Speaking and Listening
Acquisition of a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language, is at the heart of our English curriculum. Pupils writing clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences, are the outcomes we expect from the curriculum here at Bournville. Using discussion in order to learn, across the wider curriculum, will support our pupils to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas. We want our pupils to become competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate, ready for their world beyond our school.
Reading: Our Pedagogy.
Learning to read is one of the most important things our children will learn at Bournville. We know that everything else they will do, will depend on it, so we put as much energy as we possibly can into making sure that every single child learns to read as quickly as possible. We want our children to love reading – and to want to read for themselves, for both pleasure and information. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read. Through our chosen resources, which enhance our curriculum, we will foster in our pupils, an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage. We want our pupils to eventually become adults who can read easily, fluently, with good understanding and who have gained the habit of reading widely and often.
We start in Reception, using the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics programme. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps them learn to spell well. There are daily phonics activities either through continuous provision or small group phonics sessions. We make sure that each child is able to progress through each phase of sounds, words and alien words, at an individual rate to enable confident readers to make progress more quickly. In Years 1 and 2, we are able to timetable phonics teaching at a consistent time, to enable best use of our resources and to benefit from flexible groupings
Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practise reading books that match the phonics they know. When they start to believe they can read, this does wonders for their confidence! In Reception, we do guided reading, using our ‘Big Cat’ reading books. These books go up in levels based on the children’s ability. Once the baseline is complete, each child is given a reading book and a library book to take home. The reading books vary, depending on the reading ability of each child. Some may have picture books and others will have books with words.
We have a range of book schemes to suit the ability of each child: Oxford reading Tree, Early reader, Reading Champion , Biff, Chip and Kipper and Engage Literacy. Some older children will continue to access Read Write Inc groups if they need further consolidation and development of reading skills. We check our children’s reading skills regularly so we that we can ensure they are in the right group. Children will move to a different group if they are making faster progress.
At key stage 1, we use The Oxford Reading Tree scheme which supports the progression of phonic development.
Further information can be found here http://www.ruthmiskin.com/en/
Reading for Meaning
We use whole class shared reading as our primary way to teach reading for meaning. This takes place for 30 minutes every day, from Year 1 in the Summer Term 2 and we are proud of the time we have dedicated to this on our timetable! From Reception upwards, classes read shared texts where reading and writing combine, providing children with a deeper understanding of texts. Shared reading allows children to receive high quality input from the class teacher on a daily basis during shared reading sessions. High quality questioning and follow up work develops the children’s skills in inference and deduction, expands their understanding of challenging vocabulary and gives opportunity for them to consider their own responses to a text, providing evidence for their ideas. Books are carefully chosen to meet the needs and interests of the cohort as well as compliment and enhance our wider curriculum, with history, geography and social themes particularly popular with our pupils. We choose texts which will inspire our children to be writers. We make sure that the children have the best possible books available to them. We believe that providing greater access to a wide range of brilliantly written, content-appropriate, engaging REAL books is the single most effective way of improving standards of receptive and expressive language in children – in terms of expanding vocabulary, deepening comprehension, sharpening authorial technique and nurturing a love of stories and knowledge. Through reading we aim to increase a child’s ability to sustain focus. At a time when it is becoming harder and harder to achieve that in a society that fractures our concentration and fragments our time, we see reading as a way of changing this. By reading as a community in class- we are able to engage and normalise this social state of sustained focus. We read together. We annotate. We discuss. We write. We read and we reflect and we enjoy it. This sustained focus is one which we strive for across the whole school. In Key Stage 2, children also follow the Accelerated Reader Scheme to support their reading and are able to take AR banded books from the school library to read.
Reading to an Adult
All children read to an adult at least once each week. Our PP children are heard read additionally each week or provided with opportunities to enrich their reading if they are good readers. Our children read books at an appropriate level for them, based on their reading age: EYFS and KS1 WRI books and a combination of reading schemes. We use Accelerated Reader at KS2 to support this and motivate our children to want to read regularly at home and at school.We have volunteers who are helping children to develop a love of reading.
Our children have a regular weekly slot to change their home reading book in our beautiful library, plus extra slots are available at lunchtimes and playtimes for those enthusiastic readers and devourers of books.
Home School Partnership
This is the basis for our collaboration with parents: We promise to read with our children everyday and we expect our parents and carers to do the same. Pupils have access to a ‘library’ collection of books (currently held within each classroom) and are encouraged to read at least three times weekly at home. Our parents are invited in to sit in on a phonics lesson each week, if their child is in Reception or Year 1, so they can learn how best to support their child at home to learn their sounds and start to blend them so that they can read words. We are also planning this year, to invite our parents across the school, to experience the principles of shared reading. Parents are invited in to share their child’s library time with them and in this way we build on the love of reading together for pleasure.
Each class teacher reads for at least 10 minutes every day, sharing a class novel so the children get to know and love all sorts of stories, poetry and information books. This helps to extend children’s vocabulary and comprehension, as well as supporting their writing. Making reading fun is important! We will come across far more adventurous words than we will in the early reading books and this will help our children to grow a vast vocabulary and develop a deeper understanding of different stories
Difficulties with Reading
We find out very quickly if a child is finding reading difficult. If we have any concerns about a child’s reading, we will talk to parents and carers about this. If they need more help, we may nove them to a different, smaller group or provide extra 1:1 support. This may include using Toe by Toe which aims to connect individual letters to words. Repetition is an important part. We build upon the achievements each day, as well as re-capping on the knowledge that has been learnt so far.
As a springboard to writing, we use high quality texts which inspire children to emulate styles as they begin to develop a style of their own. We search for ways to spark children’s curiosity and to enthuse and engage them in their learning of how to write. Teachers carefully plan and provide a context and purpose for their children’s writing. We want our children to be confident and creative writers, with strong ideas of their own as well as an innate desire to write for pleasure. We strive to ensure our children develop the skills needed to produce writing which is well presented, cohesive and of a quality that they are proud of. Through the use of the most effective principles of ‘Talk for Writing’, alongside our structured teaching of the writing process, our young writers experience a broad range of texts which will stimulate them to write with skill and confidence in subjects across the curriculum. We encourage them to read their own writing for enjoyment; to read aloud to others as well as providing an audience for the writing of their peers.
Spelling is regarded as important and strategies for teaching accurate spelling are used in all year groups. Grammar is taught both explicitly and also within the context of writing lessons so that children get opportunities to apply what they have learnt in English but also in subjects across the wider curriculum such as in Science, History, Geography and RE.