We aim to provide our children with a rich, broad and exciting English curriculum to help our children gain the skills they need for a fulfilled future.
'There is more treasure in books than in all the pirate's loot in treasure Island" - Walt Disney
We use Read Write Inc. Phonics for our children from Reception to Year 2 and for our children in Years 3 to 6 who are new to English. Children rapidly gain the knowledge of different sounds and graphemes; learn to blend and begin to apply these phonics skills to read short ditties and books.
During the school day, every child has an opportunity to read independently or alongside an adult. They choose books from the classroom reading areas, or they can bring the book they have picked from our school or local library or children may be given reading books from their teachers matching their reading level. They are given time to enjoy reading these books. We have a wide selection of books available in all classes as well as a fantastic library (RED bus) full of books that children can enjoy at home and at school alongside their families. Children are encouraged and given opportunities to visit the bus across the week at various times to continue to broaden their passion and reading journey.
For children in KS1 and lower KS2, reading books are closely matched to each child based on their phonic ability. Parents are encouraged to attend reading meetings to learn how to support their child with phonics at home. Children are expected to read their books every week night at home to improve the fluency of their reading. Children’s home reading is tracked, and they are awarded certificates for 50, 100, 150 and 200, 250 and 500 home reads in an academic year.
WHOLE CLASS READING
Reading lessons take place daily for 30 minutes with the class teacher across the school, where children are exposed to a wide range of appropriate texts- these can be extracts from novels, poems or non-fiction texts. Children have the opportunity to read these texts over the weekend as part of their homework and practice the fluency of their reading with their family as well as grasp an understanding of the text. At the beginning of each week, children are engaged in whole class, small group or paired discussion/reading about the core text. These sessions are crucial to teach and model the skills of reading and to analyse the composition of texts. As the week progresses, children will be involved in a range of activities alongside their class teacher to build and extend their reading and comprehension and be supported to answer questions related to vocabulary, inferring, predicting, explaining, recording, retrieving and summarising skills. Many opportunities are also given during these sessions to extend their oracy skills and practice recording their answers correctly and independently.
We have implemented book challenges across KS1 and KS2. Teachers have carefully selected books that children should have read by the end of their primary education. There are a wide range of books matching the varying abilities of children in the year group. Each year group has a different number of books as part of their challenge and children can collect ‘points’ depending on the book that has been read. Prizes are given to pupils who have collected the greatest amounts of points at the end of the year.
At Widden Primary School, we recognise the impact of reading to children and ensure that this is part of our daily routine. Books are selected that may link with their topic and are shared with the children daily. Additionally, children are read other stories and books in assemblies with other classes in their key stage. This is an opportunity for children to be exposed to a wider range of books from authors the children may not have heard of and foster their love of reading.
One of the strategies we use in EYFS, Years 1 and 2 to boost writing is 'Talk for Writing' developed by Pie Corbett. This programme enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through immersion activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing which shows them how to craft their writing using a similar structure.
These are the key steps that we follow to help our children become successful writers:
Children learn a model text through actions and story mapping.
Children will now change the imitated story to incorporate their own ideas, changing key elements but keeping a similar structure.
Children will now write their own stories inspired by their model texts.
Big Writing is an approach to teaching writing and raising writing standards that focuses on the importance of talk and oral rehearsal. Accurate basic skills; spelling, punctuation, grammar and handwriting are encouraged and practised daily. Over the course of the week, children are exposed to new themes and topics. Spellings, punctuation and grammar is practised daily, ideas are explored, high standards for writing are modelled through shared writing and towards the end of the week, children work towards writing independently for a sustained period of time in a relaxed and purposeful writing environment.
We use the Read Write Inc. programme for spellings, a proven approach underpinned by phonics, that allows children tp practice statutory spellings daily.
Below are links to additional spellings that we practice. We call them 'red' and 'orange' words. Please help your children learn the spellings that have been given to them as part of their homework.