Reading and Writing Curriculum
‘Writing – to inspire, broaden horizons and challenge the imagination.’
‘Reading – opening up a whole new world of opportunities.‘
– Emily Cornwell– English Leader –
We are passionate here at St Chad’s about ensuring excellent standards within English. We
develop our children to be life-long readers, writers and speakers and provide rich opportunities so that the children see themselves as young authors and performers in their own unique way. English allows us to be creative and express ourselves in ways that we didn’t know we could.
Teachers are ambitious in their expectations of all children, including SEND and EAL; it is essential that we provide ‘Greater Depth’ learning opportunities for every child across school, so that challenges are embraced. We aim for our children to take ownership of their writing with the purposeful and powerful choices that they make; share and promote their love of reading with a deep understanding of the authors’ intent; understanding the importance of accuracy with their use of grammatical features and, above all, have faith in their ability as a young author. Across all classes, children are provided with opportunities to deepen their knowledge, understanding and use of spoken and written English, within a rich and exciting curriculum that promotes curiosity and questions, applying and consolidating these skills in a range of contexts.
At St Chad’s Primary, reading is a priority. Early reading is crucial to provide children with the tools to access the wider curriculum and progress through their learning. We are a Read, Write Inc school, using this strategy to teach early reading and writing daily. Pupils are assessed on a regular basis using the RWI assessment grids; this ensures that all pupils are in the correct teaching groups. Groupings are homogenous —they are not limited to
year groups and provide children with a teaching group appropriate to their specific targets.
When needed, children move to a new group to work on their next reading targets. All group leaders are Read Write Inc trained and receive regular RWI coaching. As part of the approach, children who require extra targeted support will receive ‘fast track tutoring’, which is delivered by a RWI trained member Of staff. Additionally, in KS2 we use ‘Fresh
Start’ which provides support and interventions in line with the RWI approach at an age
Please see our Phonics page for more information.
Reading and Writing
From Year Two onwards, children will experience whole-class reading adventures with an aim of all children enriching their vocabulary and accessing a wide range of genres and challenging text types. All children are given the Opportunity to be able to enjoy and understand texts that may be beyond their own reading ability, allowing their imagination to grow. Our Reading Curriculum improves children’s general knowledge and understanding of the world and allows them to develop empathy as they make connections with the experiences of characters who they meet _ We strive for fluent, expressive reading from high quality modeling and continually promote the desire to read through shared enjoyment. Teachers model a range Of reading strategies during reading sessions, whilst children have the opportunity to develop their own strategies and to discuss texts in detail through riveting debates and discussions. Reading aloud is modelled at the highest standard and children are encouraged to reflect on their own progression with this. Where appropriate, geographical and historical context is taught so that children are equipped with the background knowledge needed to make full sense of a text. Unless exploring and decoding unknown words in contexts is the aim, teachers plan in advance the vocabulary that they need to teach explicitly before children are exposed to the words within the text; this ensures a high level of understanding of the text and that no child is left behind in their comprehension.
Discrete vocabulary lessons teach a wide range of strategies and assess the level of a child’s
understanding of a word. During shared reading, the teacher will stop regularly to clarify the meaning of additional complex vocabulary and ensure that all children can understand the text with regular opportunities for the children to summarise what has happened. Texts are analysed in great depth with a strong understanding of the authors’ choices and the impact that this has on the reader.
Separate to Guided Reading lessons, all classes right through to Year Six engage in whole class story time; an essential part of the school day. It is just one very important way that we can model our enthusiasm for reading and create magic and excitement around the joy of being lost in a book. Enthusiasm for reading as a class teacher is critical; it has a vital effect on reading achievement and the life-long love of reading. Teachers ensure that a wide range of texts, including poetry, which regularly celebrated throughout school, is used in these sessions. Many rewarding activities are arranged in school to promote the pleasure and knowledge that can be gained from books such as Hot Chocolate Club with Our Head Of School, Mrs Aitken.
All classrooms have an engaging and interactive Reading Corner where children can discuss and debate recent reads. Parents are encouraged to read with their child daily. In Key Stage Two, children are encouraged to read independently for at least 20 minutes per day to ensure that they continue to make progress.
In writing, we aim to develop the children’s ability to produce high quality, well-structured writing in which the meaning is made clear and which engages the interest of the reader. All children across the school are taught to articulate their purposeful and powerful choices as a writer. To support our teaching of writing, Key Stage One staff refer to Pie Corbett’s strategy Of ‘Talk for Writing’. We believe that this is pivotal when learning how to sequence and recall well-known stories. All children have opportunities to write at length in extended independent writing sessions at the end of a unit; applying their taught skills to an unsupported piece of writing where they are then able to evaluate and discuss their work as young authors.
Department for Education Documents