Reading

English

At St Bartholomew’s we are passionate about inspiring a life-long love for literacy and dedicated to equipping our children with the skills that they need to communicate in our ever changing world. We recognize the identity of each child as a reader and writer with their own unique talents and targets and aspire to create a learning environment in which their enthusiasm for literacy can thrive.

Reading

We use Letter and Sounds as a basis for our phonics teaching.  Our principle scheme for reading is the Oxford Reading Tree supplemented by other books as appropriate.

Each classroom has a reading area or book corner designed to inspire a love of books and a ‘reading for pleasure’ attitude. There may be comfy cushions to provide a relaxing environment in which to read, as well as interesting and stimulating displays about authors or book reviews written by children for their peers. Classrooms are equipped with a range of contemporary fiction and old favourites, information, non-fiction books, biographies, poetry, and graphic novels suitable for the ages and reading levels of the children within the class.

Children are encouraged to read at home for at least ten minutes every day and we endeavor to provide good quality, exciting texts in order to inspire a love for reading. Over the last two academic years, we have participated in the Power of Reading project organized by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education and through this project have embedded quality literature at the heart of our English curriculum.

There are numerous opportunities for children to engage with books throughout the school day; with all year groups incorporating a class story session in to their daily routine. From Year 1 to Year 6 children participate in group guided reading sessions and we have worked hard to ensure a varied and rigorous carousel of activities; including regular sessions reading with an adult.

We have further enhanced these reading experiences by involving the wider school community. We have held ‘reading breakfasts’ for children to read with teachers, parents, carers, and governors; we have invited children’s authors and illustrators to work with our classes (last year we welcomed Lauren Child, the author of Charlie and Lola); and we have held reading competitions to get children excited about reading independently.

Recommended_books_for_Year_6             Recommended_books_for_Year_5

Writing

By ensuring the centrality of quality texts in our English curriculum, we aspire to foster an enthusiasm for writing in our children. We ensure that they understand the purpose of accurate and effective communication, and expose them to numerous real life writing experiences.

We are passionate about creating interesting writing experiences and incorporate role-play and drama activities across our creative curriculum. We use Pie Corbett and Talk for Writing techniques from when children join us in EYFS through to Year 6.

We link our literacy books and teaching objectives through the topic for each term, ensuring that there are meaningful links across the curriculum.

This academic year we are participating in a Digital Literacy Project organized by Make Believe Arts, a theatre and education company. This project will work with children from Years 3 and 4; engaging them in a range of exciting writing activities whilst developing their confidence as writers.

Every fortnight children in Years 2 to 6 participate in a ‘Big Write’ session. This is designed to be a special experience where children are able to plan and write for a whole morning. During the writing stage calm music might be played, with children writing in special books or on coloured paper.

Phonics and Spelling

We are very proud of our systematic and successful teaching of phonics in EYFS and KS1 and have achieved good results in the government phonics screenings over the last three years. We have developed a whole school phonics curriculum based on the Letter and Sounds document and all children in EYFS, Year 1 and Year 2 participate in a daily 25 minute phonics session.

As children move in to Year 3 there is a transition to teaching spelling and grammar in contextualized teaching inputs throughout the curriculum. This approach continues throughout Key Stage 2 in preparation for the Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation test at the end of Year 6.

Children in Years 1 to 6 receive a list of differentiated spellings on a Monday, which are used and discussed throughout the week and reviewed on a Friday.

In KS2 spellings are incorporated into a weekly carousel of activities, where the children use the words or the spelling rule in creative ways.

Grammar

From EYFS onwards children are exposed to correct grammar modelled to them by the adults in the school. Through speaking and listening activities the children become familiar with the correct forms of speech and the difference between formal and informal language.

From Year 1 to 6, children are also taught grammar in short daily/weekly sessions. To keep lessons lively and fun we use a range of activities and games to embed the learning. Teachers use and teach the correct terms in preparation for Year 6 and the SPAG test and they model the use of correct grammar in shared writing sessions.