At East-the-Water Primary, we passionately believe that reading is the key to success; the key to unlock life-long learning.
Reading is the key building block that underpins learning and unlocks the curriculum. At East-the-Water Primary, we passionately promote a reading culture that fosters and inspires children to love reading. We know that the more our children read, the more they are able to learn for themselves and become life-long learners. We want our children to be successful at every point in their lives.
“Reading for pleasure is the single most important thing that will make a child successful in life” (UNESCO, 2011)
Ultimately, our goal is that every child reads for pleasure. We want to ensure that every pupil in our care has their day filled with a rich variety of books, for them to read and to be read to. We want them to discover the world of imagination and knowledge that is on offer to them, by simply choosing to pick up a book.
Children start their reading journey through the Read, Write, Inc. phonics programme and learn to read through carefully sequenced Read, Write Inc. books that match the children’s phonetical knowledge.
As children progress through the school, children will become increasingly confident and fluent with reading and develop the skills and strategies needed to read for both pleasure and to support their learning. Our children are able to choose books from our library within their level and interest. We ensure that our stock has the most current and up-to-date authors and make sure that there is something for everyone. Our teachers and teaching assistants get to know our pupils’ interests make book recommendations to children
Years 1 to 6 have daily whole class guided reading which focus on a range of carefully-selected books; these are quality texts chosen by the English leader and staff. Through these lessons, children explore the text together, discuss and learn key reading skills such as retrieval, inference, understanding the author’s’ choice and summarising. Through our long term planning, we can ensure that children encounter a range of genres, cultures and diversity to widen their understanding of the world.
Reading is such a fundamental skill that we ensure all children keep up through programmes. Fresh Start is used to provide older pupil with phonetical knowledge and the fluency needed to comprehend and enjoy texts. The fluency intervention is takes place to ensure pupils keep up and develop fluency and comprehension over increasingly more complex texts.
Every class has at least one story time every day where they can enjoy a story being read to them.
We work closely with our parents to support their understanding of the process of learning to read. Our school understands that reading and sharing stories at home is one of the most important ways that parents can help their child to succeed.
We encourage all parents to take the time to listen to their child read and talk about books with them. In Early years and KS1, children will have a book appropriate to their phonic level and a book for their parent to read, to support their story knowledge and love of reading.
“Every book you read makes your imagination larger.”
At East-the-Water, we firmly believe that all our children can become fluent readers and writers, the direct teaching of which, starts with phonics.
This begins with our Nursery where we have a strong focus on language development because we understand that vocabulary, speaking and listening are crucial skills for reading and writing in all subjects. This is where we lay the foundations for the segmenting and blending phonic work to come.
In Reception and Year 1, we use a Department for Education validated synthetics phonics programme: Read, Write, Inc.
Our children are rigorously and systematically assessed and grouped, enabling teaching to target the needs to children specifically, corresponding to the stage that they are working at. Read, Write, Inc. sessions are taught with fidelity to the scheme and are sequenced building on existing knowledge, acquiring new phonic knowledge and finally practising and applying their learning. Read, Write, Inc. is taught in both discrete sessions and applied in both reading and writing.
Our reading books have been carefully chosen to align with our synthetic phonics programme (RWI), building their phoneme/ grapheme correspondence. This ensures children have the opportunity to practise and revisit their phonic knowledge and skills as the decodable reading materials are matched to the learner’s phonics knowledge. Children develop the skill of blending the sounds into words for reading and establish the habit of applying this skill whenever they encounter new words. Teachers give our pupils lots of practise to embed these new skills in reading and re-reading books they know, both at school and at home. Our children are encouraged to make use of phonic strategies when taking part in reading and writing activities throughout the entire curriculum.
We work closely with our parents to ensure that children have the best support at school and at home. We regularly run parent workshops so that parents can understand how we teach our children to read and write and how they can support them at home.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
These life-long skills is taught progressively within each year group and are explored in high-quality texts, taught daily both discretely and through their application in writing. We use the Pathways to Spelling Programme from Year 1 to Year 6 and follow a five part cycle of reviewing prior learning, pupils exploring new words and spellings, practising, applying and reflecting upon their learning.
Grammar and vocabulary knowledge is woven through all three areas of the English curriculum: Reading, Writing and Spoken Language.
In our writing lessons, our teachers carefully select inspirational writing by a range of authors as a model to inspire children to create their own independent writing. We understand that strong writing is key to academic success and that it gives children a voice to share their ideas with the world.
We endeavour to create a love of writing and we want every child to leave East-the-Water with the skills of an excellent writer who:
- Has excellent transcription skills;
- Has a solid understanding of how and when to use specific grammar and punctuation.
- Has the ability to write for sustained periods of time.
- Use spelling, grammar and punctuation accurately.
- Be able to select grammatical structures for effect and to engage their reader.
- Develop the ability to plan, draft and edit their work effectively to improve every piece of work.
- Thinks about the impact of their writing and knows how they will achieve this
- Has an excellent knowledge of vocabulary and writing techniques and can select the most effective to use in their writing.
Teachers plan their writing sessions using Read Write Inc. Get writing programme in Reception and Year 1 and the Write Stuff approach (Jane Considine) from Year 2 to Year 6 to support developing writing.
‘Writing is crucial…..It is a means to communicate to an audience the full spectrum of human emotions and intent’
As part of the Appledore Book Festival, we were lucky enough to have 7 different authors visit our school. Each one shared their passion for writing with our children during class workshops from Reception to Year 6. The children loved exploring these new books and were delighted to receive a copy of their very own to take home and treasure.