Competence in reading is the key to independent learning and therefore the teaching of reading is given a high priority by all staff. We understand how success in reading has a direct impact on progress in all areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-esteem, confidence and motivation. At Lakenheath, we are committed to children reading and/or hearing stories every day and now include daily sessions where everyone reads in class in KS2. We have also begun to use the Accelerated Reader scheme in KS2 which allows reading and comprehension to be more closely monitored. In KS1 the class teacher and other adults will hear every child read at least once a week. There is also a reading challenge in KS1 where incentives are offered for regular reading.
Through a combination of guided reading and whole class shared texts, children are exposed to a wide range of literature daily. To add to this, as part of home learning, we expect children to read daily. We appreciate this is not easy for all children so our policy is that these children will have extra opportunities to read either independently or with an adult during the school day.
Writing is a cross-curricular skill and contexts and purposes for writing are embedded in our creative curriculum approach. We aim to ensure that all writing experiences are enjoyable, and purposeful. As well as linking to topics, teachers use drama, film, picture books and current affairs to inspire writing.
Our approach aims to ensure children master different genres and purposes for writing each half term. These purposes include: writing to entertain; writing to persuade; writing to inform and writing to discuss.
Through shared writing, teachers model new skills, discuss types of writing and extend creative ideas. Emphasis is placed upon the process of writing as well as the product, and pupils are encouraged and helped to redraft writing where necessary. Handwriting is also a focus and cursive handwriting is being introduced through the school.
All children in school have a ‘best folder’ for writing which stays with them through school and includes all their best independent work. High quality presentation is awarded and celebrated in our assemblies and PRIDE certificates are issued for high quality independent work.
Phonics and spelling
Phonics is taught daily to every child in EYFS and up to three times a week in KS1. Children in KS1 are grouped by ability to ensure that the teaching is at the appropriate level for every child. We use a variety of planning tools to support our phonics teaching and follow the letters and sounds programme. Children who need further support in KS2 have opportunities for extra intervention in phonics and children in all KS2 classes will have a weekly spelling rule to focus on which will be appropriate for their age group.