"IF YOU ARE GOING TO GET ANYWHERE IN LIFE YOU HAVE TO READ A LOT OF BOOKS" - ROALD DAHL
English is a core subject and our curriculum aims to develop skills in reading, writing, speaking and listening. As well as the time allocated to English, links are made to many of the other subjects allowing pupils to develop their skills in a range of contexts.
A variety of teaching and learning styles are used. We encourage pupils to be articulate and confident. They will have the opportunity to develop a love of reading and a good understanding of what they read. As writers, they will be confident using a wide range of styles and able to engage their audience through well planned work.
Most importantly, we want our pupils to love reading – whatever their age. From Reception, we read with the children every day fostering a love of all types of books; we ask our parents to do the same.
We teach key phonics skills using Ruth Miskin’s Read Write Inc phonics programme from reception upwards to equip our children with the necessary skills to be confident free readers as they grow older.
Further up the school, we use Shared and Guided Reading to strengthen reading comprehension skills; this approach focuses on the skills of predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarising. Through this approach, our pupils are exposed to a rich and wide variety of texts everyday whilst also developing independence in how they evaluate and discuss texts with their peers.
FREE eBook Library from Oxford Owl for Home: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page
Helping Your Child With Reading
Reading with your child is vital. Research shows that it's the single most important thing you can do to help your child's education. It's best to read little and often, so try to put aside some time for it every day.
Think of ways to make reading fun - you want your child to learn how pleasurable books can be. If you're both enjoying talking about the content of a particular page, linger over it for as long as you like.
Books aren't just about reading the words on the page, they can also present new ideas and topics for you and your child to discuss.
Tips for helping your child to enjoy books:
- Encourage your child to pretend to 'read' a book before he or she can read words.
- Visit the library as often as possible - take out CDs, DVDs, story bags as well as books.
- Schedule a regular time for reading - perhaps when you get home from school or just before bed.
- Buy dual-language books if English isn’t your family’s first language - you can talk about books and stories, and develop a love for them, in any language.
- Look for books on topics that you know your child is interested in - maybe dragons, insects, cookery or a certain sport.
- Make sure that children’s books are easily accessible in different rooms around your house.
- Try to ask a variety of questions to check understanding. (see example VIPERS questions below).
- Please ensure your child’s reading activity is logged in their reading record book.
Guided Reading Parent Presentation
Reading Progression EYFS - Y6
We assign children to a book band based on their word reading skills and their ability to understand and explain what they are reading.
Book bands pink to gold
For book bands from pink to gold, children should be encouraged to reread their book in order to help them gain a firm understanding of the text.
The first time the book is read, children should focus on deciphering the text using word reading strategies.
• Using phonics strategies to sound out words
• Recognising common words by sight
• Identifying known words with similar spelling/rhyming patterns
• Reading around the word in a sentence then using the context to work out the word.
The second time the book is read, children should be focusing on:
- Being able to read the text fluently and accurately
- Responding accurately to punctuation
- Ensuring grammar is correctly used
- Developing their understanding of what is happening in the text; being able to retell the story, sequencing events and describing characters and settings.
The third time the book is read, children should be focusing on deepening their understanding, including:
- Talking about their opinions of the book as a whole and of specific events, characters and settings, giving reasons for their ideas
- Discussing the feelings and actions of characters, giving reasons using evidence from the text if possible
- Thinking about why a specific word or phrase has been used by the writer and what effect it creates for the reader
- Making links between the text and other similar texts.
Book bands white to brown
For book bands from white to brown, children should only need to read a book once but should be encouraged to reread specific sentences and paragraphs where they are less sure of the meaning or meet an unfamiliar word.
At this level, children should be able to read a text silently to themselves but should be discussing what they have read with others and answering questions about the text. They should also be using dictionaries to establish the meaning of unfamiliar words.
Resources to help your child with reading at home
Our writing is closely linked to our termly topic themes; this approach gives the children even more time to learn about their topics whilst also providing a meaningful output for their work. Core skills in spelling, grammar and punctuation are taught through writing sessions, embedded in the learning rather than separate – this provides a meaningful context for their use. Handwriting practice ensures all writers present their work beautifully. We want our young writers to master the English language with a strong control of grammar and punctuation but also a rich, imaginative bank of vocabulary. With these skills and experiences, we believe they can be the authors, poets, editors and journalists of tomorrow.
Speaking and Listening
Confident public speaking and the ability to listen with focus are incredible tools to have. As such, we plan frequent opportunities for our children to speak to wider audiences, be it to a group, a class or in assembly; we hold high expectations for all in terms of speaking with volume, clarity and confidence. In our compassionate school we all value the need to listen to others – not just so we can better understand their views and opinions, but so we can strengthen ours.
Spelling and Handwriting
Spelling and handwriting are taught throughout all aspects of the curriculum, as well as in isolation. This enables pupils to practise the words and handwriting techniques expected of children of their age, as well as apply what they have learnt in all their work. Spelling rules and example words can be found here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/Spelling.pdf
At Langdale we teach continuous cursive writing. This means:
- There is a clearer distinction between capital letters and lower case letters.
- Every letter has an approach stroke and a carry on stroke. This means that letters can be joined as soon as the pupil has learned two or three letters.
- When teaching the approach stroke we will say ‘touch the line…sweep up …’ The letters should finish with ‘and flick’ to facilitate joining later.
- All lower case letters begin at the base of the line.
- When the children begin to join their cursive letters (which occurs naturally with practise), they their pen will not leave the paper when writing a word. The only exception to this is the letter x.
It has particular benefits for children with spellings and reading difficulties.