Reading and writing are at the core of everything we do at Bowlee Park and are integral to the teaching and learning of all subjects.
In Nursery, literacy is taught through a range of programmes which develop speaking, listening, reading and pre-writing skills. Pupils access daily ‘dough disco’ and ‘Write Dance’ sessions to build in opportunities so that they can develop the physical skills needed to develop their handwriting. The development of fine and gross motor skills is further supported by a range of activities as part of continuous provision. Pupils develop their pleasure of listening to and rehearsing stories through oral story telling sessions. When ready, pupils begin to access elements of phase 1 phonics through the RWI (Read, Write Inc.) phonics programme.
In Reception and Year 1, reading and writing including grammar, punctuation and spelling is taught primarily through the RWI (Read, Write Inc) phonics programme. Pupils read fully decodable books linked to their phonic knowledge. Pupils take home decodable books and a free choice book (fiction, non-fiction and poetry) to share with their parents. Teaching staff hear children read daily in RWI and through individual reading checks.
For these year groups, additional creative writing is taught weekly using narrative texts. In year 1, pupils access additional daily dictation sessions focussing on spelling and transcription. Sentences focus on sounds and key words pupils have been previously exposed to.
In Year 2, children’s reading skills are assessed and pupils read and take home decodable books where needed. When appropriate, children are assessed using the Accelerated Reading progamme and allocated books from this scheme.
Children in KS2 who do not have a secure phonics knowledge will continue to access and take home RWI books until fully secure.
Most pupils in Key Stage 2 are assessed using the ‘Accelerated Reading’ programme (A.R.). From the assessment, a reading range is given to each child and they choose a reading book within that reading range from a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Children read their books at home and in daily discreet reading sessions. Having finished a book, they complete an electronic comprehension quiz to assess their understanding. Teaching staff hear pupils read at least once a week to analyse and assess their reading skills and progress. To further reading for pleasure, classes visit our non-fiction library fortnightly and take home books to suit their choice and interest.
Discreet comprehension is taught and practiced weekly, focussing on National Curriculum domains.
Grammar, punctuation and spelling (GPS) is taught through a discreet weekly lesson following a year group programme covering the National Curriculum objectives. Specific spelling knowledge is taught using the RWI ‘Get Spelling’ programme from Year 2 to Year 6, ensuring consistent progression from the phonic programme taught in Reception and Year 1.
Three of the daily English lessons each week deliver our creative writing programme. Children learn to write in a range of genres through planned units which include modelled, shared and guided writing, followed by independent tasks.
The development of children’s vocabulary knowledge is at the heart of our approach to reading and writing. Explicit and engaging vocabulary teaching has the power to promote independence in learners, ignite imaginations, deliver understanding and raise attainment. From Year 2 to 6, all classes have timetabled daily vocabulary sessions following the ‘Vocabulary Ninja’ programme widening pupils’ experience and knowledge of tier 2 vocabulary.
Reading for pleasure and developing a reading culture is a priority throughout school. All classes have timetabled story-time daily during which teaching staff read quality texts aloud. All year groups have planned book lists for whole class reading time, to ensure that all children experience a comprehensive range of literature including, classic, multi-cultural and new-title texts. A love of reading is further enhanced through stories in assemblies, through celebrations of cultural events (including world book day) and through our annual author visits.
For further information about how our children learn to read please go to our reading and phonics page.