Literacy is a fundamental life skill; it develops the children’s ability to communicate
effectively. The study and appreciation of Literacy develops an understanding of society as a whole. Confidence in Literacy allows children to be confident in their everyday life, now and in their futures. At Allithwaite Church of England Primary School we aim to develop children’s abilities within an integrated programme of Speaking & Listening, Reading & Writing. Children will be given opportunities to interrelate the requirements of English within a broad and balanced approach to the teaching of English across the curriculum, with opportunities to consolidate and reinforce taught literacy skills.
At Allithwaite Church of England Primary school we strive for all children to be ‘Primary Literate Pupils’
By the time children leave primary education we intend for them to:
• have an interest in books and read for pleasure and enjoyment
• read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding, orchestrating a range of independent strategies to self-monitor and correct both sentence level and spelling level skills
• have an interest in words, their meanings; developing a growing vocabulary in spoken and written forms.
• understand a range of text types and genres – be able to write in a variety of styles and forms appropriate to the situation
• be developing the powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness
• have a suitable technical vocabulary to articulate their responses
Key Stage 1
In Key Stage 1 daily discreet phonics lessons continue and are taught in ability groups. Children have daily mixed ability Literacy lessons with an emphasis on real texts linked to topic programmes of study. Children take part in both guided and individual reading sessions and have regular story times to develop a love of reading. Literacy skills are developed across the curriculum. Provision is made for children who require extra support through intervention programmes (e.g FLS ) and differentiated class teaching and extended phonics sessions.
Key Stage 2
In Key Stage 2 children receive daily Literacy Lessons and daily spelling and grammar lessons. Additional literacy sessions include guided reading, handwriting and class novel, which is read at the Teacher’s discretion at a time throughout the day. Literacy skills are developed across the curriculum. Provision is made for children who require extra support through intervention programmes that are organised and tailorised with child need focus (e.g. dyslexic spelling support programme and reading comprehension programme) and through differentiated class teaching.
At Allithwaite Church of England Primary School Speaking and Listening is promoted in various ways throughout the curriculum. Teacher’s planning regularly incorporates the oral skill of storytelling. Also integral to our planning is, exploring texts and characters through drama. Children learn to use talk partners from the foundation stage and throughout school life. In Key Stages One and Two children discuss books through ‘author’s chair’ and recite poetry. In other areas of the curriculum, children present information in oral presentations, with the support of ICT. At the Foundation Stage and in Key Stage One children perform an annual Nativity Play and in Key Stage Two the children sing and act in an annual summer performance.
Children who require additional support in speaking and listening are identified at an early age and referred to speech and language experts. Intervention groups are tailorised around specific needs and expert advice.
APPROACHES TO READING
In all Year Groups teacher’s explicitly model reading and comprehension strategies during shared reading sessions. Each unit of Literacy is planned to incorporate shared reading and reading response activities as well as writing based outcomes.
In later Foundation stage and in Key Stages One and Two guided reading sessions take place on a daily basis. Children are grouped according to ability. Texts read and discussed reflect and challenge the children’s reading ability whilst they are in a teacher led environment. Guided reading sessions offer opportunities to foster a love of reading, access a range of genres, develop fluency of reading, adopt reading comprehension skills, learn strategies to decipher unfamiliar vocabulary, compare various authors and form individual opinions. Guided reading sessions are used as an opportunity to continually assess children against the various assessment strands.
Foundation Stage and Key Stage One
In later Foundation Stage and in Key Stage One Allithwaite Church of England Primary School aim to listen to children read independently a minimum of twice a week.
Each child takes home a scheme book with a reading record. Adults are encouraged to listen to their child read on a daily basis and to communicate with the teacher in the reading record. Reading records promote strategies for supporting children’s learning journey. Children who do not read at home regularly are identified and targeted as high priority readers within school. Schemes are book banded according to ability, some through publisher recommendations and some by the Literacy coordinator. Adults within school are deployed to ask questions relevant to the interests of the child and to encourage prediction. Reading for fluency strategies are modelled throughout. Wider independent reading is promoted through author’s chair, the class library and the local library bus.
Key Stage Two
In Key Stage 2 children choose books to take home and read. We are fortunate to have a varied range of books in our school library which we regularly invest in to keep texts modern and appealing. Books are banded according to ability, some through publisher recommendation and some by the Literacy Coordinator. Children who still require a more structured approach to reading have access to specific series of books. Books are still levelled in order that children continue to grow in confidence as readers, with a text that is appropriate for their reading age.
We still encourage all readers to share a book at home with their grown-ups. We believe that this not only helps to develop inferential skills, but also supports a lifelong love of reading. Throughout the Key Stage children become more independent in recording what they have read in their reading journals. We still recognise the benefits of hearing the children reading aloud and deploy teaching assistants and volunteers in order that this may happen. Children underachieving academically are targeted as high priority readers. Wider independent reading is encouraged through children choosing to read and share books from home, through author’s chair, the school library, the community library and teacher recommendations.
We recognise the value of adults (both in school and at home) reading aloud to children, in order to improve their grasp of story language, enthuse them with a love of books and inspire them as writers. This is promoted through class novel, storytelling, assemblies and within Literacy lessons. We are fortunate to have some dedicated reading volunteers who listen to our children read aloud on a weekly basis.
ICT is used to support reading – Online books and phonic resource programmes.
Weekly ‘word of the week’ initiatives enrich children’s access to and use of higher level vocabulary.
Parental workshops to promote reading fluency and comprehension strategies are offered.
APPROACHES TO WRITING
We aim to promote and foster an enthusiasm towards writing. Writing is for a purpose and an identified audience. Writing should be based upon first hand experiences or for a clear and imaginative purpose. End pieces of writing should be given a platform from which to be show cased and enjoyed; with a variety of end products being explored. Writing should be credited on its presentation (handwriting), its spelling, its vocabulary, its sentence level skills, its organisation, its genre specific features, its punctuation and its imaginative flair.
Allithwaite Primary School has a whole school handwriting policy which promotes initially learning letters in their cursive form and progressing to joined handwriting.
From the beginning of the Foundation Stage emergent writing is promoted and celebrated. The classroom organisation allows for writing areas and writing is centred around first hand experiences and topic linked work. Writing is modelled by the teacher. Children are encouraged to read back their writing, which is then scribed underneath. Young children are encouraged to make links with letter sounds and common high frequency words.
In Key Stage One and Two phonics and spelling patterns are taught on a daily basis alongside grammar. Links are then made within teacher modelling in separate literacy lessons. Handwriting is explicitly taught and practised several times a week. Teacher’s model writing at a level appropriate to promote the skills that they are promoting from ability levels across the class, incorporating the accreditations mentioned. Modelled writing will secure skills that the lowest ability children are targeting and will model skills that the upper ability children are aiming towards. Modelled writing is accessible and aspirational. Children receive individual writing targets based upon assessed pieces of writing, which are reviewed every half term. In guided writing, groups are organised according to their ability. In guided writing teachers model writing that enables children to secure their targets and progress to the next level. Literacy planning is structured so that within a genre specific unit children are given opportunities to write independently in a variety of forms. Incidental writing is used to build skills that are required for a sustained end piece of writing. Children are given opportunities to write for an extended period on at least a half termly basis and sometimes more. Extended writing lessons have clear and progressive assessment focus and teacher modelling is a valid part of the lesson. Children’s extended writing pieces and end outcomes from genre specific units are collected in their personal writing portfolio. The writing within the portfolio is reviewed on a half termly basis and informs the teacher’s judgement of the child’s ability level, progression and next steps.
In addition to regular writing opportunities, Allithwaite plans and delivers annual writing weeks. These weeks immerse children in writing, based on inventive first hand experiences.
CROSS-CURRICULAR LITERACY OPPORTUNITIES
Teachers will seek to take advantage of opportunities to make cross-curricular links. They will plan for pupils to practise and apply the skills, knowledge and understanding acquired through literacy lessons to other areas of the curriculum. Carefully planned cross curricular writing opportunities allow children to experience and write a balance of genres throughout the academic year.