At Gossops Green Primary School, communication is the key to the whole curriculum, therefore spoken language is developed across the whole curriculum. Spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing. Opportunities are planned to develop spoken language and listening skills such asking and answering questions, using the conventions for discussion and debate as well as improvising and devising drama.
Reading unpins the whole curriculum and is embedded throughout both English lessons and through cross-curricular teaching.
Pupils start their reading journey as soon as they start school through daily phonics sessions (Read, Write, Inc), which starts in EYFS and develops until children are confident readers. Comprehension skills are developed through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. All pupils are encouraged to read widely across both fiction and non-fiction to develop their knowledge of themselves and the world in which they live. Our pupils develop a love of reading through sharing books at home and school with both adults and peers. High quality texts drive the English and topic lessons and children are immersed in texts to support all areas of curriculum.
Pupils’ cultural capital is developed through reading and provides opportunities for all pupils to access and understand different concepts.
Teaching of writing develops pupils’ competence in spelling, handwriting and composition, including how to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. Pupils are taught how to effectively compose their writing, which involves forming, articulating and communicating ideas, and then organising them coherently for a reader. Pupils are taught to write with purpose and context, showing an awareness of the audience, and are taught how to use a range of vocabulary and grammar skills. Handwriting formation is taught in EYFS linked to their phonics and developed into cursive handwriting in Year 1.
Spelling, Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation
At Gossops Green, we value the importance of developing pupils’ vocabulary. This is taught explicitly and when it arises naturally. Pupils are taught how to work out and clarify the meanings of unknown words through the root word and the context. Standard English is modelled and expected from pupils in their speaking and writing. Grammar and punctuation is taught explicitly and through writing lessons, which helps pupils develop and improve their own writing skills.
Our main aim is to give the children the reading skills to be able to read independently and for enjoyment. To support this development, we have a main reading scheme called ‘Big Cat’ (published by Collins) which offers the children a chance to read a mix of fiction stories, playscripts and poetry and non-fiction books with facts and different sorts of layouts. The ‘Big Cat’ scheme starts with picture books (Reception) in order to encourage talk about the story and show understanding of what might be happening. The children progress from this, all the way up to Level 18 at which level the child can be considered to be a very fluent and confident reader. The class teacher will make a judgement when a child is ready to become a ‘free reader’ which means the child chooses (with guidance) their own appropriate reading material.
In the earlier stages of reading, we also supplement the ‘Big Cat’ scheme with books published by Oxford Reading Tree and the children do seem to enjoy reading about the adventures of Biff, Chip, Kipper and Floppy the dog!
The most important factor, however, in children’s progress in reading is the support of parents and carers so please hear your child read as much as possible at home. Together we can make a difference.