At Alderman Bolton, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. The quality and variety of language that pupils hear and speak are vital for developing their vocabulary, grammar and their understanding.
As a school, we use ‘Talk for Writing’ as it enables children to imitate the language they need for a topic orally, before analysing and then writing their own version. All pupils are taught how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Effective composition involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. This requires clarity, awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. We also promote high standards of handwriting from EYFS up to Y6 and encourage the pupils to earn pen licenses.
In order to support the planning and delivery of writing, ‘Read to Write’ units are used across the school to strengthen this process. The units have been carefully mapped out so the entire statutory curriculum for English is covered for each year group. They also enable opportunities to draw upon the wider curriculum, supporting enrichment. The units empower teachers to provide high-quality teaching of writing through high-quality literature. These detailed units of work centre on engaging, vocabulary-rich texts, with a wealth of writing opportunities within and across the curriculum and they also signpost wider curriculum enrichments.
Our intent is to provide pupils with a high-quality education in English, that will teach them to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively.
At Alderman Bolton Primary we promote a strong love of reading, ensuring every child becomes a reader and has access to a wide variety of texts. Our curriculum from Nursery to Year 6 is vocabulary rich and we successfully use immersive texts through our Read to Write and Steps to Read programmes to develop the wide range of skills and knowledge needed to be a confident reader.
We start our reading journey from day one in Nursery. Through fostering a love of reading, providing books in all areas of the environment and introducing phonics, our children are submerged in a text rich environment. The pupils continue to build on their phonic skills throughout EYFS and KS1, learning the 44 different sounds, reading and spellings of a variety of ‘tricky’ words, such as: once, have, said and where. Our phonics lessons are fun, interactive and linked to a range of books and spellings.
As children become more independent with their reading they have access to a wide range of books with a rich vocabulary both in our classrooms and online via Accelerated Reader. Children have many opportunities to read for pleasure, as well as structured reading sessions, where children investigate the techniques of the writer. This enables our children to make strong links between reading and writing.
Our aim is to develop a whole school love of reading, making every child a reader and developing a love of books.
We offer our pupils a range of support to ensure they become successful readers. Led by our Tutors and Teaching Assistants, we timetable phonics intervention groups in KS1 and lower KS2. ‘Project X’ is an inference intervention in lower KS2 and our small group sessions is an upper KS2 inference intervention that has been very successful for our children.
We encourage all our pupils to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge and vocabulary. Accelerated Reader is a program that is used from Year 1 through to Year 6 which provides teachers with the information that they need to monitor pupils’ reading practice and make informed decisions to guide their future learning. Through the star reading and early reader assessments, a comprehensive set of reports reveal how well a pupil has been reading, how they have understood it and at what level of complexity. Literacy skills are also measured along with vocabulary growth.
It is our intention to ensure that, by the end of their primary education, all pupils are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject in their forthcoming secondary education, as well as having a personal enjoyment of reading.