At Sebright we believe that the targeted teaching and learning of excellent literacy skills at an appropriate level for each child is one of the most important and fundamental aspects of our duties as a school.
We are committed to high standards across all the strands of Literacy: oracy, reading and writing. In order to maximise opportunities to develop literacy skills, we make cross-curricular links wherever possible. This also ensures that coverage of the National Curriculum.
Oracy permeates the entire curriculum. Interactive teaching strategies are used to engage all pupils in pupil talk and discussion throughout lessons. Students are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life and further development of their reading and writing skills.
Approaches to Speaking and Listening:
- Group discussions and reporting back to the class
- Talk partners
- Groups or individuals re-teaching known points to the class
- Whole class discussion
- Circle time
All children at Sebright experience reading using a wide and varied selection of fiction and non-fiction genres, appropriate to their age and ability. We have a range of approaches to develop children’s reading skills, reading stamina and love of reading. This includes:
Daily Supported reading: Year 1 use this as a tool through which to teach reading.
Shared reading: Opportunities are provided through the planning in literacy for children and teachers to read and respond to a shared text.
Reading to: Children have the opportunities to read novels alongside their teacher, as a guide to effective reading aloud, by sharing class readers.
Reading assembly: Children will have an opportunity to listen to a story that is either read or told them on a weekly basis by a different member of the teaching staff.
Sebright Loves Reading: This programme is a talk-based approach to reading. Please see the Sebright Loves Reading section for more information.
Phonics: Synthetic phonics is taught through the Letters and Sounds programme from Nursery to Year 2. In Year 3 teachers are following phonics into spelling for the first term.
Home reading: All children throughout the school take books home from the classroom to read with a partner (or independently when able). Book bags are returned to school daily and changed on designated days.
Context for Learning: Structured play is the vehicle used to deliver the writing curriculum
The Learning Environment: The foundation stage provides easily accessible, varied writing materials that children know are available if they wish to use them, and which are actively promoted within the planning structure.
The Learning Structure: The High Scope method of Plan/Do/Review used in the foundation stage is ideal for the promotion of writing skills. The children draw ‘plans’ of what they intend to do and the adult scribes their words. This enhances their self – esteem and makes them more independent. It also encourages them to verbalise their thoughts – which they can then see written down and read back to them. This demonstrates the link between written and spoken word.
Promotion of Learning:
- The Nursery and Reception planning incorporates many exciting writing opportunities to entice even the most reluctant ‘emergent writers’ to try their hand. These including imaginative, functional and personal writing opportunities. There are a number of opportunities given through purposeful activities and role play e.g making shopping lists, writing cards, letters etc
- The process of mark making enables children to give meaning to marks and are beginning to use recognisable letters and then using letter sounds.
- A wide variety of writing implements are provided and are always accessible, for example crayons, chalk, felt pens, biros and pencils
- The medium used for drawing their ‘daily plans’ also varies, to stimulate interest and widen their experience, for example paper, card, colours, shapes, cards, notebooks, lists, jotters, rough/smooth, thick/thin etc.
- Within the learning environment the teacher and other adults are constantly ‘modelling’ writing. The children therefore interpret writing as a desirable thing to do. They also see the way words are constructed, the formation of sentences and use of punctuation. (Knowledge about Language 5 – 14)
- The writing process is present, but on a modified scale: the students write a sentence, read it over with an adult and make changes and finally write a ‘published’ version of this sentence.
Key Stage 1 and 2
The writing process:
At Sebright we focus on each child producing 6 pieces of extensive high quality writing (one for each half term) each academic year. Teachers have up to four weeks to work on each of these with the children.
For these six pieces of writing we follow the process of:
- immersion (into the topic to hook the children)
- notes or first thoughts
- first draft
- edit and review
- published piece
- final piece of writing goes on display
In Year 3 - 6 spelling is taught following National Curriculum Guidelines. It is taught as a stand-alone session twice a week yet is also integrated into literacy and cross-curricular sessions.
The following document states the rules for spelling and includes example words that pupils from each year group must learn:
The following document is not in line with the new curriculum for spelling, however, the spelling rules and patterns from the old national curriculum is still equally valid. Please use this document as a reference for spelling rules but not for the end of year expectations for your child.
At Sebright, teachers make regular on going assessments of the children’s oracy, reading and writing. Through feedback and marking teachers assess and give guidance for progress. At two checkpoints in the year, pupils also complete summative reading assessments. At this time teachers also look at students’ writing (across subjects) in order to make judgments on particular writing skills. These all feed into teacher planning, which allow us to ensure coverage of the National Curriculum.
Looking to support your child with their spellings and vocabulary at home? Take a look at what was discussed in our spelling workshop on Friday 9th February 2018.
Other Useful Resources & Links
Struggling to think of how to discuss learning with your child? Use onceuponapicture to help you. There are new pictures update daily accompanied by Cross-Curricular questions with some even exploring vocabulary. The website provides a useful platform to start from when thinking about how to use questions to develop your child's understanding and learning. Have a go and see!