EnglishIn Welbourne Primary School we work hard to develop pupils’ Literacy skills in speaking and listening, reading and writing, as soon as they enter school in the Nursery and until they leave in Year 6.
At Welbourne, we are committed to developing literacy skills in all of our children, in the belief that it will support their learning and raise standards across the curriculum.
We believe that children reach their potential when they learn in a creative, purposeful way. We achieve this through being part of the CLPE Power of Reading Project, which aims to help us to find the ‘reader in the writer.’
Using the Power of Reading Project, each class bases its English teaching over a number of weeks on one text, combining speaking and listening, drama, reading, and writing activities in a variety of genres. Teachers also use Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ for writing quality texts. These activities take place in the daily English lesson which lasts for approximately an hour.
Speaking and Listening
At Welbourne, we understand that the quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary and grammar and their understanding for reading and writing. We ensure the continual development of pupils’ confidence and competence in spoken language by encouraging our pupils to speak clearly and to articulate their views and opinions. We teach children to express themselves orally in an appropriate way, matching their style and response to audience and purpose, listening and responding to literature and giving and receiving instructions. They develop the skills of participating effectively in group discussions.
As part of our Pie Corbett Talk for Writing Units, children in all year groups learn a variety of text genres off by heart, in order to develop the language of a writer.
Reading and Phonics
Reading is taught initially using a phonics programme called ‘Letters and Sounds’. This is a synthetic phonics programme that is introduced in the Nursery and continues into Year 2. In Reception and KS1, phonics is taught by teachers within a mixed ability class environment. It is “multi-sensory, in order to capture children’s interest, sustain motivation and reinforce learning” as suggested in the Rose Review 2006. We have a specialist Phonics Champion, who does additional sessions with children identified to need extra phonic support.
Daily reading, where vocabulary development is a major focus, starts in Nursery at Welbourne. Guided reading is introduced in the later part of the Autumn term in Reception and is consolidated throughout Key Stage 1. During daily guided reading, the staff focus on teaching reading skills to different groups, whilst the rest of the class are engaged in reading activities linked to their targets. In Years 3-6, our children are taught reading skills in a daily ‘Big Read’ session. Our teachers use Power of Reading texts or an equivalent high-quality text to explicitly teach the key reading skills including: retrieval, summarising, inferring, predicting, comparing texts and clarifying words. All children are taught through the same high quality text with vocabulary support for all children that require it. The lessons involve shared reading as well as activities to support children to engage with the text, ranging from drama to written responses. We also have a specialist Reading teacher, who works with our teachers to identify children for 1-2-1 interventions.
Once a fortnight, each class has an opportunity to visit the school library to immerse themselves in the pleasure of reading, borrow books that can be read in class or come together to share and enjoy a story. The school library is open at lunchtimes to encourage children and adults to read for pleasure.
Writing is taught within our English lessons as a tool to craft and communicate ideas. We model the writing process though shared and guided writing. In our Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), we provide a variety of fun and engaging contexts for children to experiment independently with mark making. Our EYFS teachers facilitate this creativity through their targeted guided sessions.
In Year 1 to Year 6 the children have extended writing sessions, which is a chance for them to complete a piece of writing with a ‘real’ purpose. Within these sessions, children and teachers use drama, role-play and talk partners to develop their ideas and to use the key vocabulary taught before they tackle writing tasks. We also teach a discrete grammar, spelling and handwriting lesson on a weekly basis.
Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ is used from Nursery to Year 6 as a tool to structure writing and provide opportunities for children to orally rehearse language and vocabulary to build fluency for writing. The repertoire of vocabulary, language structures and patterns that are learnt, enable the children to then innovate and invent their own ideas before writing their own creative piece.