At St. Ignatius Catholic Primary school, we are dedicated to encouraging all pupils to be passionate about reading and writing. We are determined that ALL pupils will become highly competent readers and writers by the end of their time with us. It is our intention to immerse them in the wonders of quality texts to instil a love for reading, a passion for discovery and a confidence to explore their imagination.
During their time at St. Ignatius, all pupils will be exposed to a high-quality education in English. This will not only teach them to speak and write fluently but will also enable them to communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively.
All children from Nursery to Year 6 are provided with many opportunities to develop and apply their writing skills across the curriculum. Our intention is that pupils can plan, revise and evaluate their writing through focussing on developing effective transcription and composition. They will develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We also intend for pupils to leave school being able to use fluent, legible and speedy handwriting.
Through reading, our pupils will have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables our pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know and develop a thirst for knowledge. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of our school community and the wider society.
- Reading Leaders – Each class across school has two ‘Reading Leaders’ and they do exactly that – they lead reading in their classrooms and beyond! The leaders applied for their positions early in the year and contribute to not only their own class libraries by supporting pupil’s choices in books and making recommendations, but also by taking part in whole school reading initiatives and assemblies!
- Daily Whole Class Reading (WCR) – This takes place across all year groups from Year 1 onwards, where children will read texts closely linked to their abilities but which are chosen specifically to challenge. These sessions follow a progression of skills to help children with decoding, fluency, comprehension and stamina building and will be delivered in engaging and innovative ways, including the use of technology. From Year 1 onwards, the use of ‘Reading Vipers’ will be used to aid comprehension. This includes: Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval, Sequencing (KS1) and Summarising (KS2).
- Daily Whole Class Reads – Class novels are read aloud by class teachers every day. The shared community that is created and the sense of belongingness is magical when a class teacher reads aloud to a class. As well as this vital element of creating a positive, pleasurable experience, there are many benefits of reading a whole class text, such as; encountering new words and enriching vocabulary; helping students appreciate the beauty and rhythm of language; children enjoying and understanding texts beyond their own reading ability; enhancing imagination and observation skills; fluent, expressive reading is modelled amongst many more. It plants the desire to read.
- Individual Readers – We aim to listen to children read individually as often as possible across all classes by ‘Reading Ranger’ volunteers, teachers or teaching assistants. Our individual readers reading scheme is the Oxford Reading Tree. We follow this across both Key Stages and ensure progression and challenge for all children.
- Reading for Pleasure – We strive to foster a love of reading both in school and at home. To ensure that all children have access to a range of books, all classrooms have a reading area where children can choose books that interest them and they are regularly given opportunities to read these books within the school day. Children also have access to the Ks1 and Ks2 library areas to choose a book to read for pleasure.
- Wider experiences – Reading is not only celebrated during lessons. Throughout the school year, the importance of reading is enhanced through World Book Day, author visits and Schools Library Service visits and workshops.
Initially the children learn to read in Early Years and Key Stage One, by following a structured phonics programme called ‘Floppy’s Phonics’. Floppy’s Phonics is a rigorous, systematic synthetic phonics teaching programme for early reading and writing success.
We use interactive phonics lessons and activities to teach sounds, blending, grapheme-phoneme correspondences, letter formation and pronunciation to the whole class. This is then followed up with individual practice and interventions where necessary. The programme is delivered daily, and consists of five levels. The children work progressively through each of the levels one to five. The scheme and assessment materials enable consistent teaching and careful monitoring of children’s progress.
In Early Years and KS1 children are grouped for phonics sessions according to their current year group. The children’s progress in phonics is closely monitored and assessed every half term. At the end of Year 1, children have a National Phonics Screening Check, which assesses their progress in phonics.
Throughout school, we use a variety of teaching methods to appeal to different learning styles. Guided Reading (reading in a small group) and one to one reading sessions are used to develop children’s understanding and comprehension skills. Shared Reading allows teachers to model the reading skills that are required to enable the children to achieve highly. Discussion of features of different types of texts and trying to understand the purpose of a piece of writing is also one of the skills developed through these methods. Reading to the class for pleasure, using a book that appeals to their interests, is also something that we promote in school to help children to forge a passion for reading from an early age.
Throughout Early Years, Key Stage One and Lower Key Stage Two, children follow the Oxford Reading Tree scheme of books which they take home regularly as part of their homework.
The following websites are useful for helping practise reading and phonics knowledge:
At St. Ignatius, we follow a scheme of work entitled ‘Literacy Shed Plus’ from EYFS to Y6 as the vehicle for teaching writing. This is to ensure a consistent and systematic approach to teaching the skills of writing across all cohorts. This also means that children know what to expect when they change classes. This is a new scheme in school this year and will be constantly evaluated for effectiveness and impact by the English Leader alongside staff. The scheme provides classes with a carefully designed text or video clip led learning journey with a clear starting point and end outcome. Differentiated tasks are designed to support and challenge all learners, with a wide variety of opportunities to apply taught skills in other areas of the curriculum.
Early writing is taught through early mark making, then when the children begin Floppy’s Phonics they are taught the letter formations. This begins with writing (whether with a writing tool or in the air) CVC words, moving onto short sentences using the sounds they have been taught. The children also learn to remember and write stories using Literacy Shed Plus and traditional tales and stories. They are also encouraged to write independently in continuous provision.
This process continues into Year 1, where children are encouraged to use the sounds they have been taught. They have access to Floppy’s Phonics sound mats, when they are writing, whether this is with the teacher, in continuous provision or independently.
Writing from Year 1 to Year 6:
Writing across the curriculum is taught by showing the children what a good one looks like (WAGOLL), before then identifying the features in the specific text type that is needed e.g. an information text about their learning in history. The children then use this knowledge as a scaffold to write about their learning, as they are familiar with the text type and style of writing needed for that genre.
Teachers follow a specific and agreed sequence of teaching for writing alongside the planning from Literacy Shed Plus. Please see the documents below for more information about the teaching sequence in Ks1 and Ks2.
After the teaching of a unit, teachers assess the end piece of independent writing. Verbal feedback and written feedback can be expected based on this piece and targets on their next piece. The work will be assessed using the writing checklists linked below.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
In writing lessons, grammar is taught through the use of a model text and the teacher modelling their own composition. SPaG is also taught through discrete lessons. As a school, we follow the Classroom Secrets Long Term Planning which provides consistency and quality across all year groups.
For spelling we also use Read, Write, Ink. This is a comprehensive programme which teaches children spelling rules and patterns using individual booklets and engaging video learning clips, games, sentence building and pattern spotting.
Cursive handwriting is to be used across the school. Handwriting taught daily through English sessions in Key Stage 1 and interventions will take place in Key Stage 2 where necessary.
We strive to ensure that our children’s attainment is in line with or exceeds their potential when we consider the varied starting points of all our children. We measure this using Statutory Moderation Tools and all teachers attend and take part in termly moderation exercises throughout the year to support them with their judgements. The analysis of this moderation is used to identify areas of development and any children who are not making expected progress.
Whilst always considering the age-related expectations for each year group, our intentions are that our English curriculum will ensure our pupils are academically prepared for life beyond primary school and throughout their educational journey.