At Warton, we want every child to leave our school in Year 6 with a love of reading, a range of favourite authors and poets and to have the confidence to write for a range of purposes. For this to happen, we want children to have a broad and varied engaging English curriculum that is planned sequentially building upon knowledge and skills as children move through the school. The foundation to this is built within our EYFS where children have daily phonics and English sessions and opportunities to develop their vocabulary and to communicate their ideas and emotions through speaking and listening and role play. As children move through Key Stage one and into Key Stage Two, spelling rules and strategies and understanding of grammar are then taught alongside phonics to support children when beginning to write for a wider range of purposes. This approach is then implemented through Upper Key Stage Two to enable the children to then have the confidence and ability to write clearly and effectively for any audience or purpose that they chose to write for. To support the teaching of reading and writing we ensure that we choose high quality texts that link to the class history, geography or science topic and we incorporate principles from the Talk for Writing approach to help to structure each unit of work. At Warton we also want our children to have plenty of opportunities to experience literacy live through visits to the theatre, visits from authors and poets and visits to different libraries. The driving force behind all of this will be our children accessing a rich reading curriculum through teacher’s choice and recommendations of class books and a library that is engaging and full of quality texts that promotes that love of reading.
We have recently invested in Reading Planet Rocket Phonics as our validated teaching programme. Reading Planet Rocket Phonics is a DfE validated story-based Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme for Reception and Year 1 and is currently being used in Willow and Sycamore Class.
Rocket Phonics is based on the progression of Letters and Sounds (2007) and provides a complete package of print and digital resources to teach reading and writing that compliments the delivery of our previous phonics schemes.
We teach reading through a whole class ‘Active Reading’ session which takes place from Reception all the way through to year 6 each day. Our reading provision is very much skills based with skills matching those found in the National Curriculum. To see the National Curriculum for reading please click here.
In addition to Active Reading our youngest children in Reception and KS1 are heard read 1:1 by a member of staff at least weekly and are ‘benchmarked’ regularly to assess progress through both word recognition and comprehension. We have a selection of reading books from a range of reading schemes including Bug Club and Oxford Reading Tree. Our earliest readers have access to fully decodable texts in line with the phase of phonics they are accessing in class.
We provide additional support for some pupils through precision teaching in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 as well as through Learning Village for EAL pupils who have recently joined us and are new to English. Learning Village follows a similar phonics progression to that of Rocket Phonics but also provides focused activities on key vocabulary too.
Reading across the school is promoted through high quality texts, teacher led reading regularly at the end of the day and through our new Reading Challenge- set up for our 3 age groups across the school and starting in Autumn 2021!
We teach writing through a daily English lesson which is linked to the texts being taught in Active reading. Across a half term, children will cover fiction, non-fiction, and poetry units. Genre and skills progression are mapped across the whole school from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure children cover all aspects required to meet the National Curriculum.
During each unit, teachers plan a sequence of work that incorporates reading and grammar objectives that link to the outcomes of the genre of writing that is being taught. To begin, teachers immerse children in the text type through reading, drama and short burst writing. Children then complete a teacher led shared write before applying all they have learnt in an independent write. Children will also complete additional incidental pieces of writing that give them the opportunities to revisit skills and genres that they have been taught before.