Literacy – reading, writing, drama, and speaking and listening – is an essential subject, not just for education but for everyday life. As it is so important, it is included in our timetable at least once a day. It is taught through literacy lessons but the children also have the opportunity to reinforce these skills in other subjects, such as diaries in history lessons.
Children study fiction and non-fiction in our literacy units. They look closely at authors and real life examples of writing, such as newspapers. During the unit, they are taught how to write and use sentence skills so that they aim to write both creatively and accurately. Each child is also taught spelling and phonics and will be given spelling lists to take home and learn.
Reading is such an important skill that we encourage children to practice both at school and at home. We work on confident, accurate reading as well as a good understanding of the text. Each class has sessions of guided reading in which groups share a book and discuss it together.
Children have access to a variety of good quality books at their reading level. Every child can choose two library books to take home, which can be changed each week. In their teaching areas, children have books that are graded in level. We use the book band levels so that children are guided towards books that are at the right level for them.
We expect children to read at least three times a week, to an adult at home, and for this to be recorded in home school books. Some children find it more difficult to learn to read than others. Children that struggle with reading are given an individual programme to help them. This might concentrate on helping them with using their sounds to work out what the words say or it might focus on building up their vocabulary and understanding of new words. Sometimes a child can work the out what the word is but need help to work out how the words work together to make meaning. Children are also given support to make their reading more fluent. Children have different difficulties and adults work together to make sure that they are given what they need to improve.
Our reading champions are chosen from Year 6, and are used as ambassadors in this area. They order books for and run the library, work with the younger children in the school hearing them read, and organise and help run the book fair and book swapping events.
We strongly believe in supporting every child so that they can both achieve and enjoy literacy. Please contact the school if you would like any further information or support with literacy at home. If you would like to come in and read with children in school, we offer training and support for this if needed.