The national curriculum programme of study states:
“English has a pre-eminent place in education and in society. A high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. Through reading in particular, pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature, especially, plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know. All the skills of language are essential to participating fully as a member of society; pupils, therefore, who do not learn to speak, read and write fluently and confidently are effectively disenfranchised”.
At Okehampton Primary School we aim to foster a love of reading and writing which will develop a progression of key skills that are applied across the curriculum. We will foster the children’s confidence and skills in becoming articulate in their use of standard English through class discussion and debate.
We will promote the love of reading and pleasure, celebrating our diverse literary heritage.
The rigorous, systematic and progressive approach to teaching of phonics has a high priority throughout Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1. At Okehampton Primary School, we use a synthetic phonics programme called ‘Read Write Inc’ produced by Ruth Miskin. Our staff teach learners the relationship between sounds and the written spelling patterns, or graphemes, which represent them. All children in Reception, KS1 and, where necessary, KS2 have daily phonics sessions in small ability groups where they participate in speaking, listening, spelling and reading activities that are matched to their current needs. The teachers draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify children who may need additional support. Timely intervention is planned for those children who are working below expected levels as soon as their needs are identified. We recognise that systematic, high quality phonics teaching is essential, but additional skills and opportunities are needed for children to achieve the goal of being a well-rounded reader, namely comprehension.
When children have completed the Read, Write, Inc phonics programme, reading is developed during whole class guided reading, using high quality texts and focused skill teaching. Strong links are made between reading and writing including to promote and develop vocabulary actively, systematically building on pupils knowledge. Children read and enjoy high quality fiction and non-fiction texts, which (where possible) are linked to their topics across the curriculum. Children also continue to develop their reading fluency skills, building upon their phonics knowledge and skills. In year 5, we use the RWI Fresh Start programme to identify pupils who may need additional support.
Reading for pleasure is an integral part of our reading culture and all classes are exposed to a daily class reader during our reading hour, for pleasure, to excite and engage the children, and to expose them to new and varied vocabulary. All books shared with children are high quality, promote equity and diversity, are age appropriate, encompass a range of genres and are matched to the level of the class or individual to form a developing reading spine that was initially based on Pie Corbett and Ashley Booth guidance .
Following RWI, and the language and literacy program, at KS2 our teaching sequences have strong outcomes such as presentations, debates and performances where pupils can demonstrate oral skills enhanced by the selection of rich text reading.
Children working on the Read Write Inc. programme take home a ‘book bag book’ matched directly to their current phonics level; they are also encouraged to choose an additional book to share with their family at home. We have a program of support for all staff which continues to develop and facilitates excellent subject knowledge and progression of skills in reading and writing. At Okehampton Primary School we have developed a robust monitoring, evaluation and support programme, focusing on clear assessment (using NFER, teacher assessment, Benchmarking and RWI) which provides opportunities for moderation and standardisation.
At Okehampton Primary School we aim to enable our pupils to : progress with sustained learning and transferrable skills. Through the teaching of systematic phonics, our aim is for children to become fluent and confident word readers by the end of KS1. As a Year 6 reader, transitioning into secondary school, we aspire that children are fluent, confident and able readers, who can access a range of texts for pleasure and enjoyment, as well as use their reading skills to unlock learning and all areas of the curriculum. We firmly believe that reading is the key to all learning and so the impact of our reading curriculum goes beyond the results of the statutory assessments.
As all aspects of English are an integral part of the curriculum, cross curricular reading standards have also improved and skills taught in the English lesson are transferred into other subjects; this shows consolidation of skills and a deeper understanding of how and when to use specific reading skills.
We hope that as children move on from Okehampton Primary School to further their education and learning, their creativity, passion for English and high aspirations travel with them and continue to grow and develop as they do.
Okehampton Primary School Reading Programme (Post RWI)
As part of our transition to new programs and the introduction of RWI, in year 3 pupils are RWI assessed. Pupils in year three who have been assessed as needing further early reading access RWI teaching groups. Pupils in year two who are assessed as having progressed beyond early reading and who have met the assessment requirements for the RWI programme are taught using the RWI language and literacy programme and can access Accelerated reader. Year 3 pupils who meet the RWI assessment requirements are taught using RWI Language and literacy (summer term 2022) and teaching sequence reading and writing.
Post RWI and early reading
Independent reading and reading for pleasure
All classes in KS2 have the first hour of the day allocated to the teaching of reading. Pupils are expected to have independent reading time. They can access a growing range of texts with varied genres within the school library. Many books are levelled with Lower years and Middle years Accelerated reader levels. Accelerated reader is accessed regularly by teachers to check pupils ability to understand vocabulary and recall information about the text they have read. Pupils are encouraged to read a books daily. Motivational assemblies reward pupils who have reached 1,000,000 words and classes with average AR tests scores of 80%. Pupils are recognised for enjoying and showing motivation with their reading. Pupils are encouraged to write down their reads in a school journal which counts towards a class reading challenge. Each class room has a book corner which has a small set of newer titles to encourage selection of newly published books, alternative authors, genres including classics and books to encourage a love of reading, pleasure and our diverse cultural heritage. Pupils needing early reading support in years 4 to 6 are heard between daily and three times weekly. They have access to modelling of skills by the teacher, RWI speed sounds, and speed reading within the one to one session. Running records are used to check 95% readability alongside Accelerated reader where needed.
Reading for pleasure
At Okehampton primary we are developing a reading spine. Teachers read to their class daily. As part of the read aloud session, teachers hook children back into the text, engage their interest, stimulate interest, generate a discussion, discuss vocabulary and activate back ground knowledge. The library is stocked with books which are regularly added to and can be accessed by classes to support learning and reading for pleasure.
The teaching of reading skills is integral to teaching sequences in years 3 to 6. Teachers describe, explain and model the new learning, set a short task using the modelled skill or knowledge, whilst teachers assess pupil confidence through live monitoring so they can re teach and scaffold or extend the learning (based on Rosenshine's principals of instruction). Support is then gradually reduced as pupils take increasing responsibility. Texts are carefully selected to support the teaching of these strategies.
The comprehension questioning is generated from Barratts taxonomy that breaks comprehension into strands.
• inference; and
• activating prior knowledge
Teachers assess independence with the strands of comprehension using evidence gathering grids based on the National curriculum objectives. NFER reading assessments are used termly to support and inform teacher assessment. Reading Vipers and the reader's theatre are two new resources that will be integrated in the near future. Texts chosen for teaching sequences are selected for rich language, vocabulary and strong pupil engagement with strong purpose and audience. Skills taught in the reading session support the development of pupil understanding for writing.
Okehampton Primary School is determined that every pupil will be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing and also write for pleasure regardless of their background, needs or abilities. The majority of pupils will make sufficient progress to meet or exceed age-related expectations. Teachers will choose and plan using high quality stimulating stories, poems, rhymes and non-fiction texts as models for their own writing and develop pupils’ vocabulary, understanding of grammar in context and familiarity with spelling patterns. Once fully immersed in the text, it becomes a tool to explore ideas about language and structure (layout, level of formality, organisational devices, setting, character etc.) Class discussions give a context to grammar and syntax, which subsequently helps to develop and enrich pupils’ own writing skills. Each sequence outcome has a clear audience which may be internal or external to the school and a purpose e.g. creating a class book, performing a play or reading poetry out loud.
Acquire a broad vocabulary, a useful and effective understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school.
Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences, editing and redrafting during the sequence of learning to produce a final piece and take pride in their work.
Take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style.
Write daily in a range of contexts and for a range of purposes
When planning literacy lessons, teachers make links to other areas of the curriculum to ensure that cross curricular links provide further context for learning. Teaching sequences focus on fiction, non-fiction or poetry, in line with the 2014 National Curriculum and comprehension, grammar and writing are embedded in lessons. Lessons sequences themselves build progressively towards an extended piece of writing. Handwriting is also taught within literacy lessons, and outcomes in KS2 are recorded in literacy books to promote a high level of pride and presentation across all written outcomes.
Assessment for Learning is embedded in literacy lessons and children are active in reviewing the successes in their work and identifying, with support from their teacher, target areas for development to ensure a continuous and individualised approach to improving their work.
At Okehampton Primary school want to empower all children and young people to use their voice for success in school and in life. We know that spoken language skills are a strong predictor of a child’s future life chances y. We aim to give pupils the opportunity to explicitly and purposefully develop these skills. We aim to provide a high-quality oracy education to all.
We firmly believe that meaningful talk helps children make fantastic progress in reading and writing, as well as other areas of the curriculum. Speaking and listening is essential in supporting children to develop and organise their ideas. We also value drama, providing children with opportunities to grow in confidence and independence. It is not only an interesting and exciting subject, but a dynamic and exciting part of the Primary Curriculum. At Okehampton Primary School, we use drama across all our subjects in an innovative and kinaesthetic way, allowing children of all ages to tap into their creativity, explore new concepts and contribute to their imagination.
Children are given opportunities to: