At St Anne's Primary School, developing pupils’ literacy skills is at the heart of the curriculum. Through an integrated approach of Reading, Writing and Speaking & Listening, pupils are given the opportunities to learn new skills and consolidate them within a broad range of exciting contexts.
From the Foundation Stage onwards, language development and communication skills are a key priority. Children are motivated to use and apply new vocabulary and grammar structures by exploring them through real life contexts, learning to become fluent speakers and having numerous opportunities to practise their letter formation, phonics and writing skills. Whilst in the Foundation Stage, children are immersed daily in a wide range of quality stories, rhymes and non-fiction texts, in order to develop their love of books and reading.
In Key Stages 1 and 2, all classes have a daily English lesson, which develops key phonics, reading comprehension and writing skills in line with The National Curriculum 2014 for English. The link between reading and writing within English lessons is made explicit: planning follows the reading to writing process, giving pupils plenty of opportunities to become emerged in rich, quality texts and to read critically as both a reader and writer. If you enter any of our classrooms, you will see the texts the children have shared together. Always high quality and always enjoyable.
We have recently overhauled how we explicitly teach reading. The children now have a 'Big Reading' lesson once a week where they share a high quality text and then do a variety of exercises based on their reading; alongside this they have explicit comprehension exercises that help to develop their understanding of what they have read.
In addition to their daily English lessons, children follow the 'Get spelling' programme that focuses on the teaching of spelling rules and grammatical terminology. The words within this programme sometimes require their understanding of phonics, or they require them to learn words that cannot be segmented in order to spell. The children are required to recognise words that they find tricky and to practise, practise, practise. There is no weekly 'test' as such, as the children are much more in control of the words they need to become confident with.
We are passionate about our children being fluent and enthusiastic readers. Our Lead Practitioner in school works extremely closely with all teachers to support them in planning around high quality texts. We also have a 'must read' list for each year group. Some of these are classics, some are new by comparison, but they are all books for the children to simply share and enjoy.
In the Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, children are taught to read through the ‘Read Write Inc’ Programme which teaches through a systematic and fun approach. To learn more about how we teach this, and to learn about the programme itself, click here.
Other opportunities for Reading enrichment include weekly use of the School’s newly stocked and refurbished library and encouraging children to use their class book corners. Our library is open every lunchtime so that the children who choose to do so can spend their lunchtime immersed in one of their favourite books. We have storytelling times for the younger children too.