We have planned our literacy curriculum so that it is carefully structured and sequenced providing a progression of skills from Early Years to Key Stage 1, continually building on prior knowledge as well as providing new skills. In the Early Years, we aim to build solid foundations to develop language development.
‘'English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others, and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised.’
From Early Years through to the end of KS1, Little Wandle is used to create a robust phonics programme that enables children to develop the skill of decoding and fluency. Currently, Read, Write Inc is being phased out with our Year 2 cohort. Children are assessed regularly to ensure that books match their reading ability and that vital comprehension skills can also be developed. At Abbey, we have developed weekly ‘Reading Enrichment’ slots from Reception to Year 2, which focus on using high quality texts to support children’s comprehension and language development. Texts are also used based on the children’s interests to capture their attention.
Reading is valued and embedded into the fabric of school life from Nursery to the end of KS1 through daily Little Wandle sessions, welcoming book areas and whole class story times. We work hard to promote the love of reading at home through our homework policy and regular communication with parents. We hold Phonic Screening meetings with Year 1 parents as well as Year 2 End of Year assessment meetings so that parents have a full understanding of age-related expectations. Our school motto: ‘Love, Laugh Learn- walking with Jesus to life in all its fullness and helping all of our children to shine brightly in all that they do’, encourages children to develop a love of reading and we support this through ‘Pleasure for Reading days’ for all the children. Children have lots of opportunities to explore reading through different medias, for example oral storyteller visits, theatre visits and World Book Day.
As well as following the Early Years framework within Early Years, Welcomm screening and intervention is used to support children’s language development and to build the strong foundations required for when children move throughout their school life.
Teachers plan and teach writing lessons using the EYFS frame work in Early Years and the National Curriculum in KS1. We also use The Write Stuff scheme to support this. These lessons are differentiated to the particular needs of the children. We help each child maximise their potential by providing help and support where necessary whilst striving to make children independent workers once they have the confidence, tools and strategies to do this. High quality texts are used to support their writing within The Write Stuff and classroom working walls demonstrate the news skills and vocabulary that has been taught.
‘Writing crystallises your ideas. It preserves them for others. It reveals the facets of your thinking. Good writing is creating a gem for others to discover’.
Handwriting is taught weekly from Reception to Year 2, through the Penpals scheme and children in Reception complete ‘Swiggle while you Wiggle’ to master gross and fine motor skills needed for correct pencil grid and letter formation.
Children across the school demonstrate an interest in reading and writing and this is supported by children achieving high standards in Reading and Writing by the end of KS1. Children demonstrate an ability to read fluently and coherently as well as becoming high quality independent writers by the end of Year 2.
The children at Abbey make good progress with their spoken language and start to use a wide range of vocabulary to describe, comment and discuss.
They not only develop these skills in Literacy lessons, but also start to develop their understanding and enjoyment of the wider curriculum.
Children are able to ‘have a go’ and persevere. They can talk about text types, answer comprehension style questions, make inferences and predict by the end of Year 2.
The high quality of pupils work is represented through photographs, drawings, jottings and formal written sentences.