We want our children to become confident, independent readers who immerse themselves in the world of books. We want them to be skilful, creative writers who can write for a range of purposes and audiences.
We have designed and developed a curriculum that provides opportunities to do just this. Activities stem from and are inspired by our children’s interests and range across all areas of the curriculum.
We develop real and meaningful contexts for learning using carefully selected books to promote an enjoyment of English; spark curiosity of what it has to offer; and demonstrate its power and importance.
As well as ensuring all objectives in the national curriculum are met, we also plan activities to foster an excitement for reading, writing, speaking and listening both inside and outside of the classroom. This includes whole school events such as Book Week, World Book Day and Book Fairs.
Particular highlights have included a mysterious spaceship that crash-landed in our school playground, a Volkswagen beetle converted into a ‘Book Bus’ and a whole school ‘Story in a Shoebox’ exhibition.
Early Years examples: begin learning phonics using a scheme called Read Write Inc. to develop blending and decoding skills to enable them to be fluent readers; developing their fine and gross motor skills to facilitate the craft of writing.
Key Stage 1 examples: continue learning phonics, moving beyond decoding and word recognition to developing skills in comprehension; choosing books to take home daily and reading with their class teacher numerous times each week. By the end of Year Two, children are able to write stories, letters, diary entries, poems, information texts and reports. They are confident using capital letters, full stops, commas, question marks and exclamation marks.
Key stage 2 examples: reading more challenging texts and developing and refining their comprehension skills. Children are taught skills in inference and deduction and are able to extend and justify their interpretations of text. Children develop a more sophisticated style of writing and produce a range of fiction and non-fiction texts.
A love of reading is further promoted through the use of a ‘Reading Forest’ in every classroom. This is a space dedicated not only to choosing books, but also as a sanctuary away from the day to day – a place where they can relax and escape into a world of books.
This is a week-long literary festival – our very own Hay-on-Wye! We organise a range of activities for the children, including inviting authors in to speak. Recent ones include Ros Asquith who wrote ‘The Boggart’ and Pippa Goodhart, author of ‘You Choose’ and ‘Raven Boy’. During the week, we run a daily book fair and the children get to enjoy a dress-up day based around book characters.
Our new library
Our wonderful new library is open and ready for everyone to enjoy. Each child has their own library account and visit regularly with their class. We have a invested in many new exciting and diverse books to help build understanding, empathy and tolerance of our different backgrounds and that also entertain and celebrate our rich, shared cultural heritage for all ages. At home we encourage all children to read for around half an hour a day independently or with a family member. KS2 pupils can complete an Accelerated Reading online quiz linked to their library book helping with comprehension and assessing the suitability of the book to their reading age. There are so many wonderful new picture books, fiction and non fiction, to read in our perfect reading space.