Why are we teaching this?
A passion for Literacy is at the heart of everything we do here at Poverest. We value reading as a key life skill and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to develop their knowledge and become lifelong readers. We believe reading is vital for academic and personal success and provides the children with a solid foundation to build on, so to support this we have a holistic approach to teaching reading from an early age. At Poverest we provide a range of inclusive opportunities for pupils to engage in active learning by providing opportunities for them to articulate verbally and in writing within a variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes, with knowledge gained from all areas of the curriculum. We use a variety of broad, balanced, high-quality texts to inspire our Writing lessons, which engages and motivates the children to write creatively for a purpose. Exciting events "hook" the children in, and spark their curiosity to find out more!
How is this being taught?
We use high-quality texts to inspire children to write creatively, sometimes even taking on the roles of characters, journalists and historians. The children often engage in exciting drama and role play activities to support their experiences and active learning.
We also use real world stimuli for our writing lessons, enabling children to explore current events and make sense of things that are happening in the world around them.
We use planning resources from the Literacy Tree across the school to encourage a love of writing through a book-based approach that is broad and balanced across a wide range of genres and authors. The Literacy Tree also incorporates Spelling and Grammar practise to ensure that children are regularly developing their knowledge and skills in these vital areas to improve the overall quality of their writing.
Teachers promote daily reading within their classrooms and the children have access to a wide range of books to meet their interests in order to gain pleasure from reading. Reading is taught regularly during Guided Reading lessons, and during these sessions children are supported in small groups to explore and develop key reading skills such as retrieval of information, clarification of new or unknown vocabulary, inference and making plausible predictions.
We have our very own Library Bus at Poverest, which is dedicated to inspiring and supporting the children's love of reading through regular visits. The children are encouraged to spend time on the Library Bus enjoying and sharing books, and are also able to borrow books from the library during their visits. As a school, we prioritise regularly stocking the Library Bus with a wide variety of current, diverse, inclusive books in order to ensure that every child can see themselves in books and feel excited to read.
We regularly use Technology that allows the children to access a variety of reading and writing tools to further engage them and develop their skills. Chromebooks and Ipads are available to all children in order for them to access online programmes such as Accelerated Reader, which allows the children to answer comprehension questions based on each book they have read, and Reading Eggs in KS1, which is used to develop the children’s fluency and comprehension skills.
Spelling Shed is used across the school to create a fun and engaging way for children to learn their spellings and compete in weekly class competitions (Hives) to improve their speed and accuracy.
We have also introduced Now > Press > Play as a resource across the school, which allows the children to take part in an immersive audio experience that engages the pupils through emotion, imagination and movement in storytelling and drama based activities.
To address any gaps in learning, pupils are assessed regularly and are supported using a variety of targeted intervention programmes.
What is the effect?
The children at Poverest enjoy reading and are excited to visit the Library Bus on a regular basis. They are inspired by the use of a variety of high-quality texts, and love engaging in active learning through regular drama and role play activities. This ensures that children make good progress in reading and writing, and in many cases they make accelerated progress. Any children who are assessed and found to be making slower than expected progress, are supported through targeted interventions which are monitored regularly. Our broad, balanced and inclusive English programme has been designed to cover every aspect of the curriculum for each year group whilst encouraging creativity and curiosity and engaging the children. This ensures that every child at Poverest is given the opportunity to develop their knowledge effectively and reach their full potential. Our aim is that every child will have learned to read and write fluently by the end of their time at Poverest.
At Poverest, we use the Phonics Bug scheme to teach Phonics in Reception and KS1. This scheme has been accredited by the Department for Education and is part of the Bug Club programme. The children benefit greatly from all the teachers consistently using this structured approach to learning how to read and write.
Every Phonics lesson will include a quick introduction where the children are encouraged to remember prior learning by reading flash cards, and then learning new sounds and applying them by reading and writing words and sentences. The lessons also include a variety of songs, videos and games, and the children can also access online games and books as part of the programme, which gives them to opportunity to apply their knowledge.
Once a week, parents and carers are invited to come into school to watch their children's Phonics lessons, which helps them to also learn the sounds and games that are taught each week. This enables us to build positive relationships with parents, and it also gives parents the tools to support their children with their reading and writing at home.