“You learn to write better by reading, you learn to read better by writing. Reading and writing work together to improve your ability to think!”
At The Highway Primary School, we want our Literacy curriculum to give children the tools and confidence to communicate with written and spoken language. We enable them to travel to new territories and see different ways of life through books and spoken stories. Equipping them with the skills to read fluently and independently opens the door to reading for pleasure. We also give them the platform to question the views expressed by others in order for them to be constantly developing their own opinions.
We know that in order for children to be confident writers, they need to understand how grammatically sound sentences add clarity to their ideas and that our writing needs to be adapted for the audience and purpose. Our curriculum provides writing projects which the children can take pride and ownership of as they establish and refine their own writing style. We know that for children to write well, they must also be able to articulate their ideas with others.
Our oracy approach guides children through language acquisition in addition to building the skills to collaborate with others and express their own views. We want children to question the world around them and feel eager to share their thoughts and feelings through various forms of communication.
Every class uses high quality texts that are selected from a list of recommended texts. A range of diverse poetry, fiction and non-fiction, including heritage texts, are offered as well as challenging reads for each year group. Texts are consciously linked to the wider curriculum; without compromising the quality of the reading material. Non-fiction texts are used to widen background knowledge and build cultural capital. Our reading spine reflects a diverse spectrum of the world around our children. Teachers explicitly model reading skills at all levels, which are then practised and applied independently. Reading fluency is at the heart of all reading lessons and the lowest 20% of children receive targeted support in this area. The reading curriculum is designed to both mirror children’s lives and broaden their range of experiences, as well as incorporating diversity, inclusion and cultural capital.
We teach phonics through the Read, Write, Inc Ruth Miskin phonics program. It is a systematic, fast paced approach to teaching phonics where the children read decodable books that match their phonic level. This continues throughout KS1 with staff accessing CPD to ensure they are delivering a consistent approach.
Our writing curriculum has been carefully structured around a review cycle. For the first half of the academic year, the classes work through two-week blocks where they focus on one text type and build a skills tool-kit to support their writing. These blocks are then revisited (with new focus texts) in order for them to build on the skills they have recently acquired. This also gives teachers a clear measure of progress so we can adapt our teaching quickly and effectively.
Spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught through our reading and writing sessions with a clear pathway for progression throughout all year groups. We model and challenge GPS misconceptions in all written work to reinforce its importance in clarifying a child’s message.
We explicitly teach handwriting skills so that children are able to meet our high presentation expectations. End of project publishing gives children the opportunity to present a final piece they are proud of and eager to share.
Writing is an effective communication tool across the curriculum and we provide extended writing opportunities for children to share their thinking and understanding in all aspects of learning. They see that being able to structure and refine their written ideas in subjects such as science, history and geography helps them to clarify and share their thinking.
Early language acquisition is an important part of our Early Years curriculum and supports the children’s ability to communicate, express and understand feelings. We have targeted interventions to support this, including Talk Boost and the Nuffield Early Language Intervention (NELI).
We create a talk rich environment which empowers our children to develop the vital verbal communication skills and vocabulary needed to succeed as global citizens in a diverse and inclusive society. We use a progressive approach to the teaching of oracy skills. This is achieved through explicit teaching and the use of ‘Talk Time’ and debating across all areas of the curriculum.
Ambitious vocabulary is taught explicitly and is expected to be applied in everyday situations. Teachers return to previously taught vocabulary to embed it in children’s spoken and written language. We devote time to unpicking the links between spoken and written vocabulary in order to give them the language needed to fully express their thoughts.
Oracy tasks which promote active listening and peer feedback are woven into every literacy lesson. We provide space for children to rehearse and refine their ideas before they commit them to written word.
At the end of each year, children will have fully explored the skills and knowledge their year group’s Literacy curriculum outlines. They will have grown as readers, writers and speakers and feel a great sense of confidence and pride as they reflect on the tools they now have to communicate effectively. They will see the value in critiquing and celebrating their own work and that of their peers as they settle into the process of drafting, editing and publishing.
- Independently reach for reading material that inspires, challenges and excites them.
- Feel heard and encouraged to share their opinions, challenge others and experiment with ambitious vocabulary to fully express their ideas.
- Enjoy the writing process as they gather and adapt their ideas before structuring them in a written way which is grammatically sound but unique to them.
- Gain independence as they choose their own writing methods and see the power their written word can have on the world around them.
- Progress through each key stage knowing how their achievements and challenges in reading and writing have shaped the learner they currently are.
- Develop the literacy skills they need to succeed through all stages of their education and into their future.
This will be evident through pupil voice and books across the curriculum. Frequent book-looks allow teachers to share good practice in addition to ensuring there is a consistency with standards and expectations in all key stages. In addition to lesson observations, teachers engage in professional discussion about their class and individuals in Closing The Gap and Pupil Progress Meetings to ensure we are constantly and consistently reflecting on best practice for each cohort. We formally assess writing throughout the year against age related expectations and our planning is then adapted to ensure every child has the opportunity to thrive at each stage of their time at The Highway Primary School.
Curriculum Statement for the Teaching and Learning of English 2020/2021
PIG HEART BOY - Malorie Blackman
READ WRITE INC.
We use Read Write Inc. as the basis for our literacy programme.
Read Write Inc. is a proven synthetic phonic approach.
Why it works......
Read Write Inc. combines 5 clear steps to ensure real success in literacy:
- A systematic and dynamic whole-school approach
- High quality literacy teaching
- Inspiring whole-school literacy training
- Effective assessment and grouping
- Keeps parents fully supportive
Click on the frog for full details of the programme from Ruth Miskin, the developer of RWInc:
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