At Greenland Community Primary School, we aim to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English that will teach pupils to speak, listen, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. We recognise the importance of cultivating a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We believe that a thorough grasp of literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
Reading is a vital life skill that supports children’s learning across the whole curriculum. We strive to ensure that the children are taught to read with fluency, accuracy and understanding. We immerse children in quality texts with the aim to instil a love of reading and promote lifelong learning.
Reading is taught through a variety of strategies. In Reception, children share books without words initially, to develop story telling language, use of imagination and to encourage the use of the illustrations to support the events in the story. Children will then bring home books matched to their phonic level and are encouraged to read and re-read books that only contain phonemes taught to build their confidence with reading. Children also bring home ‘reading for pleasure’ story books to enjoy and share with an adult. Across the school, we follow a colour book banded system. As children successfully move through these levels, they move onto higher coloured bands, which may include books from other schemes such as Dandelion, Songbirds, Oxford Reading Tree, Big Cat and Project X. Alongside this, in school children are also immersed in a rich text environment.
In school, children are taught daily in reading sessions. In KS1, children are taught to read through daily Read, Write Inc lessons. By the end of KS1, all children are encouraged to take part in whole class reading sessions through engaging novels and as part of Reading VIPERS. These sessions include lots of talking about the text and activities based upon VIPERS questioning and the exploration of reading skills, so that the children can demonstrate an understanding of what they have read.
Home reading books are provided at the appropriate level until children become fluent readers. Children are encouraged to select their own books from the class library. Books can be swapped on a weekly basis.
In Years 4, 5 and 6, children have access to Reading Plus, an adaptive literacy program that develops the fluency, comprehension, and motivation students need to be successful readers. Reading Plus is a web-based program that builds upon the foundational skills of phonics and phonemic awareness to develop silent reading fluency, comprehension (deeper understanding), and re-engaging reluctant readers in Reading for Pleasure. Using a unique Guided Window system, Reading Plus accelerates silent reading speed and increases pupil’s stamina. It consists of 3 areas: Reading, Vocabulary and Visual Skills.
Pupils choose from a wide variety of age-appropriate texts (fiction, non-fiction and informational) that are matched to the individual’s reading level. Having read a text selection, pupils practice applying their knowledge and understanding by answering 10 comprehension questions. These questions target the pupil’s knowledge and skill of inference, referral and use of language. This forms a basis for critical thinking.
We encourage children to become independent and creative readers who are motivated to write. Across the school, we teach children to write effectively and coherently for different purposes and audiences. In order for children to be able to do this, we immerse them in a rich text environment providing models of different genres. Teaching writing is carefully planned and structured. Children are initially introduced to specific types of writing; they explore examples of a particular style and look closely at structure and vocabulary. They have opportunities to model and plan their own writing in a particular style before producing their own piece of writing. Opportunities for editing and re-drafting their work are encouraged.
If you require any more information about how we teach English in school then please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s class teacher or Mr Andrew Howe.