At Seathorne Primary Academy, reading is valued as the fundamental life skill that underpins every area of success. Children are taught that reading is essential to everyday life and that fluent reading is one of the most essential skills they can have.
We teach reading consistently through Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised, which is a systematic and synthetic phonics programme that teaches children to read effectively and quickly. Children’s progress is tracked every 6 weeks alongside their reading fluency.
Once our children can read fluently, Accelerated Reader is used as an additional tool to engage the reader, track book choices and ensure children are reading appropriate materials for their reading age.
In Reception and Y1, children have 3 reading practise sessions a week. These have been designed to focus on three key reading skills: decoding, prosody and comprehension. In Reception, these lessons start in Week 4. Children, who are not yet blending, have daily practise in small groups, so that they quickly learn to blend and can begin to read books. In Y2 and 3, we continue to teach reading in this way for any children who still need to practise reading with decodable books.
In Y2-6, reading lessons are taught daily covering a range of text types (fiction, non-fiction and poetry). Each reading domain is taught explicitly and repetitively to ensure our children understand and are able to apply each of these. Teachers use whole class modelling to support all children and then work with smaller groups to reinforce the skills being taught.
Reading in the Wider Curriculum
Teachers provide opportunities to read in different subject areas, either to further their understanding of topics, or to develop their emotional literacy (e.g. in PSHE). All classes have book families linked to their topics. Our Long-Term Curriculum mapping supports this by identifying the opportunities where reading skills can be developed in the wider curriculum.
A range of extra activities are used to promote reading within the school including World Book Day and author visits.
In Reception and Year 1, children take home a new reading practice book every week, following their decoding session that week; for children who are secure with blending, it will be a decodable book, which we hope the children become more and more fluent in reading as the week progresses. Books are always matched to each child's reading level, and children should be able to read the book independently when it comes home, although we do think it is important that parents listen to their child when they read. Children also take home a reading for pleasure book, to share with a grown-up at home. Reading for pleasure books can be changed as often as your child wishes throughout the week.
We hold a termly EYFS phonics and reading workshop. Our next workshop is on Thursday 15th December at 3.20pm, where Mr Dennis will be leading a short presentation on Early Reading and what reading fluency looks like. If you are unable to attend any workshop, then please do see your child's class teacher.
Children in KS2, who are working at phase 2 or above, have a decodable book from the Big Cat Little Wandle 7+ scheme. As well as a decodable book, all children have a reading for pleasure book. All children are expected to read 5 times per week, and this is recorded in their reading diary. Children, who are not reading regularly at home, are heard regularly in school. We have a ‘Reading Challenge’, where children can earn bookmarks and a book of their choice for their efforts at home.
At Seathorne Primary Academy, children are taught that Writing is essential to everyday life. We follow the National Curriculum and use a range of sources to support our long-term planning to ensure a clear sequence and progression in this subject: The Write Stuff (Jane Considine), Talk for Writing (Pie Corbett), Chris Whitney and Alan Peat. By using a variety of approaches that target specific elements of writing, it enables barriers to be successfully overcome. These approaches allow children to develop oracy skills and widen their vocabulary choices, whilst deepening their understanding of writing choices.
Writing is taught through a high-quality text or stimulus, linking up with the overall theme and other areas of the curriculum where possible.
We provide a language-rich environment and extensive opportunities to use and embed new words in a range of contexts. Weekly chatter cards continually reinforce new vocabulary, and these are shared with home for the children to talk through with families too. Jane Considine’s Fantastic Foundations approach to writing supports our collection and application of vocabulary through using linked texts. Children always have access to a writing area with a wide range of writing materials and we provide meaningful mark making opportunities. Writing is displayed and celebrated in the classroom.
KS1 and KS2
Each year group has a yearly overview of the writing purposes, both narrative and non-fiction. Writing purposes are repeated to solidify understanding of a variety of genres and text types and to enhance skills in grammar, sentence construction and punctuation. We provide a purpose for writing for different audiences and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors.
Within a unit of learning, children are guided through a clear writing process: generating ideas, planning, drafting, revising, evaluating and publishing (when appropriate). Each skill is clearly modelled through shared or guided writing.
We use talk to encourage pupils to express their ideas, exchange ideas and to develop more sophisticated vocabulary and this is enhanced using ‘The Writing Rainbow’. We use a slow-write approach to ensure better quality writing is produced. Experiences are provided within units of learning where children develop a bank of vocabulary to support them in their next chunk of writing. Each classroom displays tier 2 and 3 vocabulary which is updated regularly. Children are taught the explicit grammar and punctuation objectives required for their key stage. Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught in context during English writing lessons, at the point of writing. Occasionally, we will deliver a stand-alone lesson if they feel that the class need to consolidate their skills further and particularly in summer term in Y6 in preparation for SATS.
Handwriting, Spelling and Grammar sessions are incorporated into the English lessons and also on their own merit within the timetable.
Writing in the Wider Curriculum
Our Long-Term Curriculum mapping supports this by identifying the opportunities where Writing skills can be developed in the wider curriculum.
National Curriculum English Programmes of Study: