Literacy is an important subject and part of all lessons. The children have discrete Literacy lessons, however the teachers also plan Literacy tasks within other sessions so that the children have opportunities to apply their skills in other contexts. We are now working with the New Curriculum and, as a result, there have been many changes. Below are some links which may be of interest to you.
English Programmes of Study KS1 and KS2
Literacy during the Week
Most classes have a Literacy lesson every day. (Due to a job share, Year 1 do not have discrete Literacy on Fridays.) As well as these lessons, classes also have guided reading, spelling and grammar sessions. Children are also given time to read for pleasure.
The new curriculum has resulted in a lot of changes, therefore we have some links here which should help you to understand the new expectations. In Years R to 2, the children are learning words from phases. From Year 2, the children are then ready to start the school spelling program which continues to the end of Year 6. Children are taught the phonics or spelling rules and then given opportunities during the week to practise them. All teachers send these lists home every week for a weekly spelling test, so do ask your teacher if you never see these.
Children are formally assessed in phonics in the summer of Year 1. If a child does not reach the required standard, then they retake the assessment the following year. Every year group then has an official word list which children must learn and you can see these in the links below:
All children work their way through a colour-banded reading scheme before becoming a free reader. Colour-banded books are in the kinderboxes by the hall door. There are also non-banded books in that area for reading for pleasure. There is a library in the school and all classes have a book corner for the children to select books from.
Once a term, children read to their paired reading class partner in the school. Everyone does this at the same time and the children support each other and give positive feedback.
During the year, the teachers also read books to their classes. If you wish to see which books, then please read this overview below:
Children are encouraged to read at least five times per week, which can be can be at home and in school. Children who can show this in their reading record book are then given a weekly raffle ticket and entered into a reading raffle. At the end of term, three raffle tickets will be taken out of the raffle bin and each child will receive a £5 W.H.Smith voucher as a reward.
Instead of bringing sweets/treats into school, which as a healthy school we would like to minimise, we ask that pupils who wish to bring something in to share with their friends donate a Birthday Book instead!
When you bring in a ‘Birthday Book’ we will place a lovely, personalised label inside the front cover of your book with your name, age and class and then present this book to you and your class during Superstar Worship. Your book can then be added to your class library for you, your friends and future classes to read and enjoy.
Please have a look at the Parent letter below and year group booklists to see which book you might like to donate for your birthday this year.
Some of our new class reading boxes.
We invite a book fair into school every year, usually at the same time as parents’ evenings. The company give us a commission from this fair, which we use to purchase books for our library.
This is a very important part of reading. Children learn to decode words and then they need to read for meaning. To help your child with this you can read books with them; discuss the characters and settings; ask questions about why things happened and why the author chose the words and phrases they used. There should be some questions glued into your child’s reading record book to help you. You can also write in this book whenever you read with your child, even in Year 6!
Children have opportunities to write in Literacy and all other subjects. There will be a mixture of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. The children are taught grammar alongside the writing genre they are studying so that they can practise the grammar skills straight away. We also expect the children to apply the phonics and spelling rules that they have learnt, as that is more important than the spelling test results. Children are encouraged to edit their work and their friend’s work and this can lead to useful discussions and better understanding. Sometimes children enter writing and poetry competitions. In 2014-2015, Bee got through to the final round in the BBC2 500 words competition, Sam received highly recommended in a poetry competition and Freya was in the final round of the Magna Carta poetry competition at Leaden Hall.
Grammar is now a very important part of every lesson, not just in Literacy. The children are expected to understand and use grammatical terminology correctly when we discuss their work. This link takes you to the government website where there are definitions and examples to help you if you are unsure of these terms when supporting your child with their homework.
Every child in the school will take part in a show very year.
KS1 perform the Nativity show every December.
Years 3 and 4 perform a show just before Easter.
Years 5 and 6 perform a show at the end of the summer term.
These are great opportunities for children to be part of a big drama, to learn songs and lines and to perform to an audience. This helps build confidence and the children are always really proud of their productions.
As well as the shows listed above, the children all take part in World Book Day events in March. We dress up on this day. We also have Performance Poetry Fortnight at the beginning of term 6. All the children study set poems and then learn a poem off-by-heart, which they then perform to their class. Each class then select their two favourite performances and these are performed to the whole school and parents. Year R perform a poem as a whole class to the audience.
World Book Day characters.
KS2 have a Speech competition around Easter time. They learn to write persuasive pieces in class they then perform these to their classes. These can be very entertaining! Each class then select two children to present their speech to parents and winners are selected.
All the children have objectives to achieve, as you can see in the first government link. To help the children to see what these are, and for teachers to record the children’s achievements, there are yearly objectives glued in the writing books. Teachers also have guided reading records and set texts for the children to work on every year. Teachers keep a record of spelling scores and every term the children have a mini grammar assessment.
In Year 6 the children have mock tests in November, February and around Easter. This gives the children lots of experience so they know what to expect during SATS week every May. Any child who has identified needs are supported in every way possible. This may mean extra time, a scribe or a reader, when it is appropriate. Year 2 also follow a similar pattern of assessments. All this information helps the teachers plan the next sequence of lessons.
Year 2 take tests over a period of weeks in May. These are marked by the teacher whereas Year 6 tests are submitted for external marking. The link below gives useful information about these assessments in Years 2 and 6.
Extra support and extension
We are constantly assessing the children both formally and informally. Some children do require extra support and the SENCo, interventions are planned to help these children. These can vary from extra support in class with the teacher or teaching assistant, to 1:1 or small group activities at set times during the week. Such activities include precision reading and spelling, 1:1 reading, phonics catch up, handwriting and boosters for Year 6 in specific areas of writing and reading.
Our more able students are offered events, such as a creative writing workshop at Godolphin School in November. The teachers have higher expectations for them.