In English teaching we aim to inspire children to be confident and excited readers and writers, who want to learn. This is done by a carefully planned curriculum, which has a range of starting points, and strategies and is linked to the meet the requirements of the new National Curriculum introduced in 2014.
Each week the children participate in whole-class reading lessons linked to their writing focus or topic. Children have access to a range of materials and wide variety of resources that encourage high quality literacy experiences and we are adding to these regularly to ensure they are exciting and support the children’s needs.
In reading we aspire to foster a love of reading and stories. We do this by giving children access to high quality texts from a range of different genres. We are continually updating our reading resources, and library books to reflect the needs of the children. Within classrooms, we are aiming to have a wide variety of age-appropriate books to use as a stimulus for writing and reading.
We have whole class reading lessons based on developing fluency and comprehension skills. Using the reading domains, the children are given opportunities to practise their inference, prediction, summarising, explanation, retrieval and summarising skills (VIPERS) and the children learn new vocabulary from the texts we use which we then look for in their spoken language and their writing.
In writing, there is an expectation that children use joined handwriting, taught through teacher modelling and early morning work. The skills of grammar and punctuation are embedded across the curriculum and children apply these in their writing in all subjects. In writing, we use a wide range starting points, including: drama, picture books, children’s fiction, visitors, visits, pictures and video. By providing a variety of inspiring sources, the children are engaged and keen to learn. The children write for a variety of audiences, as well as covering different genres of writing for nonfiction and fiction. All tasks are differentiated as are the success criteria for each lesson.
In spelling, we follow the National Curriculum guidelines for Statutory and Non-Statutory words. Where possible, links are made to learn spelling patterns in reading and writing in English lessons. We are looking at how we teach spelling for the future.
Parents are encouraged to play an important role in this by attending workshops, information sharing events, as well as book week activities. We also encourage the children to read at home regularly as part of their homework.
Author Visit 21st May 2019
On Tuesday 21st May all of the Junior School children had a visit from the author Jack Trelawny. He read from his first book The Crystal Pool, which talked about two children visiting Cornwell and the adventures that they got into.
Jack told us about being an author and how he came by his ideas, using a collection of unusual pictures and words. He said he collected these together to make his stories, he showed the children some of his unusual pictures of animals and explained how he would take these to start to ask questions. Then using the questions, pictures and words he could start to create stories. Jack encourage all the children to do this, as we can all be authors.
Lastly he spoke about his new series of books based on thirteen things of interest at the British Museum, he is going to write a story for each of them, the first one being The Emperors Rhinoceros.
The rigorous requirements of the reading framework require deep engagement and response to texts. Reading Gladiators can help prepare pupils for these demands in an engaging way, within the context of reading for pleasure. Immersing children in quality, demanding and varied books. Participation in high level discussion helps develop deeper reading skills, builds reading stamina and helps to nurture adventurous readers.
Year 6 Gladiators have read
“I really enjoyed Strange Star because it had a lot of mystery and a good story line. I haven’t read a book like it before and it was a pleasure to read and talk about.”
“I really enjoyed The Secret horses of Briar Hill and The Adventures of John Blake because there was slight adventure although there was peril and fear as well. The Adventure of John Blake had humour and adventure and action.”
“I liked Strange Star the most because it was suspenseful and there was a lot to put together towards the end of the book. E.g. like when the girl peeks out of the window at the start and then at the end it happens again, meaning that the start was what happened before the adventure.”
“My top two favourite books were Strange Star and The Secret Horses of Briar Hill. I enjoyed Strange Star because I liked the sense of danger and suspense which occurred many times within the book. An example was when the girl was laying on the bed, when she first became blind after the lightning which struck her mother’s pitch fork when she was herding the cows into their pens, and the lightning rebounded off of the metal, and struck the girl in the eyes.”
“I also enjoyed the Secret Horses of Briar Hill, because I liked the description of the atmosphere, and like I explained in the comment about Strange Star, I liked the sensation of danger and mystery, but it did have a small amount of sadness and peril, when the main character’s best friend passed away.”
Spring Term 2019
The children have continued to work hard in reading this term and we have introduced an Accelerated Reader Challenge trophy for the class in each year group who takes the most quizzes each week. This term congratulations goes to: CP3, RB4, RL5 and AW6 for earning the most points in their year groups. We have also had some more Word Millionnaires! Well done to Edward, Przemyslaw and Jack in year 6 and Willow and Sienna both in year 5 for reading over one million words in their reading books since September!
In addition to this, we have two boys who have read over two million words each since September! – Well done.
Autumn Term 2018
It has been great to see so many children taking quizzes on their accelerated reading books this term, and really enjoying reading. Well done too, to classes CP3, RB4, RL5 and KH6 for achieving the highest number of points earned on quizzes taken so far since September. Huge congratulations go to Sam in year 6 for becoming our first Reading Millionaire, having read over one million words since the beginning of the school year! Currently, he has read over 1, 127, 378 words – well done Sam.