Reading at Beenham Primary School
At Beenham Primary School, we believe that reading is an essential life skill, and we are committed to enabling our children to become lifelong readers.
At the heart of our strategy is our drive to foster a love of reading, enriching children’s learning through carefully designed teaching activities that utilise age related, high quality and thought-provoking texts.
Reading is a skill that enables children to develop their learning across the wider curriculum and lays the foundations for success in future lines of study and employment. We recognise the importance of taking a consistent whole school approach to the teaching of reading to close any gaps and to target the highest possible number of children attaining the expected standard or higher
We teach Phonics and early reading through the validated systematic phonics programme Read Write Inc., further up the school we use a Whole Class Reading Approach in Lower and Upper key Stage 2; this approach has been chosen to enable all children regardless of abilities to be exposed to age-related, high-quality text and rich tier 2 and 3 vocabulary.
Reading Assessments are in place on our assessment schedule, from these assessments gaps in learning are identified and teachers plan learning to fill those gaps. We use Pixl resources (a learning package we purchase using the PPG Premium) to provide resources and models to fill these gaps.
Reading Assessments are also used by the SENCo to identify children that require any intervention. We use the Nessy programme and RWI Phonics Interventions.
Our lowest 20% of children are identified and are part of a fluency intervention in which they are heard read a minimum of 3 times per week to practice their fluency and phonics. The children who require a Phonics intervention also receive this. This is part funded by the School Led Tutoring money and resources were purchased using the Covid Catch Up Premium.
Reading is regarded as a priority in our school, and we promote reading in a variety of ways throughout the school. We have a reading section within our monthly newsletter to parents which suggests recommended age-appropriate text, we set regular reading challenges throughout the year and provide an online reading resource for children to access at home.
We are in the process of building a reading spine for the school using high quality text which link to our wider curriculum project themes.
Children are making progress in reading both in word recognition and comprehension- this is evident in assessment outcomes and increase in reading ages.
Children are enjoying reading more, reading is talked about positively and children are reading the correct matched books to their ability allowing them to be successful.
Writing at Beenham Primary School
The team at Beenham Primary School work to ensure that high-quality education in English will teach pupils to speak and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others and through their reading and listening, others can communicate with them. We plan for our children to develop their vocabulary understanding, write in a range of different genres and continuously develop their spelling, grammar and punctuation skills as they progress throughout the school. As well as this, we want our children to understand the spoken word, use expression and participate in the wider world by speaking fluently and articulately.
From September 2022, we will be using The Write Stuff to improve the quality of teaching of writing at Beenham Primary School. Lessons are divided into “experiences” to stimulate writing and “sentence stacking”. The sentence stacking lessons are divided into bite-sized chunks (3 x 20 minutes within an hour’s lesson) that have modelling at the heart of them. The key benefits of this approach to writing are:
- improvements in the quality of sentence structure;
- standards improve because many worked examples are provided over time;
- children have a clear view of what high quality writing looks like;
- children know how to improve their writing and make it more focused; and
- children understand how to apply the techniques they have been taught in sentence stacking lessons to their independent writing.
The Writing Rainbow is a concept used in each lesson to aid writing by focusing children on different aspects of writing using “lenses”. It is divided into three layers and on each layer, there are nine different lenses. Teachers select a range of lenses each lesson to support the skill they are teaching.
The FANTASTICs – the IDEAS OF WRITING
The nine ideas of writing are: Feeling, Asking, Noticing, Touching, Action, Smelling, Tasting, Imagining and Checking. Locked into these nine lenses are the five senses eg checking = checking for sound.
The Grammaristics – the GRAMMAR of writing
This layer links closely to the national curriculum and is taught discretely in grammar lessons and then continually revisited, in context, during sentence stacking lessons to embed children’s understanding.
The Boomtastics – the TECHNIQUES of writing
These help children to make their writing “boom” off the page and include techniques such as alliteration, simile, metaphor and pathetic fallacy.
Thesaurus Thinking and “Shade o meter”
In addition to the writing rainbow, we use “Thesaurus Thinking”, which is a highly effective way of showing how an author makes their word choices and is also an excellent way of teaching new vocabulary because it explicitly links words children already know with those they do not. Once vocabulary has been gathered, as a class, during Chotting (chatting and jotting), using “kind calling out”, teachers model vocabulary choices depending on positive or negative intent (smiley face or sad face in KS1) and the degree of intensity of language needed. We aim for children to write in “chunks of sense” with a high degree of precision in their language choices.
Our wider curriculum offers many opportunities to allow the children to apply their learning from the dedicated writing sessions.
We teach spelling using a school wide programme which follows on from our Phonics Scheme. This is called RWI Spelling and children receive a daily session which focuses on the teaching of spelling patterns.