READING AT HIGHFIELD COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL
Reading is an essential life skill and at Highfield Community Primary School we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.
At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of books through a whole school commitment to reading for pleasure. We aim to enrich children’s learning and lives through a curriculum immersed in high quality texts.
Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading in order to close any gaps and to ensure the highest possible number of children attain the expected standard or higher. In the early years and KS1 this will be achieved primarily through our phonics programme (See Phonics III statement). High quality phonics teaching will run alongside an environment infused with books and book talk. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 quality texts, increasing in complexity, will be the basis of all writing lessons. Alongside this children will follow the Reading Planet reading scheme, participate in objective driven guided reading sessions and visit our inspiring library every week.
At Highfield Community Primary School we use the Little Wandle Synthetic Phonics programme. An Early Reading Leader oversees the implementation and impact of our phonics scheme. (See Phonics III statement). In our Nursery children will participate in games and activities that begin to help them distinguish sounds. Throughout the Early Years you will find books inspiring topics, available across the provision and read at least daily to the children. An Early Years ‘book spine’ has been developed which incorporates a range of classic, contemporary, diverse and language rich texts. Nursery Rhymes are sung daily, with children encouraged to repeat, join in and actively participate in song times.
When the children complete the Little Wandle programme they move on to our independent reading scheme (Reading Planet) this incorporates a range of both fiction and non-fiction books. They will also take part in weekly guided reading sessions which will build on decoding skills and comprehension. These sessions will be built on quality texts which allow the children to build inference skills. The children have the opportunity to read texts with greater independence and apply their skills when responding to a wide range of questions. More complex questions are evaluated between wider groups and teachers model how to refine answers to a high standard.
Writing sessions in both Key Stages are built around high quality books, film clips and poetry. These lessons will include opportunities to interrogate the text, enriching their learning and appreciation of books. (See Writing III). Opportunities to ‘book talk’ are essential in these units and children are encouraged to make connections, ask questions and develop preferences of what they read.
All children visit our fantastic library bus once a week to choose a book to borrow. The library is stocked with a wide range of exciting, challenging and entertaining fiction and non-fiction. Children are encouraged to talk about the books they borrow and teachers show an interest in the choices they make. Older children in school are mentored as librarians, inspiring their peers, feeding ideas and sharing their love of books with younger children.
A love of reading is modelled by all staff and books are celebrated weekly with the ‘teacher choice’ section on the bus and Facebook page. We also join author workshops, streaming events and celebrate reading with special days.
As we believe that reading is key to all learning, the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the result of statutory assessments. Children have the opportunity to enter the wide and varied magical worlds that reading opens up to them. As they develop their own interest in books, a deep love of literature across a range of genres, cultures and styles is enhanced.
Through the teaching of systematic phonics and reading enquiry, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident readers who can apply their knowledge and experience to a range of texts through the curriculum.
As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum.
WRITING AT HIGHFIELD COMMUNITY PRIMARY SCHOOL
At Highfield Community Primary School we believe that a quality English curriculum must develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We recognise the importance of creating a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly, accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We provide children with opportunities to write for a variety of purposes and use real-life stimulus as much as possible.
We aim to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and enable children to use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully in and outside of school.
These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well-organised English curriculum and framework, that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion. We use a wide variety of quality texts, clips and resources to motivate and inspire our children. Teachers also ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study.
Our Long Term Plan ensures that children learn through quality texts, which build in complexity as they travel up the school. Reading remains central to the creation of the children as ‘writers’. Time is allowed for editing and this is seen as an integral part of the writing process. Writing is planned with a specific purpose and audience in mind and children build knowledge of the relevant writing skills for that intention. Each unit will be infused with ambitious vocabulary, quality examples and rich discussion.
The impact on our children is clear: progress, sustained learning and transferable skills. We want children to be proud of their writing and be excited to share their achievements with others. We celebrate our children’s successes through many mediums including our Website, Facebook page, assemblies and school displays.
Feedback from our children shows a passion for the books they study in English, awareness of how to improve and a pride in completed work.
Termly teacher assessment is used to establish if children are achieving age-related expectations in English. Summative assessments are carried out in KS2 to establish whether children are meeting expectations in spelling, grammar and punctuation.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular writing standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific grammar, punctuation and grammar objectives.
We hope that as children move on from Highfield Community Primary School to further their education and learning, that their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do