At Warmingham C of E Primary, we nurture a love of literature and language, and instil children with the confidence to continue reading and writing throughout their lives.
At Warmingham we believe that from EYFS and Year One, children ‘Learn to Read’ enabling them from Year Two to ‘Read to Learn. This is our reading slogan that can be seen in every class. As soon as the children start school they begin to learn that all print carries meaning. We have a structured and multifaceted approach to the teaching of reading at our school. This includes:
- The teaching of synthetic phonics through the Letters and Sounds and Phonics Play programmes..
- Guided reading sessions that happen every day to develop specific reading skills of individuals as identified by the class teacher. These are led by the class teachers and teaching assistants.
- Whole class reading sessions.
- Independent reading time where the children are encouraged to choose an age appropriate book of their choice to read for enjoyment.
- In Key Stage Two, discrete Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar (SPAG) lessons happen as part of the daily English lesson which support the understanding of a range of texts.
We use picture books, novels and factual texts to engage and stimulate learning, ensuring children enjoy high quality writing that elevates their knowledge and understanding. Children are encouraged to read widely both in and outside school.
Phonics is recommended as a strategy that children should be taught in the early stages of learning to read. It is a way of decoding written letters and spoken sounds. This approach to learning to read encourages children to decode words by sounds, rather than by recognising whole words.
Learning to read is like cracking a code, so teaching phonics is a way of teaching children to crack the code. As reading is the key to learning it is important that we teach phonics clearly and systematically; the order of teaching these sounds has been carefully planned at Warmingham so that children can start reading complete words as soon as possible.
In Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage One, children use their phonics skills to spell words as well as learning the High Frequency words (including tricky words). As children progress through the school, they are taught spelling rules and patterns. All children are expected to learn their spellings as part of their home learning and daily SPaG sessions.
Learning to make the transition from spoken to written language is a key skill for children to learn as early as possible. This transition is made through exposure to a wide variety of written texts and through purposeful opportunities to practise their developing skills.
At Warmingham, we use a variety of teaching approaches to encourage and achieve the highest quality writing outcomes. Listed below are just a few of the approaches we use:
- Shared writing
- Reading aloud and re-reading
- Drama and role play
- Story mapping
- Writing in role
- Debate and argument
We have given much focus on the improvement of writing and have investigated numerous programmes and interventions. We have been working with other local schools who use Talk 4 Writing to support our journey. Talk for Writing enables children to imitate the key language they need for a particular topic orally before they try reading and analysing it. Through fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language they need, followed by shared writing to show them how to craft their writing, children are helped to write in the same style. Schools that have adopted the approach have not only increased their children’s progress but have found that both children and teachers love it.
Talk for Writing is powerful because it enables children to imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally before reading and analysing it and then writing their own version. It build on three stages of teaching:
1) Imitation - the children learn a text and the language they need
2) Innovation - the children adapt the model text with ideas of their own
3) Invention - the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.
We will be implementing this strategy this year and look forward to seeing the impact ourselves.
All attempts at writing are valued at our school and we aspire towards every child being a successful writer.
Speaking and Listening
Speaking and listening activities are purposefully woven throughout our curriculum from EYFS to Year Six. Good oral work enhances pupils' understanding of language, in both oral and written forms, and of the way language can be used to communicate. As children develop, we foster their understanding of speech and their abilities to express their thoughts, feelings and ideas in words.