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Literacy

Literacy

 

"A child who reads will be an adult who thinks."

 

Reading

 

We take great pride in our reading provision. Although we recognise the need to assess regularly and provide academic targets for reading, our main aim is to develop cohorts of curious and avid readers who truly enjoy getting lost in a good book! 

 

We see reading as one of the greatest pleasures in life and aim to ensure every child is provided with the skills necessary to enjoy reading. 

 

The mechanics of reading begin with the teaching of Phonics and this is delivered through Ruth Miskin Literacy (RML): In line with usual practice at Millfield, RML has been adapted in order to personalise it for our children as follows:

 

  • Phonic lessons last for 30 minutes.  Instead of doing RML writing, our writing is based on other texts and authors. This allows the children a wider breadth of influences. 
  • Elements of RML which are followed are: green words, red words, flashcards, RML reading books, speed words, spelling linked to focus sounds,  fine motor skills using different media and letter formation
  • Children are moved from group to group based on ongoing assessments of teachers
  • There is a fortnightly meeting of teachers and other practitioners to discuss RML groupings and to ensure they are still appropriate.

 

Nursery begin phonics in Spring term (dependent on the ability of the cohort and assessments from Autumn term against the EYFS targets– initial sounds and early word recognition).

Staffing: Mrs. Ehlen, Mrs. Sheldon and Mrs. Beard

 

Reception have RML sessions 5 days per week at 9.00 am for 30 minutes – This RML focuses on the fluency and understanding of Set 1 & Set 2 sounds and introduction to RML reading books

Staffing: Miss Bailey, Mr. Bates, Mrs. Dolman and Mrs. Jones.  After Autumn assessments there is the possibility for additional staffing dependent on needs. 

At 11.45 am  two extra adults will be working with Reception children either to provide catch up intervention or to extend more able and support children falling behind.

 

Year 1 have RML sessions at 11.45 am each morning for 30 minutes – In Year 1, the children build upon the strong foundations of reading developed in Early Years and continue with Set 2 sounds leading to the  introduction of Set 3 sounds.

Staffing: Miss Dyer, Mrs. Pitchford, Mrs. Linda Dolman, Mrs. Lisa Dolman, Mrs. Jones, Mrs. Kobus.  The breakdown of groups is as follows:

  • 4 members of staff doing RML groups based on ability and level of book
  • 1 group who have completed RML using the skills developed in context by doing guided reading 
  • 1 member of staff for children not accessing RML who will be doing other intervention programmes based on their needs.

 

Additional reading for Year 1:

In addition to RML, twice a week, Year 1 also enjoy a 30 minute a session of shared reading with the class teacher. The shared reading uses extracts, aimed at Year 2,  from many different text types and begins to introduce the children to developing their understanding of a text.  Over these sessions, the teacher focuses on one or more of each content domain strand. (VIPERS – vocabulary, inference, prediction, explaining, retrieving and sequencing/summarising) 

 

In Year 1, all children also read to an adult every day on a 1:1 basis and select their own reading book which they then take home and return each day.

 

Reading Year 2 – 5

 

It is the aim that all children read to an adult every day but where this is not possible, identified children, based on need, have priority.

 

Year 2

 

Extending the practice in Year 1, the children in Year 2 enjoy a shared extract from age appropriate text for 45mins, four times per week.  Each session is whole class reading of the text with a specific focus on one of the content domain strands.  Over two weeks all of the domain strands are covered and evidenced.  On a Wednesday night questions are set for homework.  This is returned the following day and marked together in class with a focus on how the answers have been arrived at – i.e. find the proof. 

After reading with a member of staff every day, children select their own reading book which they take home every afternoon and return the following morning. (For longer books they still bring the book back, even if they have not finished it, so that an adult can read with them in school)

 

Although Year 2 do not continue with RML, the children that did not achieve a passing grade in the Year 1 phonics assessment continue to learn the mechanics of reading through phonics. These sessions are delivered for 30 minutes each day and use the CGP Phonics scheme as for some children, the teaching of phonics in an alternative way can be the key to unlocking understanding and reading potential. 

 

Year 3

 

The excellent work done in Year 2 is continued into the juniors, with the only difference being that sessions last 30 minutes and are delivered 3 times per week. 

 

Year 4 & 5

 

In Year 4 and 5, we aim to take the excellent practice one step further by applying the skills developed into a context that the children are more familiar with. One session per week is based on extracts from one of the children’s own chosen class reading books. 

 

Year 6

 

Year 6 use shared extracts in the same way as the rest of the school but also begin to look at previous SATs papers to explain how the content domain strands are used to assess understanding of reading at the end of KS2.

 

 

Additional reading activities:

 

As well as providing the children with many opportunities to read, we feel that it is important that good practice is modelled and the children are given time to enjoy listening to stories. 

 

  • Each class is read to every day for at least 15 minutes covering all text types
  • All literacy/writing lessons are linked to a text
  • Modelled shared reading in class
  • Every child (from Year 2 upwards) has an individual reading book and where possible, time is given for children to read. 

 

Assessment of Reading:

 

  • EYFS and Y1 have ongoing RML assessments and these are discussed at fortnightly meetings
  • Mock phonics screening (using previous year’s test) in December for Y1 in order to track attainment and progression and help focus intervention 
  • Actual phonics screening in June for Y1 and Y2 resits
  • Y2/3/6 have fortnightly Reading tests using previous SATS papers. (Y2 & Y6 in preparation for SATs and for Y3 this is to maintain levels achieved at the end of Y2 – for Y3, the greater depth Y2 papers [reading paper 2] are used.)
  • Reception – Y6 PIRA reading tests are compelted on a termly basis.

 

 

Training for Parents

 

  • Year 1 & Y2 parents will be invited in for 6 sessions where there will see modelling of how to read with their children
  • Each half term, 'Reading' sessions are delivered to parents across the school
  • RML sessions will be provided by EYFS Staff to all parents on an ongoing basis.
  • The school provides a community library for parents once a week, including a bounce and rhyme session for under 3s.

 

  

Writing

 

As we encourage connections to be made constantly in the various curriculum areas, we consider and select a wide selection of texts upon which we base our writing each term . We find that engaging pupils with a text not only inspires their learning but also enriches other areas of the curriculum bringing cohesive understanding. Within Literacy lessons children are introduced to a wide range of genre and are given the guidance necessary to create meaningful, thought provoking work. 

 

Specific genres are not prescribed for particular year groups as this would limit possibilities of using the wider curriculum as a stimulus for writing.  Instead appropriate genres are chosen by class teachers in order to utilise learning provided by other subjects/experiences.  Coverage of the various genre types is ensured through monitoring  by the Literacy lead who will identify gaps and ensure that there is full coverage of the different genre types.

 

The following genres will be covered several times throughout the children's time at Millfield:

narrative retell; narrative innovate and narrative create; poetry; descriptive writing, non-chronological report; instructions;  retell of event; balanced argument, persuasive; newspaper.

 

Spelling, punctuation and grammar are taught discretely and children are instructed to use grammar and punctuation that they have learned in their writing where applicable.

 

We also use the many wider experiences provided for our children as a basis for their writing. This could be incubating chicks in Reception, a Scarecrows wedding in KS1 or one of the many residential trips that we provide in KS2. We find that be providing children with a concrete memory, this impacts upon their writing and helps to create well rounded and insightful work.

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