Literacy at Barwic Parade
At Barwic Parade, we believe passionately that an excellent foundation in Literacy is essential for all children. Literacy includes the key skills of speaking, listening, reading and writing. We believe that literacy skills stem from a love of books. We surround the children with books in all areas of the curriculum.
Learning to Read:
In EYFS and Key Stage 1 we focus on learning to read. Phonics teaching ensures children learn about what sound different letters or groups of letters make in the English language. This helps them to read words and is the foundation stone of reading.
We use phonics based books to support reading development in school. These books are closely linked to the sounds the children have learnt in Phonics to ensure they can read their home reading books. Book bands are used to organise books into progressively challenging texts based on phonics in KS1. Guided Reading sessions in school support the children to develop their understanding of what they read. These books are pitched slightly higher than independent reading books to allow teachers to challenge children's knowledge and support their understanding. As well as group reading, children practise their comprehension as a whole class once per week by focusing on the skills of Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation and Summarising. This may be through a picture book, a short film or from a text extract. Children are encouraged to read every night for 10-20 minutes.
Reading to Learn:
In Key Stage 2 the focus moves to reading to learn although there may be some children who still benefit from phonics based reading. Guided Reading sessions in school support the children to develop their understanding of what they read through focusing the skills of Prediction, inference, vocabulary and summarising. Independent books still follow the book banding scheme and become progressively more challenging through content, vocabulary and length. Children are encouraged to read for 20 minutes every night.
Throughout the school, children have access to a wide selection of independent books within the appropriate book band, reading books and text extracts in group reading sessions and a class reader which the teacher reads to them. Class reading books are chosen specifically to increase cultural awareness of children by reading classic texts or texts with important themes.
We teach different genres of writing over the school year including narrative, poetry and non-fiction. Teacher choose texts to link with the Big Journey or a current local or national event, for example, National Space Week.
Narrative writing is supported by a Sentence Stacking approach. Children write three 'chunks' of writing each lesson. Each chunk has a different focus (personification, subordinate clause, noun phrase...) and is modeled by the teacher using a bank of vocabulary and ideas generated by the class. Children produce shorter but more focused pieces of writing. Teaching with this approach exposes children to a higher volume of vocabulary. We use the FANTASTICs as a foundation to build the purpose of the sentence. These 'lenses' help the children to think about what we want to tell the reader.
Non Fiction writing and poetry are taught using success criteria and high quality texts and books. Writing for a purpose or based around an inspiring stimulus is at the core of our writing lessons.
Spelling, Punctuation and grammar
Grammar and punctuation are taught in at least one session per week. Skills are regularly applied through sentence stacking in narrative or non fiction writing. Punctuation and grammar knowledge is assessed each term.
Spelling words will be sent home on a weekly basis and will focus on one spelling rule from the National Curriculum. Spelling knowledge is assessed by writing the words in a sentence (not as a spelling list). This is to allow the teacher to check knowledge of the spelling words when applied in a real situation. Common Exception Words (CEW) are commonly misspelt words that often don't follow a rule. These will also be sent home for practise and assessed in class.
We understand the importance of vocabulary knowledge in allowing children to access and understand lessons and day to day conversations. At Barwic we focus on 'tier 2' words which are common words generally used across many different subjects. We have one discrete vocabulary session per week to explore tier 2 words. During all other lessons, especially reading, teachers regularly check for understanding. Children are encouraged to ask when they come across a word they do not understand