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Sandcross Primary School

Inspiring Lifelong Success

English

Reading

Our Vision:

To develop a love for reading, having the greatest impact on a child’s success, both now and in the future. 

 

 

Intent

 

Our inspiring and exciting Reading curriculum at Sandcross, will enable children to be avid readers, who read for pleasure; fluently and confidently. We expect children to be responsible readers, who don’t rely on adult prompting to open a book, but instead choose to read for enjoyment and to learn new things.  It is our moral duty to do all we can to nurture this.

 

We believe that children should be exposed to a wide range of text types, genres and authors that challenge stereotypes and celebrate diversity. 

 

Our reading curriculum supports the school’s aims, drivers and values. The memorable reading experiences they gain at Sandcross, will help them develop excellent communication skills, by expanding their vocabulary and allowing them opportunities to express preferences, opinions and ask questions about what they have read. 

 

Our whole school curriculum, at its core, is about enabling a better understanding of how life works interdependently and how everything interconnects. Reading is the gateway into this and is the foundation on which children have access to our wider curriculum. 

 

We do all we can to help children learn to read so they can read to learn and take a growth mindset approach, having high expectations for all children to become confident, able readers. 

 

Our reading curriculum is designed to challenge, develop and nurture the “Whole Child‟ with a mission of “Inspiring Lifelong Success.”



 

Implementation - So, how are we going to deliver this? 

 

We actively foster a love of reading by:

  • Daily storytime with the class teacher
  • Weekly storytime with a member of SLT
  • Dedicated individual, independent reading time
  • Access to books that cover a range of themes and topics, including online libraries
  • An inviting and exciting library with visits from authors 
  • Celebrating reading successes, and commitment to reading, in a weekly assembly
  • Encouraging reading to not be seen as homework, but as a life choice
  • Explicitly teaching the skills of reading, including decoding, comprehension and reading voice from EYFS through to yr 6

 

At Sandcross, we build a strong ethos on developing the love of reading from the very beginning by the systematic teaching of phonics, following the Read, Write Inc programme in Early Years and Key Stage 1. 

 

Each session is based upon five key principles which include: Purpose; Participation; Praise; Pace and Passion. These underpin the teaching and learning of the RWI programme, regardless of each child’s phonic ability. 

 

The RWI programme teaches children the very key skills of becoming a fluent and confident reader, through the daily phonic and guided reading sessions. The guided reading sessions allow the children to read a book matched to the children’s phonic ability, as well as the opportunity to respond to questioning, developing comprehension skills. Additionally, the children take home a RWI book weekly that is linked to the child’s phonic ability and the sounds taught during the phonic sessions. This will ensure that the key decoding skills are continually being practised at school and at home. 

 

All children must develop their phonological awareness as a platform for further development in the subject and we expect the RWI programme to be completed by the end of year 1. However, if anyone is still not secure with sound recognition, blending or other decoding skills by the end of year one, they will continue to have RWI sessions, even through into KS2.

 

Once the children have developed the basic decoding skills needed for reading, they begin our comprehension programme. At Sandcross, we use ‘Destination Reader’ as a framework for teaching comprehension skills.  Destination Reader focuses on teaching the following key strategies, which enables a deeper understanding of texts:

 

Prediction • Clarifying • Questioning • Making Connections • Inferring • Summarising • Evaluating

 

This whole-class approach allows children to read a range of high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Children are given the opportunity to read whole chapter books, rather than short extracts, building stamina for reading and an understanding of stories as a whole. The reading sessions are based upon three learning behaviours: Being supportive and actively listening to others; Discussing and explaining ideas; Taking responsibility for learning.

 

Alongside comprehension lessons, we encourage children to read individual books at home and at school that excite them, by visiting the library regularly or using classroom and online libraries. Each classroom has an engaging book corner that entices the children to develop a love for reading and to develop ownership in choosing a book of choice. To help children choose a book that is an appropriate level, they are assessed and advised to choose books within specific reading bands. This happens even after they have completed our reading scheme and are ‘free readers’. This assessment is part of the Accelerated reader programme and ensures children continue to read books that will challenge them, but are not too difficult.

 

 

Impact - What difference is this curriculum making to our children? 

 

We measure the impact of our teaching through regular assessment and recognise that observation and monitoring is vital for children to make progress. Through regular assessment, both formal and informal, we are able to identify children that are struggling to make progress and those that would benefit from an intervention. 

 

Sandcross have well trained staff to run 1:1 or small group interventions that either pre-teach skills or help the children to close the gap. We expect all children to leave Sandcross being able to read independently and to have developed a passion for reading to take them to both real and imaginary worlds.

 

 

Writing

 

Our Vision:  “For children to love writing; write independently and accurately about useful things they know and love.”

 

Intent

 

Our inspiring and exciting writing curriculum will enable the children at Sandcross to be independent writers for a range of audiences and purposes across different text types. Pupils will be taught to apply their writing skills across all curriculum subjects and themes which have been carefully developed around quality, challenging texts.

 

We believe that children should be exposed to a wide range of text types, genres and authors that challenge stereotypes and celebrate diversity enabling them to write in a diverse way.

 

Our writing curriculum supports the school’s aims, drivers and values. The memorable writing experiences they gain at Sandcross, will help them develop excellent communication skills, by expanding their vocabulary and allowing them opportunities to express preferences, opinions and ask questions about what they have heard and written. 

 

Our whole school curriculum, at its core, is about enabling a better understanding of how life works interdependently and how everything interconnects. Writing is at the core of this and is the foundation on which children have access to our wider curriculum. 

 

We do all we can to help children learn to write and take a growth mindset approach, having high expectations for all children to become confident, able writers. 

 

Our writing curriculum is designed to challenge, develop and nurture the “Whole Child‟ with a mission of “Inspiring Lifelong Success.”


 

Implementation - So, how are we going to deliver this? 

 

 At Sandcross we have adopted "The Write Stuff" by Jane Considine to bring a whole school approach to the mechanics of writing.  We use "Sentence Stacking" to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing.  Each writing lesson is based on a sentence model, broken into three chunks: 

  1. Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence. 
  1. Model section – the teacher closely models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques. 
  1. Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model. 

Children are challenged to ‘Deepen the Moment’ which requires them to draw upon previously learnt skills and apply them to their writing during that chunk.  

GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION

"The Write Stuff" also reinforces grammar through the use of: 

  • The FANTASTICS which are an acronym that summarise the ideas of writing. 
  • The GRAMMARISTICS is a classroom tool that enables the teacher to drive key grammar messages. 
  • The BOOMTASTICS which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual.  
  • Punctuation is taught through the “non-negotiables” of the Writing Laundry and the Grammaristics so that children never forget to clean up their writing. 

 

This approach is taught through:

  • daily 1 hour English lessons
  • chunked into 20 minute blocks of learning
  • use of drama and hands on experiences for the children
  • clear modelling and repeated techniques

 

Alongside the teaching elements of writing at Sandcross we encourage children to write independently. After each unit of work the children practise using the skills they have just learnt by planning their own piece of writing, following their plan and then using the skills they have just been focussing on.  This enables them to see what works well in their writing and to develop ownership of their work.  They learn how to edit and refine their writing therefore making them better and more independent in their writerly techniques.

 

 

Impact - What difference is this curriculum making to our children? 

 

We measure the impact of our teaching through regular assessment and recognise that observation and monitoring is vital for children to make progress. Through regular assessment, both formal and informal, we are able to identify children that are struggling to make progress and those that would benefit from an intervention. 

 

Sandcross have well trained staff to run 1:1 or small group interventions that either pre-teach skills or help the children to close the gap. We expect all children to leave Sandcross being able to write  independently and to have developed a passion for writing to take them to both real and imaginary worlds.

 

 

Spelling

 

Our Vision:

To enable children with strategies for spelling, having the greatest impact on their writing and enabling confidence and success.

 

Intent

 

The teaching of Spelling at Sandcross is in line with the requirements of The National Curriculum (2014). To be able to spell correctly is an essential life skill. When spelling becomes automatic, pupils are able to concentrate on the content of their writing and the making of meaning. Whilst we note that spelling is not the most important aspect of writing, confidence in spelling can have a profound effect on the writer’s self-image. We aim to use explicit, interactive teaching which draws children’s attention to the origins, structure and meaning of words and their parts, the shape and sound of words, the letter patterns within them and the various ways they can learn these patterns. 

 

At Sandcross we believe that children become better spellers through good teaching and application of spellings rather than testing.

 

Our spelling curriculum is designed to challenge, develop and nurture the “Whole Child‟ with a mission of “Inspiring Lifelong Success.”

 

Implementation - so how are we going to deliver this?

 

In Reception and KS1, daily phonics is the key to the children’s learning of spelling. This is taught using the Read Write Inc. programme (see Reading Policy). Children are taught to blend sounds to read and segment to spell. At the same time, they learn words that are not phonically regular (common exception words). 

 

From Year 2 and into KS2 the children move towards using their phonic knowledge to help them to understand spelling rules and patterns. We teach children to use their growing understanding of the morphology (word structure) and orthography (spelling structure) of words to support their spelling. Helping the children to understand how to use and apply known spelling patterns (and to develop strategies to tackle tricky words) is the key to helping them to become successful spellers. Spelling skills are taught on a 2 weekly rolling timetable.  On week 1 the children would have a 20 minute and 30 minute session to teach them the spelling rule or pattern for the week.  During week 2 they would have five 10 minute sessions a day to help them practise and use the pattern or rule.  Spelling is also embedded in English lessons through games and activities so as strategies and rules can be taught in the context of writing. ‘The Spelling Book’ Spelling scheme is used for Years 2 to 6. 

 

Impact - What difference is this curriculum making to our children? 

 

We measure the impact of our teaching through regular assessment and recognise that observation and monitoring is vital for children to make progress. Through regular assessment, both formal and informal, we are able to identify children that are struggling to make progress and those that would benefit from an intervention. 

 

Sandcross have well trained staff to run 1:1 or small group interventions that either pre-teach skills or help the children to close the gap. We expect all children to leave Sandcross being able to spell  independently and to have developed spelling strategies to take them to both real and imaginary worlds.

 

 

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