the highest number of reads out of the whole school each week.
In Key Stage 2, all children have the opportunity to take part in the nationally run ‘Poetry By Heart’ competition, which encourages reading and learning poetry for pleasure. World Book Day is an annual event at Grove CE Primary School which has included: book swaps, reading scrap books, virtual author visits and writing letters to famous authors too. We arrange annual visits to Grove Library to encourage reading at home, and children take part in the summer and winter holiday reading challenges organised by the library. To further encourage reading for pleasure, we have multiple author visits each year where books are available to buy and borrow, as well as regular book recommendations in our weekly newsletter.
Visiting our local library to encourage a love of reading.
Year 3 enjoying a virtual author visit from Charlotte Guillain as part of their study of "The Street Beneath My Feet"
Oxford picture book and chapter books author Anna Kemp ran workshops for our school about character description, and was interviewed by some of our keen readers!
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferable skills. The implementation of the writing journey is well established throughout each Key Stage. As children progress through the school, they become more confident writers and by the time they are in upper Key Stage 2, most genres of writing are familiar to them and the teaching can focus on creativity, writer’s craft, sustained writing and manipulation of grammar and punctuation skills.
Children leave equipped with the essential skills of Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing, enabling them to fulfil their potential at secondary school and beyond. We hope that as children move on from Grove C of E, they further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.
World Book Day is an exciting annual event to help foster a love of reading. Last year every child in school received a £1 book token and their own World Book Day book. We also set up our own free "bookshop" in school where children were free to donate and choose their own books to take home, as well as dressing up in costumes and enjoying lots of stories!
The World Book Day Website has some lovely games and videos, as well as reading and writing related competitions!
Several parents have requested links to websites that could help with children's spellings. I have put a few below:
They should help with high frequency spellings right through to the KS2 word patterns.
The phonics screening check is a check of how children are progressing in phonics. It's a compulsory check for all Year 1 children nationally. Although it is a 'check' - there is a pass and fail mark, and parents will be notified of this at the end of the year. Children who don't reach the pass mark will retake the 'check' at the end of Year 2.
Children will be asked to read 20 real and 20 non-real words which can all be read using phonics. This checks that children can decode, and don't just learn words by sight. There is nothing you need to do to help your child prepare apart from keeping encouraging them with their reading, getting them to notice where 2 letters make 1 sound, or 3 letters make 1 sound e.g. ch, sh, th, ai, ee, igh etc.
There is more information on the Government Teaching and Learning website, but do ask if anything else you'd like to know about it.
At Grove C of E we follow the Read Write Inc scheme for teaching phonics. Please visit our phonics page for more information.