Literacy : Reading, Phonics, Writing, Speaking and Listening, Spelling, Grammar, Handwriting .

Children at St George’s Catholic School are encouraged to express themselves when Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing.

Speaking and Listening

Talking is fundamental to a pupil's learning. Pupils are encouraged and helped to talk clearly, confidently and with expression in order to communicate ideas and feelings. Similarly, and just as importantly, is the need to listen carefully and respond appropriately. All children are provided with opportunities in all areas of the curriculum to develop skills when speaking and listening. In order to respond to the many needs of our pupils who may speak more than one language at home, we offer, where possible, a practical and experienced based curriculum which is wide and vocabulary rich. Our Reception Class has been involved in the Neli Intervention Programme designed to improve spoken literacy. 

Reading

One of the greatest gifts that we can give a child is the ability to read. We encourage our children to read every day at home as regular reading ensures the best possible chance that that children will become fluent and confident readers.

We believe that reading should be an enjoyable activity and our approach to reading here at St George's  is based on this.

 

We employ a variety of techniques to foster a 'love' of reading.

 

We have a school Library Club, in school library sessions with a dedicated team of  librarians , curriculum linked whole class readers and shared reading texts, guided reading texts which are either quality tests which ensure a breadth and depth of reading or which are linked to the curriculum so that children read to learn, reading logs,  comprehension activities which are chosen on the same rationale as our Guided Reading texts,  a well-stocked and continually renewed reading scheme, Little Wandle daily phonics , daily in class reading from our Pie Corbett Reading Spine collection, a Golden Ticket Scheme to reward home reading , a teachers' Book Club, a poetry step, World Book Day fun every year, visiting authors, Skype chats with authors and a healthy Twitter account regularly used to promote reading and well followed by the Twitter community.

We update our Reading Scheme on a regular basis. We have opted for a mixed scheme in the past our of choice in order to offer variety however, recently we have invested in Big Cat Collins texts to provide consistency between the move from guided reading within phonics and reading from the wider school scheme. We have chosen Big Cat Collins for its quality texts and its suitability to the needs of our cohort. 

 

We have an online reading resource called Bug Club to which every child has access. This has a read to me function to support any families who may find it hard to read with their children. Bug Club allows us to track pupil reading and progress and was invaluable as a reading resource during Lockdown. We now also Big Cat on line for youngest readers in order to further support phonics.

 

We have a new school library system called Libresoft to ensure that children have experience of a real library where they can borrow and return books. This is a digital system which can also track children's reading. 

We have recently updated our Phonics and Reading Policies as a result of making the change from Read Write Inc phonics to Little Wandle.  

 

The staff have recently created a new St George's Curriculum and reading opportunities have been embedded and signalled within the new plans. 

There is a Reading File in each classroom where teaching staff can easily access data and record information about a child’s reading. We have catch up programmes for children who may need extra phonics support and we hear priority readers. We have intervention programmes to ensure children are taught the skills they need on a one to one basis to enable our most vulnerable pupils to keep up. 

We run clubs and events to encourage and inspire our able readers. This year we have an Ovid in the Westcountry Club , our online Library Club and our physical Library Club where we appoint avid and passionate readers as librarians. 

We subscribe to Resources for Learning so that we can have access to regular fresh supplies of both fiction and non fiction texts in our classrooms. 

 

We reach out to parents through our social media accounts with regular support for reading and with the best  advice on reading and authors. 

We invite parents in to reading events. 

We have regular visits from Taunton Library and we take our children to the library to inspire them to join with their families. 

 

Writing

Writing is best learned if children are encouraged to do it for 'real' reasons. 

We try to offer as many real  purposes to write as possible.  We plan in WOW events, trips, visitors and opportunities to write across the curriculum to this end. 

Children are encouraged to see marking comments as tips on how to improve their writing. We have an agreed marking scheme. Children are provided or create their own Toolkits and Success Criteria and these support the writing process. We teach Alan Peat Sentence types to provide children with an extra set of tools for writing. Alan Peat sentence types help with the process of progression in writing as the types have been chosen and shared between year groups with though given to progress. We use Talk for Writing Principles from Reception onwards and this technique is firmly embedded within our Literacy and Language Scheme which is used from Year 2 to Year 6. 

We try to avoid making too hard too quickly (a response to pupil feedback). Teachers model writing and demonstrate themselves as writers who are ready to reflect upon and edit their work. Children are encouraged to polish their own work. Peer marking is well established across the school.

Children are given 'next steps’ or ‘wishes’ when they write and will improve their work accordingly. Time is given for them to do this.

Written work is assessed and next steps are given in accordance with the Interim or End of Key Stage Writing Standards developed by The Somerset Literacy Network in line with Statutory Guidance. 

Handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar all play an important part in the writing process and although are taught as discrete skills we embed the learning in the writing process which is also a key feature of Literacy and Language which is our school writing scheme. Spelling is taught using the Headstart Spelling Scheme , Grammar through Headstart, Literacy and Language and Deepening Understanding resources and handwriting using Nelson resources. 

KS One use Literacy Shed Plus and Somerset Literacy Planning Flowcharts as a planning tools for writing. 

The staff have recently created a new St George's Curriculum and writing opportunities have been embedded and signalled within the new plans. 

We use Talk for Writing as a basis for our agreed writing sequence method to ensure consistency . Key Stage One focus on learning stories and using these as models for their own writing. They also write across the curriculum and from real experiences. We try hard to link oral and written story telling. 

Attention is giving to handwriting style. At first children learn to form letters correctly and then they are taught a model joined script, so they are able to develop a neat, flowing style of their own. We use Nelson Handwriting resources.

 

 

Phonics at St George’s

 

Aims: We aim to teach high quality phonics to ensure the children have the best start possible in reading and writing.

 We have recently chosen to invest in a new phonics scheme with a complete update of  home readers so that we can phonetically match home reading books to support ur children when reading at home. 

At St George’s Catholic School, we believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers. This is why we teach reading through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme. We start teaching phonics in Reception and follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised progression, which ensures children build on their growing knowledge of the alphabetic code, mastering phonics to read and spell as they move through school.

 

As a result, all our children are able to tackle any unfamiliar words as they read. At St George’s Catholic School, we also model the application of the alphabetic code through phonics in shared reading and writing, both inside and outside of the phonics lesson and across the curriculum. We have a strong focus on language development for our children because we know that speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects.

 

Comprehension

At St George’s Catholic School, we value reading as a crucial life skill. By the time children leave us, they read confidently for meaning and regularly enjoy reading for pleasure. Our readers are equipped with the tools to tackle unfamiliar vocabulary. We encourage our children to see themselves as readers for both pleasure and purpose.

 

Because we believe teaching every child to read is so important, we have a Reading Leader who drives the early reading programme in our school. This person is highly skilled at teaching phonics and reading, and they monitor and support our reading team, so everyone teaches with fidelity to the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised programme.




Implementation 

Daily phonics lessons in Reception and Year 1

  • We teach phonics for 30 minutes a day. In Reception, we build from 10-minute lessons, with additional daily oral blending games, to the full-length lesson as quickly as possible. Each Friday, we review the week’s teaching to help children become fluent readers. 

  • Children make a strong start in Reception: teaching begins in Week 2 of the Autumn term.

  • We follow the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised expectations of progress:

    • Children in Reception are taught to read and spell words using Phase 2 and 3 GPCs, and words with adjacent consonants (Phase 4) with fluency and accuracy.

    • Children in Year 1 review Phase 3 and 4 and are taught to read and spell words using Phase 5 GPCs with fluency and accuracy. 

 

Daily Keep-up lessons ensure every child learns to read

  • Any child who needs additional practice has daily Keep-up support, taught by a fully trained adult. Keep-up lessons match the structure of class teaching, and use the same procedures, resources and mantras, but in smaller steps with more repetition, so that every child secures their learning.

  • We timetable daily phonics lessons for any child in Year 2 or 3 who is not fully fluent at reading or has not passed the Phonics Screening Check. These children urgently need to catch up, so the gap between themselves and their peers does not widen. We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments to identify the gaps in their phonic knowledge and teach to these using the Keep-up resources – at pace.  

  • If any child in Year 3 to 6 has gaps in their phonic knowledge when reading or writing, we plan phonics ‘catch-up’ lessons to address specific reading/writing gaps. These short, sharp lessons last 10 minutes and take place at least three times a week. 

 

Teaching reading: Reading practice sessions three times a week

  • We teach children to read through reading practice sessions three times a week. These:

    • are taught by a fully trained adult to small groups of approximately six children

    • use books matched to the children’s secure phonic knowledge using the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessments and book matching grids on pages 11–20 of ‘Application of phonics to reading’

    • are monitored by the class teacher, who rotates and works with each group on a regular basis.

  • Each reading practice session has a clear focus, so that the demands of the session do not overload the children’s working memory. The reading practice sessions have been designed to focus on three key reading skills:

    • decoding

    • prosody: teaching children to read with understanding and expression

    • comprehension: teaching children to understand the text. 

  • In Reception these sessions start in Week 4. Children who are not yet decoding have daily additional blending practice in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books. 

  • In Year 2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books. 

 

Home reading

  • The decodable reading practice book is taken home to ensure success is shared with the family. 

  • Reading for pleasure books also go home for parents to share and read to children. 

  • We use the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised parents’ resources to engage our families and share information about phonics, the benefits of sharing books, how children learn to blend and other aspects of our provision, both online and through workshops.




Additional reading support for vulnerable children 

  • Children in Reception and Year 1 who are receiving additional phonics Keep-up sessions read their reading practice book to an adult daily. 

 

Ensuring consistency and pace of progress

  • Every teacher in our school involved in the teaching of reading has been trained, so we have the same expectations of progress. We all use the same language, routines and resources to teach children to read so that we lower children’s cognitive load.

  • Weekly content grids map each element of new learning to each day, week and term for the duration of the programme. 

  • Lesson templates, prompt cards and how to videos ensure teachers all have a consistent approach and structure for each lesson.

  • The Reading Leader and SLT use the audit and prompt cards to regularly monitor and observe teaching; they use the summative data to identify children who need additional support and gaps in learning. 

 

Ensuring reading for pleasure 

‘Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator of a child’s success.’ (OECD 2002)

‘The will influences the skill and vice versa.’ (OECD 2010)

 

We value reading for pleasure highly and work hard as a school to grow our Reading for Pleasure pedagogy.

 

  • We read to children every day. We choose these books carefully as we want children to experience a wide range of books, including books that reflect the children at St George’s Catholic School and our local community as well as books that open windows into other worlds and cultures. 

  • We have invested in the Pie Corbett Story Spine across the school to ensure that the reading of quality texts is consistent and progressive across the school. 

  • Every classroom has an inviting book corner that encourages a love for reading. We curate these books and talk about them to entice children to read a wide range of books. 

  • We subscribe to Resources for Learning so that we have constant access to fresh resources to meet topics and so that we can refresh reading corners through the year. 

  • In Nursery/Reception, children have access to the reading corner every day in their free flow time and the books are continually refreshed. 

  • Children from Nursery/Reception onwards have a home reading record. The parent/carer records comments to share with the adults in school and the adults will write in this on a regular basis to ensure communication between home and school.

  • As the children progress through the school, they are encouraged to write their own comments and keep a list of the books/authors that they have read.

  • Each class receives visits from the local library through the year and the children are taken to the local library. 

  • The school uses social media to encourage children and parents to join the local library and provides support on how to join.

  • The school library is made available for classes to use at protected times. It must be booked via the school booking system. 

  • Children across the school have regular opportunities to engage with a wide range of Reading for Pleasure events (book fairs, author visits and workshops, national events etc).

  • The school uses social media to promote reading. It uses its online learning platform to share reading opportunities, offer advice and support to parents and to support the teaching of vocabulary and reading. 

 

Impact 

Assessment 

Assessment is used to monitor progress and to identify any child needing additional support as soon as they need it.

  • Assessment for learning is used: 

    • daily within class to identify children needing Keep-up support 

    • weekly in the Review lesson to assess gaps, address these immediately and secure fluency of GPCs, words and spellings.

  • Summative assessment is used:

    • every six weeks to assess progress, to identify gaps in learning that need to be addressed, to identify any children needing additional support and to plan the Keep-up support that they need.

    • by SLT and scrutinised through the Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised assessment tracker, to narrow attainment gaps between different groups of children and so that any additional support for teachers can be put into place. 

 

Statutory assessment

  • Children in Year 1 sit the Phonics Screening Check. Any child not passing the check re-sits it in Year 2.

 

Ongoing assessment for catch-up 

  • Children in Year 2 to 6 are assessed through their teacher’s ongoing formative assessment as well as through the half-termly Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised summative assessments.

 

The Wider Curriculum and Reading:

We fully support and promote both reading for pleasure and to gain knowledge. Every day, each class either reads or is read to: this is to foster the love of reading and its use as a tool for learning. We have invested in the Pie Corbett Story Spine to ensure that well chosen texts are read aloud in each class though the school. Our aim is to build a rich 'internal library' for our children. 

In addition to daily phonics children in Key Stage One receive guided reading sessions three times a week with an adult. These are planned to develop basic skills of prediction, sequencing, retrieval, and inference and understanding vocabulary.

Children take home books linked to their phonic progress or shared texts that have been covered in class through shared story time or guided reading so that they feel confident as readers when they take home a reading book to share at home. 

As the children transition into Key Stage Two , the focus shifts towards reading for meaning although attention is still paid to fluency and decoding. The skills of prediction, retrieval, inference and understanding vocabulary are progressed . To build on the skills previously mentioned, the children will also learn how to summarise texts, connect ideas, make comparisons and discuss how language choices contribute to the meaning of a given text.

 

All of the above, are taught in discrete reading lessons, which are - where possible - linked to topic themes and English writing units (Literacy and Language) to immerse children in a variety of genre and content. We believe this approach gives children the opportunity to deepen their understanding of not only the skills required for reading, but also the knowledge of a topic or genre. We also believe that reading within a familiar topic raises confidence and allows children to focus on higher order reading skills .

 

We use Head Start Materials for comprehension along with Deepening Understanding, Twinkl  and the questions related to the  texts in the Literacy and Language Scheme. We use a variety of sources for whole class guided reading and comprehension in order to provide breadth and to allow us to match topic content. Many of these reading resources allow for differentiation. We have a school wide approach to whole class guided reading to ensure consistency. 

Teachers alternate whole class guided reading with text extracts with the guided reading of whole texts from 'real' books within each class's guided reading selection. These selections have been created to offer a breadth of reading material and to allow for reading within topic. In Key Stage One there are banded guided reading sets (Go Facts and book banded Badger Guided Reading ) with Teacher Packs to guide questioning.

Where there are no published packs for guided reading texts , teachers  create specific questions for chosen guided reading texts according to the skills they want the children to learn. These questions will be guided by formative assessment. Children are asked to give verbal or written answers on these texts. Lots of time is spent lingering over vocabulary before a text is read. We subscribe to the belief that vocabulary is vital.  Staff members have received Vocabulary is Vital Training from the Somerset Literacy Network and we use the principles from this training.

Children are guided to choose independent reading books from our scheme and have opportunities to read one to one to an adult through the week. Priority readers are heard more frequently. Reading Logs are checked in class weekly and by the Literacy coordinator at intervals through the year. Rewards are given in celebration assemblies for regular readers through our Golden Ticket scheme.  The appropriateness of scheme books are checked on a regular basis and children are moved through the scheme by staff according to need. 

St George’s subscribes to Resources for Learning, where we benefit from a speciallised library service. Each class has access to a wide range of books across a variety of genres  ( non-fiction, fiction and poetry ) . Boxes of books can be ordered to refresh class libraries or as topic book boxes so that children can be given the opportunity to read to learn.

We fully encourage home-school links. We promote home reading through social media and through our GDocs platform. 

We endeavour to provide additional enrichment opportunities to promote the love of reading and storytelling. We celebrate and participate in World Book Day, we order Reading Gazebos for the children to explore and we run an annual book fayre for all children.

In addition, we relish opportunities to take part in National Read Aloud Days, and the SLN Poetry Slam. We have hosted our own Poetry Slam in the past.  We invite in touring authors to inspire our children and have Skype interviews with authors. We have in the past had pen pals and reading buddies from other schools – before Lockdown  we were paired with Lyngford Park and we hope to reignite this partnership.

We are part of the Taunton a Reading Town hub group. We invite experts in to give talks to parents on the value of reading. We invite Taunton Library in to encourage the children to sign up to The Summer Reading Challenge. We have extreme reading events and lots of internal reading competitions. We visit the town library. We celebrate the work of Shakespeare each year with Shakespeare Week.

In addition to our strong links with primary schools, we undertake extensive transition work. In the past , Year 7 pupils have 'buddy read' with Year 6 pupils. One teacher from a secondary came to teach a reading lesson and brought brand new texts for the children to keep and read over the summer in readiness for the first English topic of the new term

Below are some resources to help you to teach Little Wandle Phonic sounds at home. 

The Story of Reading and Literacy at St George’s Catholic School, Taunton

 

EYFS

Little Wandle Phonics daily with catch up groups receiving twice daily input. Guided Reading linked to phonics three times a week.

Book Talk – once a week. Mixed ability groups to listen to a story and discuss/ look at vocabulary.

Vocabulary books to be sent home for each child to pre-learn key vocabulary.

Storytime every day- books linked to topics or class stories. Pie Corbett Story Spine texts. 

Talking Partners with TA- intervention to support children with vocabulary/sentence structure.

EAL gps- intervention to pre-learn or consolidate work in class. Looking at vocabulary/re-reading stories.

Home Reading books- up to  books per week linked to phonics and guided reading or shared stories. 

Neli Intervention. 

 

 

Year 1

Little Wandle Phonics daily with catch up groups receiving twice daily input. Guided Reading linked to phonics three times a week.

Setting up Shared Text homework / home readers.  Read a text in class and will have work set to do at home e.g learning story maps, comprehension, learning vocabulary etc. Reading response activities.

Story time daily . Can be linked to topics. Pie Corbett Story Spine. 

Literacy Shed Plus and Somerset Literacy Network Planning Flowcharts for planning and these plans are providing the basis for shared stories. Alan Peat Sentence Types. 

Talk for Writing Principles. 

Children have access to Bug Club on line.

Children have access to Big Cat readers on line which links to Little Wandle Phonics. 

Home Reading books- up to 3  books per week linked to phonics, guided reading and shared stories. 

Priority readers  have 1:1 attention.

Head Start Grammar . Deepening Understanding Grammar. Head Start Spelling from the Summer Term. 

 

Reading in Year Two.

 

Majority of children…

On Monday we pre-teach vocabulary for the new book. We then group read through the chapters and pick out words to add to our vocabulary lists.

Tuesday we re-cap the previous day’s text, predict what may happen next and then carry on through the book with a focus on vocabulary.

Wednesday we do a follow up piece of comprehension/activity about the book. This varies each week, but we copy the format of example questions from the SATs tests. These are sometimes closed word activities, match the sentences, true and false answers and full sentence responses.

We have Go Facts and Badger Guided Reading sets which can be ability matched and which come with teacher packs to guide questioning. Questions can be differentiated. 

Thursday we do a piece of comprehension from the HeadStart materials. The children read through the text independently and highlight words they are not sure about. We then got through it in small groups and talked about the words. They then peer mark when time allows.

Friday we do a spelling test from the HeadStart materials.

We have the Literacy and Language Scheme which we can use to read a variety of text types.

We sometimes use Twinkl resources for comprehension if they are appropriate and curriculum linked. Twinkl resources can be differentiated. 

We regularly order topic book boxes from Resources for Learning and use these for research and personal reading.

Mrs Farthing’s group (EAL, children who haven’t passed the phonics screening in year 1 and SEND) follow a similar approach. They have an extremely heavy approach with vocabulary and take the books more slowly. They also do a lot of teaching of phonic sounds during the Autumn Term and then recap for the rest of the year.

We have regular reading log checks. Up to 3 books a week are sent home. These will have been introduced in school. 

Class two has a star reader each week who has impressed us with a lovely reading log. That child gets the star reader chair and their picture gets put on the door. The Reading Logs encourage the children to read a variety of books.

Priority Readers -

We take individual readers out each week, mainly children who are not reading at home with an adult, or need extra support.

 

In Class 3 we share a short text or a chapter of a book each week in a series of ‘guided reading’ sessions. 

The children look up vocabulary in dictionaries.  The vocabulary will have been carefully selected from the text and will include words/phrases they may not have come across before and is designed to broaden their vocabulary and help support their understanding of the text.

Throughout the week the teaching staff try to use the vocab in a range of contexts to develop their understanding of the words.

Later in the week the teacher will read the text aloud to the children and encourage them to summarise what they have read. The class will discuss what they enjoyed about the story/information, discuss inferences and make predictions about what may happen next.

Finally, the children will answer comprehension questions independently.

Alongside our guided reading sessions, I have a class reader which I try to read daily. This reader will come from our Pie Corbett Story Spine for progression and consistency or it may be topic linked for relevance. 

The children take home a reading scheme book which has been selected based on their current attainment level. The children are given the opportunity to change these books through the  week and this process is guided by an adult. During the book changing session, the children are heard to read by an adult. The Reading Logs encourage the children to read a variety of genres. We award Golden Tickets for regular readers. 

We select books from our Big Cat Progression band for those children who need HiLo texts for catch up. 

We have a class set of guided reading texts which we can use alongside Twinkl, Headstart and Deepening Understanding. These texts will offer breadth but may also be curriculum linked. 

Our class library is regularly tidied and sorted and our class TA selects recommended books for the children from the class library. 

Literacy and Language covers a variety of text types and the Anthologies allow the class to read quality texts across genres.

We have Headstart Comprehension materials that we can use and link to the curriculum. We use Deepening Understanding comprehension texts and questions and we try to link these to the curriculum. These materials can be differentiated. 

We sometimes use Twinkl resources for comprehension if they are appropriate and curriculum linked.

We regularly order topic book boxes from Resources for Learning and use these for research and personal reading.

I have a list of ‘priority readers’ who are heard to read by an adult on at least 3 extra occasions during the week.

Children who need catch up phonic sessions use Little Wandle or RWI resources (depending on phonic history) to close the gap. 

We use Bug Club on line reading to set guided reading homework and as a way of allocating banded scheme books. This was a well used resource in Lockdown. 

In Class 4 I do a number of things to support reading…

We will read from a 'real'  book or we will find text extracts appropriate to the class and to topic. If a book is used , it can be ability matched. if a text extract is used, it can be differentiated as a text or through question setting. This session is designed to be ambitious so more complex texts would be used than the children could competently read alone. If a whole class text is used , differentiation will be through support and appropriate questioning. 

Guided Reading-

Day 1 Children are given a number of words which will appear in the text. They look up the definition of these words and they are displayed in the classroom. Children are encouraged to use these words throughout the week.

Day 2 I model a read aloud and then the children read the text which I try to link to my topics e.g. Water Cycle-Science, Longships - Vikings. The children summarise the text. 

Day 3 Children read the text and are shown the questions. Day 4 children answer the questions.

We have whole class reading books which we read on a regular basis and which link to topics. Children all have copies of the text and are encouraged to read. (Lollipop sticks)

We have a daily reader which will be from our Pie Corbett Story Spine or which might be curriculum linked. 

Priority readers are heard 2/3 times a week.

Children who need catch up phonic sessions use Little Wandle or RWI resources (depending on phonic history) to close the gap. 

We select books from our Big Cat Progression band for those children who need HiLo texts for catch up. 

Children are guided to choose books from the Reading Scheme. Children are heard to read from a scheme book on a one to one basis each week. Reading Logs are checked weekly. In Class 4 we start to train children to make sensible independent book choices. 

When looking at genres of writing…we also identify features by reading different texts.

Bug Club allows access to a variety of text genres as does the school reading scheme, the Essential Fiction / Non-Fiction Anthologies and the Literacy and language Scheme.

We have Headstart Comprehension materials that we can use and link to the curriculum. We use Deepening Understanding and Twinkl comprehension texts and questions and we try to link these to the curriculum. these can all be differentiated. 

We have a class set of guided reading texts which we can use alongside Twinkl, Headstart and Deepening Understanding. These texts will offer breadth but may also be curriculum linked. 

The children have access to the school library each week. 

Reading Logs encourage children to read a breadth of genres. We celebrate home reading with our Golden Ticket initiative. 

Reading Logs are monitored on a weekly basis by in class teachers and by the Literacy Coordinator. 

We regularly order topic book boxes from Resources for Learning and use these for research and personal reading.

 

The Story of Reading in Year 5

Reading in Year 5 is linked to our curriculum. We choose a class reader, which is usually linked to our History, Geography or Literacy topic. For example, we read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief when we studied Myths in Literacy and we read Stig of the Dump when we were learning about the Stone Age in History.

Our Guided Reading texts are also linked to the curriculum. For example, when we study the Tudors in History, we read Horrible Histories: Terrible Tudors and when we studied Eastern Europe in Geography, we read about the physical and human features of Europe and focused on building our vocabulary around trickier subject vocab words.

Our weekly Guided Reading follows the KS2 guidelines for Reading from our Reading Policy. The class teacher reads a whole class text early in the week. The children then read the text during Guided Reading to an adult and then complete vocabulary/word detective work, to ensure they understand the meaning of new vocabulary. Mid-week, the children summarize what they have read, either verbally to a response partner or as a written paragraph in their Guided Reading Books. Towards the end of the week, the children answer comprehension questions on the chapter/text and these are marked whole class so the children receive instant, quality feedback led by the class teacher.

Bug Club allows access to a variety of text genres as does the school reading scheme, the Essential Fiction / Non-Fiction Anthologies and the Literacy and language Scheme.

Reading Logs encourage children to read a breadth of genres.

There is a focus on the whole curriculum on vocabulary. We are word detectives, collecting powerful words for our writing in word banks in Literacy and looking up the meanings of new words regularly in other subjects. This is evident in children’s books.

We sometimes use Twinkl resources for comprehension if they are appropriate and curriculum linked.

We regularly order topic book boxes from Resources for Learning and use these for research and personal reading.

We have a class set of guided reading texts which we can use alongside Twinkl, Headstart and Deepening Understanding. These texts will offer breadth but may also be curriculum linked. 

We have Headstart Comprehension materials that we can use and link to the curriculum. We use Deepening Understanding comprehension texts and questions and we try to link these to the curriculum.

Children who need catch up phonic sessions use Little Wandle or RWI resources (depending on phonic history) to close the gap. 

 

The Story of Reading in Class 6

In Class 6, we share a short text or a chapter of a book each week in a series of ‘guided reading’ sessions.

Firstly,  the children look up vocabulary in dictionaries. The vocabulary has been carefully selected from the text and will include words/phrases they may not have come across before and is designed to broaden their vocabulary and help support their understanding of the text. Throughout the week the teaching staff try to use the vocab in a range of contexts to develop their understanding of the words.

Next, I read the text aloud to the children and encourage them to summarise what they have read. We discuss what we enjoyed about the story/information, discuss inferences and make predictions about what may happen next.

Following this,  the children answer comprehension questions independently.

Alongside our guided reading sessions, I have a class reader which I read at every given opportunity. The book will come from our Pie Corbett Reading Spine or will be linked to our writing and/or history topics.

The children take home a reading scheme book which has been selected based on their current attainment level. The children are given the opportunity to change these books through the week. They are guided in this process by an adult. We have banded books up to Black Level to ensure our most competent readers receive quality texts. I have  selection of well chosen texts in my class library that the children can choose from. 

Literacy and Language covers a variety of text types and the Anthologies allow the class to read quality texts across genres.

We have Headstart and Twinkl Comprehension materials that we can use and link to the curriculum. We use Deepening Understanding comprehension texts and questions and we try to link these to the curriculum. These texts and questions can be differentiated. 

We regularly order topic book boxes from Resources for Learning and use these for research and personal reading.

We check reading logs weekly to ensure children are reading at home. We hear each child read one to one at length and have an in depth reading interview with each child each term to ensure that children have ‘lability matched’ texts from the scheme.

Children visit the school library and are guided towards books by our librarians who tracks their free reading. Our librarians may also hear priority readers. Once a year the children complete a questionnaire on their library reading and in addition they receive a one to one interview about their library choices. The librarian uses these sources of information to stock the library and to guide children in book choices. The children have a list of recommended books for Year 6 that they can take to the library each week and they are challenged to read at least 10 of these over the year.

We have priority readers in class and these children will read one to one with a member of staff. These children are chosen on the basis of the regularity of home reading and assessment scores. 

Reading is at the heart of the curriculum and learning and we try to make reading the source of our learning whenever we can in class 6. We have embedded reading opportunities into our curriculum planning. 

The class has whole class shared texts such as Friend or Foe, Oliver Twist, A Little History of the World or poetry anthologies and plays. These can be read together and link to the curriculum.  

We have a class set of guided reading texts which we can use alongside Twinkl, Headstart and Deepening Understanding. These texts will offer breadth but may also be curriculum linked. 

The children are regularly set Bug Club reading homework which tests comprehension. The scheme texts can be ability matched. The teacher can mark and write answers back to the children. The children can read a range of genres which are often linked to the curriculum.  In school sessions are provided for those who cannot access the online reading at home. This is made freely available to Pupil Premium children and priority readers.

Children who need catch up phonic sessions use Little Wandle or RWI resources (depending on phonic history) to close the gap. 

These testimonials have been written by each class teacher. There is a reading file in each class teacher’s room which tracks priority readers and general class reading which further tells the story of reading across the school. These files are shared by class teachers and teaching assistants.

 

The Story of Reading from : The Literacy Coordinator

 

We are trying hard to promote ourselves as a reading school. We recently set up a school library. which has been catalogued using the Libresoft system. Children use this once a week during the school timetable and it is open in lunchtimes and on two evenings after school. It is run by librarians who track and monitor the children and who provide termly feedback on library reading to staff which is cross referenced with Reading Log and Bug Club scrutinies, feedback from one to one reading and reading assessment to build up an overview picture of our children as readers.

We have just extended our library space and we now have a purpose built library space on the field. 

I have given teaching staff two Staff Training meetings on the teaching of reading this year and we have recently agreed how we will teach Guided Reading. I have monitored this in books and it is going well.

We have a Little Wandle phonics programme in place in KS1 with catch up provision in Year 3  and Year 4 for those who do not pass the screening before they leave KS1. Children who enter the school who need a phonic catch up programme can receive this support in any year group. One to one intervention in phonics caan be given in any year group according to need. 

Progress in phonics is regularly monitored by Rachel Godfrey who feeds back to SLT on phonic progress and provision to meet need. Priority children are regularly identified and provision changed to maximise progress.

The reading scheme in KS 1 has recently been refreshed with the change from Read Write Inc to Little Wandle to ensure that texts match the phonetic stage of children. The phonics programme was changed in order to suit the needs of our cohort as we felt that the current scheme linked texts were not as well suited to the needs of our EAL pupils as Big Cat Collins texts which form the basis of the Little Wandle scheme. We were keen to foster a love of reading and the Little Wandle approach holds this high in its rationale.  Children will receive a phonetically decodable home reading book each week which they will have read in a guided reading session. Children also have access to texts which develop sight vocabulary as we have identified this to be an area of need for our pupils. Children will take home non decodable books that they have shared in class to foster a love of reading and to provide breath and interest to their reading diet to develop a love of reading. 

 We have recently provided staff with extensive training as a result of changing to Little Wandle. 

Children in both KS 1 ands 2 have access to Bug Club texts. The Read to Me function is particularly useful for EAL pupils.

We have a reading scheme in KS 2 which was heavily overhauled this year. This overhaul proves takes place very two years with new scheme books bought to cater for losses and need. We have invested in a Big Cat Progression set of books to provide a bridge between Key Stage One and Two for our least secure readers. 

We have invested in a Black Band box to keep our most competent readers reading from the scheme until they leave our school. 

Our Libresoft Library system catalogues books according to book bands so that children can be guided to appropriate texts for their ability in the library. 

Support staff have been given training sessions on how to use the scheme and advice has been given on how to hear children read through a training domain on GDocs. As the coordinator, I have monitored how support staff read with children and how book changes are managed in each class. I know that support staff are aware of priority readers.

Each class has a reading file where data on reading is kept so that all those in charge of reading with children can be made aware of levels and details to support reading.

We issue Golden Tickets for excellent Reading Log entries and give out termly prizes for great readers which are drawn in assemblies.

 

We take part in the SLN Poetry Slam and we have a poetry step in school wWe will be hosting a Poetry Slam in school this year.

We always celebrate World Book Day and World Read Aloud Day. We have had a Vocabulary Day and  Book Swap events. We  signed up to  the ‘Share a Million Stories’ challenge. Our Head Teacher enjoys reading aloud to children. We took part in the Hay Festival on line and we have signed up to the Ovid in the West Country competition in alliance with The University of Bristol. 

We host events to educate parents. We recently held a ‘Hot Chocolate: Read With Your Child’ event which was hosted by Sarah Cook. Sarah spoke to over 50 parents and gave advice on how to read with your child and how to foster a love of reading in the family. Parents then read with their child in the hall over a cup of hot chocolate.

 

We have sponsored reads and Readathons during Lent.

We take part in extreme reading competitions

We regularly have competitions in school to promote reading

We send out information on reading to parentsin many languages.

We have books in our library in many languages.

We are Resources for Learning Gold Subscribers and regularly hire out topic books.

We subscribe to First News and children can access the papers in the library.

There is a story club which meets in the library at playtimes.

There is a sharing shelf of books in the school foyer so people can help themselves to a good read while they are waiting in the foyer.

We a have a teachers’ book club which meets half termly and we are trying to connect parents to set up a parent book club.

We visit the town library and the town library visits us.

We invite in an author each year to inspire children to read.

We have Skype sessions with published authors.

We regularly tweet about reading to raise the profile of reading among our parents and followers.

We are a member of a hub group called –Taunton a Reading Town and we have just volunteered to take on the running of this club. We have a buddy reading school as a result of this project.

Year 6 have 'buddy reads' with secondary schools in the summer term to promote reading through the holidays. 

Teachers from receiving secondary schools come to school to teach reading lessons to set expectations and give out texts for the children to read over the summer in readiness for the first Literacy topics of Year 7. 

We celebrate Shakespeare Week in school. We host an annual Key Stage One Nativity Play , A Stations of the Cross play and a Year 6 play each year. 

We have recently rewritten our curriculum to put reading at the heart of our teaching. We have bought class sets of books which have been written into our plans so that our children can see the role that reading has to play in learning. We read to learn. We love to read. 

 

These videos will help you to read with your child at home. 
Mrs Earp's Top Tips for helping your child to read. 
 
Love reading yourself. Have books lying around and read in front of your child. Show them how important it is. Inspire your child to read because you read. 
 
Log into Bug Club. It is produced by the same company that produces SATS papers. The on line comprehension questions are brilliant for helping your child with comprehension. 
 
At KS 1 Bug Club will read to your child as there is an audio function. If you are not able to read aloud to your child, Bug Club can do it for you. 
 
End the day with a cuddle and a book. 
 
Learn a short story or a poem off by heart. 
 
Read aloud at home often. 
 
Read together - a page each. Who makes the book the most exciting to listen to? Who has the most expressive reading aloud voice. 
 
Drop everything and ask your child to tell you about the book that they are reading. 
 
Visit the Book Trust website and consult the Top 100 for great book recommendations. 
 
Listen to audio books at night or in the car. 
 
Search for great words and exciting punctuation together. 
 
Try reading the punctuation. It helps your child to notice that it is there and how it works to benefice the writing. 
 
Check our website and school Twitter account for book recommendations.
 
Visit Taunton Library together OFTEN - it is free and parking at the school is free as well!
 
Read the book reviews at Waterstones or talk to a member of staff there. They are super helpful and are always ready to tell you about books. 
 
Ask for and give books for birthdays and Christmas. 
 
Buy a set of books by the same author so your child can really get to know the style of an author and follow a story line. 
 
Read the book and then watch the film so that you can compare the two. 
 
Subscribe to a child's magazine or newspaper. 
 
Read from The Internet. Visit the Blue Peter or the First News or the Newsround websites to read about current affairs. 
 
Research authors. Encourage your child to be interested in the writer as well as the writing. 
 

St George’s Writing Model : Spring 2020

We have developed our own approach to ‘how to teach writing’, which includes elements of both ‘Talk for Writing’ and ‘Alan Peat’ sentence types, but which is fundamentally based on National Curriculum objectives. We use Literacy Shed Plus, Literacy and Language and Igniting Writing as resources.

Writing is linked to the wider curriculum, a WOW event or a real reason to write.

Children are taught genre-specific texts and follow a cycle of imitate, innovate, independent application and invent.

We understand the importance of developing and broadening vocabulary, so each text is carefully constructed to meet National Curriculum objectives, broaden vocabulary and sentence construction and to meet the needs of the audience and purpose.

The imitate phase consists of learning new vocabulary which builds on prior knowledge and children are taught grammar and punctuation lessons linked to the text. This is then rounded off with a ‘reading as a reader’ lesson, which focusses on their understanding of the text after being immersed in it throughout the week.

Imitate also includes learning an Alan Peat Sentence type to use within the writing. Each year group has a set of sentence types. These can be taught and reviewed through the year as and when the text type suits the sentence type.

In Reception and Key Stage 1, there is more of an emphasis on learning the text by heart, which fully immerses the children in the language and any associated grammar or punctuation.

The ‘innovate’ stage is where the children ‘have a go’ at using and applying their new knowledge and skills through shared, guided and independent writing opportunities.

 

The ‘innovate’ stage begins with ‘boxing up the text’ so that children understand what happens in each section of a narrative or non-fiction/poetry text. As a class, they discuss what tools are required for it to be a successful piece of writing.

 As a school, we use a ‘tools not rules’ approach to writing, where children are taught writing skills and techniques based on the genre and purpose for writing. We believe this low threshold, high ceiling approach eliminates any glass ceiling being put on any child and is used to support the writing process, rather than it being a tick list that can inhibit many children’s natural talent.

In addition the children will know the SLN Interim Assessment Standards for the Year Group which serve as a benchmark for writing standard within the year group.

This phase is developmental in nature, thus every child will have a ‘next step’ marking comment to respond to in the next lesson; this also provides time to progress the skill of editing and improving.

 

The independent application stage is recorded in their English books and is completed immediately after the innovate stage. This is where the children get to plan their own narrative, non-fiction or poetry based on the skills taught and the knowledge they have gained.

Invent opportunities are planned across the curriculum to give children the opportunity to showcase their talents across the curriculum and is a useful assessment tool for teaching staff. In both the independent application and invent stage, time to edit and improve their work is developed further through teaching and learning time. Children are given opportunities to publish some pieces of work.

The Story of Spelling and Grammar at St George’s

 

In KS1 we have a rigorous Little Wandle synthetic phonics  in place and children learn sounds linked to the scheme. In Class 1 we have operated a reading / spelling challenge in past years to encourage children to learn high frequency words alongside this phonic programme. In Class 1 home spellings and vocabulary will be sent home  in the summer term.

By Class 2,  the children are using the Head Start Spelling Scheme which operates a four week learning cycle to review sets of spellings to ensure good recall. The scheme is used from Class 2 through to Class 6 for consistency. Spelling is taught in school and touched upon throughout the week. Spellings  are learned at home and shared on GDocs and there are activity sheets which ask the children to learn meanings and look for patterns. Children are tested  either weekly or after the four week cycle depending on the needs of the cohort and how the teacher wants to operate the system. This system is new and was selected in response to pupil and parent feedback.

 

Grammar is taught in EYFS and Class 1 through the modelling of sentence writing and through succinct marking.

Grammar is taught in a combination of ways from Class 2 onwards. There are planned, stand alone, grammar lessons and it is also taught through a Head Start or through Deepening Understanding resources. Literacy and Language also embeds grammar teaching in the year group through a text context so that grammar can be seen in action. Grammar points are continually revised through the curriculum. In addition, there are in class or homework grammar sheets to reinforce the learning. All of the Head Start materials are differentiated.

 

The Interim Standards writing assessment sheets ask for evidence of grammar attainment. Grammar targets can be made through analysing the gaps in writing, Planning of specific weak areas in grammar within cohorts can come from the assessment of writing.

 

Deepening Understanding has a grammar teaching boards. In addition there are daily grammar morning slides. This tool can be used as daily revision or as an introduction of a grammar point for Head Start.

 

Grammar points are highlighted in whole class shared text or guided reading time and through the teaching of writing,

Follow us on Twitter feed: 
@StGeorgesTauntn
 
Please, please, please follow our school twitter account as Mrs Earp 'Tweets'  weekly about books and reading. Our feed is full of recommendations and news of reading events. Recently, she 'tweeted' the Top 100 Children's Books as listed by BookTrust and also a how to find and join Taunton Library videos. She has also posted the link to the Summer Reading Challenge.
Thank you 
Mrs Earp