The direct teaching of reading and spelling starts with Phonics. At St James’s C.E. Primary School, we follow Letters and Sounds– Little Wandle. Children in EYFS, year 1 and year 2 have daily phonics sessions which may be whole class based. Children participate in speaking, listening and spelling activities that are matched to their developing needs. The practitioners draw upon observations and continuous assessment to ensure children are stretched and challenged and to identify any pupils who may require additional support. Children work through 6 detailed phases, learning and developing their phonics sounds and knowledge. Phonics lessons follow a set format and are well paced to ensure that children are secure in their acquisition. Click here to visit our phonics page.
We us Kinetic Letters to teach handwriting alongside our Phonics and Spelling teaching. This supports children from the very start with gross and fine motor skills, enabling them to write more fluidly, accurately and quickly and enabling them to naturally progress into joined handwriting. We have two parent support pages on our website one for letter and number formation and a second which moves on to joining.
At St James’s C.E. Primary School, reading is at the core of all that we do and we value the many benefits that reading provides. We believe that it is key for academic success and it plays a big part across our Curriculum on a daily basis. We promote a reading culture that inspires children to love reading, makes them want to read and helps them to develop into ardent, avid readers and lifelong learners.
All children visit the library fortnightly either to select a book or to work on library and reading skills with their class teacher. Sessions will include input about different authors, discussing and listening to stories, independent research skills and supporting children to select a book to take home to share with their families. Year 6 librarians run lunchtime clubs for younger pupils to support them to value our wonderful school library resource and immerse themselves in a good book.
All children will be provided with a home reading book appropriate to their level of reading and/ or phonics. Pupils will be encouraged to borrow an additional interest book that they can share with their family and friends. In addition, class teachers will allocate electronic books appropriate to each child’s reading ability via Bug Club. Pupils not able to access this online facility at home will be given the time and resources to at school. Bug Club provides children with appropriate challenge, immediate and regular feedback, teacher assessment of pupils’ comprehension as well as motivating children to read independently and frequently. Children record their reading in reading journals which are monitored and celebrated weekly by school staff.
We use reading strategies, reading domain dogs (Vocabulary Victor; Inference Iggy; Rex the Retriever; Predicting Pip; Sequencing Suki; Arlo the Author; Cassie the Commentator; Summarising Sherba) along with reading actions to ensure that children understand the reading skills that they are learning.
Reading is taught following a weekly teaching cycle:
Monday: Vocabulary boost
Using STAR (select, teach, activate and review) techniques children learn and use new vocabulary.
Tuesday: MaP (model and practice) lesson.
Teachers will model a domain (friends/ dogs) or good reader skills (bones) matched to the National Curriculum content. Children will practise using models and stem sentences provided.
Wednesday: MaP (model and practice) lesson.
MaP (model and practice) lesson or independent comprehension.
As above or independent comprehension to assess pupil progress.
Independent reading lesson
Children use the skills acquired to read independently. Children will regularly visit the library during this session.
As well as teaching reading for instruction, we are keen to establish a love of reading in our pupils. Reading for pleasure is vital for children to become lifelong readers who engage and respond to texts. Our aim is to work with families to ensure that their children develop confident and motivated reading habits. Reading areas are established in classrooms. Pupils will see adults modelling social reading, reading aloud and informal conversations about books that we enjoy. Pupils of all ages benefit from being read to by adults and enjoy sharing books and stories.
Reading across the curriculum is vitally important to children’s application of reading and understanding of reading for purpose. Quality texts are used throughout the curriculum as a source of knowledge and a stimulus for learning.
Please see our Reading Policy for greater detail on how reading is encouraged and taught at our school. Click here to visit our policies website page.
At St James’s C.E. Primary School, we want every child to leave with the skills of an excellent writer who:
Has the ability to write with fluency and has an author’s voice
Thinks about the impact they want their writing to have on the reader and knows how they will achieve this
Has a sophisticated bank of vocabulary and an excellent knowledge of writing techniques to extend details or descriptions
Can structure and organise their writing to suit the genre they are writing and include a variety of sentence structures
Displays excellent transcription skills that ensure their writing is well presented, punctuated and spelling is accurate
Re-reads, edits and enhances their writing so every piece of writing they produce is to the best of their ability and better than the last
Children will develop their writing skills by exploring a whole range of different genres. We expect the highest standards of writing every time a child writes in any subject and place great importance on planning, drafting, editing and rewriting process when writing at length.
Fiction genre writing opportunities:
Plays and dialogue
Stories from other cultures
Non-fiction writing opportunities:
Argument and debate