Aims and Vision
Our aims in teaching Literacy are that all children should:
- develop positive attitudes towards books so that reading is a pleasurable activity
- read a varied selection of texts whilst gaining an increased level of fluency and understanding
- develop a range of reading strategies for approaching reading: using and applying phonological, contextual, grammatical and graphic knowledge
- use reading as a means of gathering information to support their learning throughout the entire curriculum
- write in different contexts and for different purposes and audiences, including themselves
- write with increasing awareness of the conventions of grammar, punctuation and spelling
- form letters correctly, leading to a cursive, fluent and legible handwriting style
- develop listening and comprehension skills through a variety of means including reciprocal and non-reciprocal situations
- develop their oral abilities at their own level
- express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate appropriate responses to increasingly complex questions and instructions.
The Teaching of Literacy
The structure of literacy teaching is based upon the Literacy National Curriculum guidelines and covers all of the recommended objectives. To ensure that there is adequate time for developing Literacy skills, each class has a dedicated Literacy lesson each day, with a duration of approximately 60 minutes. Opportunities for extra reading and extended writing are planned when appropriate. Phonics is taught throughout KS1 and where necessary in KS2. The Literacy skills that the pupils develop are utilised and supported in every area of the curriculum and can be directly linked with other subjects. For example, formal letter writing within Literacy may be developed within a history topic.
Across the school, we follow the Pie Corbett scheme of Talk for Writing, in which children follow the process of imitating, innovating and inventing a text. Story mapping is a key feature in all genres and supports those with language difficulties to access the text. Pupils are provided with a range of opportunities to develop their speaking and listening skills through role play, drama, debate and discussion. Before writing, pupils plan their text carefully and spend time orally rehearsing, ensuring that they are confident with the structure and language, allowing them to focus on the transcription.
Each year group has a range of additional teaching materials available e.g. ICT resources, from which the teacher plans lessons. However, we often plan our teaching of Literacy around our curriculum topic headings. Work is differentiated to meet the needs of the pupils and to ensure progression within each year group.
At Alderbrook, we encourage a reading for pleasure ethos through daily guided reading sessions, class story time, reading challenges and author visits. The daily guided reading sessions run like a book club where children read and discuss their stories in small groups with an adult. Where necessary, some children read on a 1:1 basis with their class teacher. All children take a book home daily in their book bag. For Key Stage 1, this is colour coded according to the book bands scheme. The book band scheme incorporates a wide variety of texts including poetry, non-fiction and fiction. All books are accompanied by a reading record book in which parents and staff are encouraged to comment. All children are encouraged to share/read their book at home.
The range of reading material available to the children includes:
- Picture books
- Extended reading books for more able readers
- Story books with collections of stories in
- Non-fiction texts
Poems, stories and plays include those with:
- Familiar settings
- Imaginative settings, fantasy
- Traditional folk tales and fairy tales
- A range of cultures
- Pattern, rhyme and predictable language
- Challenging characteristics in terms of length and vocabulary
In Early Years and KS1 the children are taught phonics on a daily basis. They take part in an active lesson based around a sound to help develop their reading skills. They learn to apply their phonic knowledge to real and nonsense words to show that they have a thorough understanding. We follow the Letters and Sounds programme which starts by teaching initial letter sounds and progresses to digraphs and trigraphs. This programme teaches phonics in phases from phase 1-6.
In KS2 the children continue to focus on spellings and focus on more complex grammar and punctuation. They are taught grammatical ways of reading and writing through their English lessons and discrete grammar sessions.