Promoting a love of reading and writing is extremely important at Christ Church First School. We strive for our children to become life-long readers and provide a wide range of texts to engage, excite and motivate our pupils to become confident readers who tackle texts with a sound understanding. Throughout school, we build upon children’s knowledge by first embedding key phonic skills taught through the Little Wandle scheme. This daily programme allows children to decode words and also develops the skills to enable them to comprehend successfully. Our curriculum incorporates high quality reading materials, not only in core subjects, but also in cross-curricular lessons. This provides children with a thirst for knowledge and helps to develop an inquisitive mind. All books in school have been chosen with the children's likes and interests in mind and lay the foundations for them to enrich their vocabulary and apply what they have learnt. Writing is taught across school daily to embed key skills that can be applied to a range of writing genres. We provide a range of exciting writing opportunities that draw upon high quality texts and feature effective vocabulary, varied sentence structures and interesting content. We encourage children to write for a purpose using the age related skills they have learnt in lessons. Working collaboratively is also important as it enables children to share ideas and become confident, articulate speakers. We want children to understand the writing process and be able to plan, write and edit their independent writing effectively. The English curriculum is designed to develop knowledge and skills that are progressive, as well as transferable.
With these aims in mind, first and foremost, we introduce daily reading sessions from EYFS-KS2. This ensures that reading is explicitly taught every day and that each group of children has time with their teacher or additional adult, at least once a week. Vulnerable groups are highlighted and receive regular targeted interventions. Resources to support and enhance these lessons are provided by the English lead, so that all staff feel proficient and skilled in delivering these sessions effectively. Furthermore, we have successfully implemented a shared reading system, were children access a whole class, high quality text at the end of each day. We also deliver guided reading sessions 4 x a week, were children have the opportunity to work in a focused group with the class teacher to further embed their knowledge and understanding of high-quality texts, whilst developing their understanding of vocabulary and a love of reading.
Reading is not only celebrated in classrooms at Christ Church First school, around school you will find displays which celebrate authors, recommended texts and reading reward schemes. In addition, throughout the school year the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author and poet visits, parent reading workshops and a range of trips and visits which enrich and complement children’s learning.
Phonics and Spelling
Phonics and Spellings Phonics in the EYFS-KS1 is taught using Little Wandle. Phonics is taught daily in 15-20 minute sessions. Half termly assessments are carried out in order to ensure children are working at the correct phonic phase and children move through the phases as the year progresses.
Spelling sessions in KS2 take place daily, for 15-20 minutes. Sessions are delivered in various ways: as morning activities; English starters or part of Guided Reading sessions.
As we believe consistency and well-taught English is the bedrock of a valuable education, at Christ Church First School we ensure that the teaching of writing is purposeful, robust and shows clear progression for all children.
In line with the national curriculum, we ensure that each year group is teaching the explicit grammar, punctuation and spelling objectives required for that age groups. As well as teaching the objectives, teachers are able to embed the skills throughout the year in cross-curricular writing opportunities and ensure that most children are achieving the objectives at the expected level and that some children can achieve at a greater depth standard. Assessment of writing is fluid as teachers assess writing, once per half term, against moderation criteria created by staff. All year groups use the same format for assessing writing which have been produced in line with the end of Key Stage assessment frameworks as published by the Department for Education.