We follow the guidance set out in the new National Curriculum (2013) and the Early Years Foundation Stage Guidance. Literacy skills learned during specific English sessions are applied across all curriculum areas
Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 have a daily literacy session which follows the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme. We have also introduced daily ‘Talk for Writing’ sessions across the school. Through these sessions children develop speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. Literacy activities also focus on the development of spelling, grammar and punctuation. To find out about these initiatives, please follow the links on the previous web page.
Guided reading sessions take place each week, with a staff member undertaking a reading based activity with a small group of children. The children read daily as part of their shared activities (the whole class working with the teacher). They will read a wide variety of texts including fiction, non-fiction, rhymes and poetry, with different types of books including ‘real books’. Children will bring home an individual reading book to read at home with their parents/carers and a library book of their choice. We strongly encourage children to share books with their families as often as possible and ask parents/carers to write a comment in their home/school reading diary. Home learning activities such as spellings are also sent home.
A strong focus is placed on the development of speaking and listening skills. These are developed through talk for writing, drama, role play, paired work during Read Write Inc, group discussion and talking partners. We use these strategies across the wider curriculum too.
On entry to the Early Years Foundation Stage, all children are assessed on their speech and language skills. Those needing additional support are then given a programme of carefully tailored group or individual support to develop their skills. This is delivered by a highly trained specialist and has been very effective in raising standards. Pupils in Year 1 or 2 who continue to need additional support take part in interventions such as Talk Boost and Narrative groups.
Children are given many opportunities to apply and rehearse their Literacy skills through technology. Each class has ipads, laptops, desktop computers and an interactive whiteboard. The Nursery has an interactive tilt table.
Read Write Inc
At Clover Hill we teach our children to become successful, fluent and confident readers. This is achieved through a dynamic whole school system, called Read Write Inc, which is based on synthetic phonics.
How and what do the children learn?
- learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letters/letter groups using simple picture prompts
- learn to read words using sound blending
- read lively stories featuring words they have learned to sound out
- after meaningful discussion led by an adult children show that they comprehend the stories by answering questions
- learn to write the letters/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds
- learn to write words by saying the sounds and writing the corresponding grapheme
- learn to orally rehearse sentences before writing
- learn to use punctuation and edit sentences so that they are correct
They work in pairs so that they:
- answer every question
- practise every activity with their partner
- take turns in talking to each other
Why does it work?
- children are assessed every 6 weeks so they work with children at the same level. This allows them to take a full part in all lessons
- the systematic and lively programme is organised by an in-school manager
- all staff are trained to teach the programme
- the children participate in 40 minute lessons every day
- children do not struggle because the work is too difficult or too easy
- children who need extra support to maintain progress work with a reading tutor (trained teaching assistant) for 10 minutes in the afternoons
For more advice on Read Write Inc, including video clips and sound pronunciation guides, please follow this link
We are very proud to be involved in a two year project, with Pie Corbett, an English educationalist, author and poet. He is well known for promoting creative approaches in the classroom, and has worked as a teacher, head teacher and Ofsted inspector. By working closely with Pie Corbett, we are developing and implementing these new and exciting approaches across the school.
Through the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach we teach our children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally. They are taught to do this by learning to remember and perform whole texts (fiction and non-fiction), with accompanying actions and story maps. They then read and analyse the texts, talking about the key features. Once they have followed these steps, they will use what they have learned to write their own version.
You can read about this exciting approach in lots more detail at www.talk4writing.co.uk or you can visit Pie Corbett’s own website at www.piecorbett.org.uk. There are also some really useful clips available on You Tube if you enter ‘Pie Corbett’ in to the search bar.
So far, we have already seen that this powerful approach is making a huge difference. Children are motivated to learn and perform the stories and we can see children grow in confidence and expertise as writers.
We have learned the whole story of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ and all the actions too!