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Reading

At Stock Primary School we aim to foster a love of books and reading. We’ve created a positive reading culture that permeates through the whole school. Each classroom has a comfy corner where there is a selection of books for the children to enjoy.

Our specialist teachers and teaching assistants run intervention programmes for

children, who are not at the same level as their peers, including: Catch Up Reading and the Better

Reading Partnership.

The whole school celebrates World Book Day each year and the children and teachers love dressing up in crazy costumes. Parents are always keen to help and we are lucky to benefit from their continued support during the year.

By the time children leave us, we aim to have developed fluent readers who are interested in books and enjoy reading, as it is a key life skill for a successful future.

In Foundation Stage, we share books with children daily, to continue the work parents start at home. We look at illustrations and encourage “book talk” from all of the children. During whole class reading and in small groups we read a range of stories, from traditional tales through to works by established authors. The children love to read together. By reading a wide range of books together and by changing our voices through pitch and tone we make reading more interesting. High frequency words are taught in school and are placed in order of the frequency children will see them occurring in books. Children take home a set of high frequency words to practise reading at home. Once children have completed these they will work on comprehension skills and we will send home questions for children to work on with parents or book activities to complete.

In Key Stage 1, we continue the work started in Foundation Stage and develop children’s understanding of letters and sounds through the teaching of synthetic phonics. Daily phonics lessons help children decode the language they encounter each day and, as they get older, we move towards using phonics to develop spelling. Throughout Key Stage 1 and 2, we begin to teach specific skills such as punctuation, sight words, phonemes and comprehension. We look at different types of text so the children learn specific features. Children are encouraged to use interesting words in their writing that they have learnt from their independent reading. We ask them to “magpie” any outstanding wow words or phrases. These are put up on the classroom walls so children can get inspiration from them when they write.

Daily Guided Reading takes place across the school and children love being able to read with an adult. We look through differentiated texts and discuss what they think might happen. Children work together and remind each other what to do if they get stuck on reading a word. After a while, they stop and take part in a discussion about the book and this is the best part! There will be a focus on specific teaching points and objectives that are particular to that group. These sessions are very carefully assessed and each individual’s progress tracked. The children will have targets from their Guided Reading sessions in their reading journals and they self assess with support from the teacher as to whether their target has been met. Following a session the children may be asked to read independently at home or in school in preparation for the next session. In Key Stage 2 there are additional comprehension lessons which look in detail at more complex types of questions.

All children choose their own reading books from a colour banded assortment, arranged according to ability which link directly with the National Curriculum. Once they have finished a book, pupils can get another and are encouraged to read every day at home. Each child has a Reading Journal where parents can comment on how well their children are doing with the books at home. In Key Stage 2 children are encouraged to complete activities

about the books they have read and can earn points which are linked to the whole school rewards

scheme for reading.

Please contact me directly if you have any queries about reading.

Miss M Park Reading Coordinator

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Writing

At Stock Primary School we want all our children to be able to write and communicate effectively. We have high expectations of writing across the curriculum and throughout the school. We believe that writing should be meaningful and for a range of purposes. We deliver a creative and engaging curriculum and wherever possible, we encourage children to use and apply their learning in other areas of the curriculum. Each term children’s writing is linked to a theme which is designed to be accessible and engaging to the children. It is important that the themes are relevant, inspirational and provide children with the motivation and experiences to draw upon when writing.

For example:

Year 1 – Instructions for catching a giant

Year 2 – Fire of London Activities – culminating in setting fire to miniature houses made of cardboard to see how the wind affected the spreading fire (closely supervised by Essex Fire Service)

Year 4 – Romans designing and building a Roman Aqueduct, purchasing parts from a ‘shop’ and using currency of the time. A diary was written to document the experience.

Year 5 – Investigation of a ‘crime scene’ discovered in the school grounds.

A variety of teaching and learning styles are incorporated into our Literacy lessons and the principal aim is to develop children’s knowledge, skills, and understanding.  Talk for writing is used widely across the classes enabling children to learn texts by heart and imitate them. Finally they use this structure to write their own independent pieces. Through daily lessons children explore different genre of texts and identify the key elements; the teacher then models planning and writing explaining how they are using the key skills. They have the opportunity to experience a wide range of texts, and to support their work with a variety of resources, such as dictionaries and thesauruses. Key vocabulary and aspects of the genre being studied are displayed on working boards in each classroom to support pupils’ learning. Children use ICT in English lessons where it enhances their learning, as in drafting their work and in using multimedia to study how words and images are combined to convey meaning.

In January 2014 the Big Write was introduced to the Curriculum to encourage the children to become enthusiastic writers. Big Write does not replace literacy but goes hand in hand with it and impacts across the curriculum. The initial part of the session is for fast, fun activities based on correct use of an aspect of VCOP – vocabulary, connectives, openers and punctuation. Time is spent reinforcing and reminding them of what they know as well as developing their skills. The children are then given the opportunity to sit silently in an atmosphere conducive to writing e.g. candles burning and extremely soft classical music playing, blinds shut, scented sticks, special coloured paper, special pens and pencils. This enables them to write in a calm and focused atmosphere for sustained periods. The length of time spent writing varies from year to year. In Reception the children begin with Big Talk then progress to Little Write as they develop their fine motor skills and their ability to write and construct sentences.

 

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