Dalton School Junior Infant And Nursery

From little acorns, mighty oaks will grow

Mayfield Avenue, Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, HD5 9HN
Contact: Mrs H Valentine (Office Manager)

01484 538729

office.dalton@kirkleeseducation.uk

English

Reading

Intent

Following the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum, the school endeavours to engender a life – long love of reading. We provide children with the skills and knowledge in order to enjoy the art of reading.

Our curriculum is structured through high quality classical and contemporary fiction and this drives its design. Similarly, non-fiction is layered across the curriculum in order to give children a broad understanding of why writers have chosen particular language or laid out text in a specific way. Moreover, books are sequenced in order to expose children to a variety of social, moral, spiritual and cultural themes so that they are able to develop cultural capital. As a result, texts are selected to challenge prejudice and broaden children‘s understanding of their roles and responsibilities as global citizens.

Different text types are carefully selected, across all year groups, so that children are systematically exposed to a variety of genres.  Moreover, in understanding text variety, children recognise purpose and organisation and learning is carefully planned to enable children to debate, reason and empathise. This is particularly important in closing the speech, language and vocabulary gap, identified upon entry into nursery. Furthermore, through this, timely opportunities are seized to enhance empathy and thus, develop reading comprehension strategies and vocabulary extension.

Upon entry to foundation stage, it is our intention to accelerate the progress of the lowest 20% by ensuring children’s phonological accuracy is relentlessly addressed. It is our professional ambition that all children will leave school as fluent, confident readers with a desire to read and enjoy a range of texts.

It is our intention that all literature promotes school values of love, compassion,  hope, ambition, equality and  tolerance, thus embedding characteristics of effective learning and citizenship.

Through our sustained approach, children become inquisitive about language and its structure and actively read for meaning. They also develop widening knowledge and use this to make connections between subjects and aspects of learning. As a result of this, children develop an enquiring mind, which leads to children’s enhanced creativity and ability to reason and problem-solve.

Implementation

Mastery in phonics is fundamental to children being able to access a broad range of fiction and non-fiction texts, across the curriculum. This is achieved by teaching phonics systematically daily, with a relentless drive to address the needs of all learners. From the outset, parents are invited to workshops and practical sessions to demonstrate letter to sound correspondence and promote consistent use of the school’s scheme – ‘Letters and sounds’.  Those children struggling in phonics are never left behind because the school employs a range of strategies to close the gap, including precision teaching, direct phonics and web-based interventions.

 Children are expected to read at home and the school reading scheme is carefully matched, in the first instance, to children’s phonic phases.  As children become more fluent, we help them make book choices, related to their interest and ensure that questioning is carefully scaffolded.  In order to ensure precise use of questioning, professionals have carefully analysed Bloom’s and Barrett’s taxonomies and the assessment focuses for reading.  As a result of this, all staff use the same question stems and, where possible, children use reciprocal reading strategies.

Within our context, ensuring children have the cultural capital and experiences to become engrossed and immersed in reading is vital.   This is achieved by selecting specific texts to build upon children’s knowledge and understanding of the world and thus help them to make connections to ideas within texts.  Developing a sense of awe and wonder, through selection of appropriate texts, which promote cultural and moral themes, is core and embedded across the curriculum.

In order to develop reading for meaning, we teach all the reading strands from the National Curriculum as follows:

  • Decoding
  • Retrieving/record information
  • Summarising
  • Inference
  • Predictions
  • Identifying and explaining information
  • Meaning and its enhancements
  • Comparisons within and across texts

Professional research and analysis of children’s outcomes has led the school to adopting a whole school reading strategy, from year one to six, which progressively deepens children’s knowledge and understanding of these elements, through the consistent use of reading journals. This allows children to develop ‘book talk’ and explain, retrieve, interpret and summarise their learning, across a wide variety of narrative and non-narrative texts.

Shared reading of whole class texts is consistent across school and takes place at least three times a week.  This gives teachers opportunity to use a ‘sub-conscious’ voice and model characteristics of an effective reader, particularly questioning authorial intent, use of vocabulary and tone.  Moreover, teachers engage children by modelling effective story-telling techniques including intonation and pace.  Differentiated guided reading ensures that assessment outcomes are used to target and extend children’s knowledge and understanding of texts. Individual reading takes place for all children in foundation stage and targeted for the lowest 20% in KS1 and KS2.

One successful implementation strategy is to consistently ask children to ‘zoom in’ and then  ‘zoom out,’ i.e. literal meaning moving to inferential meaning.

Wherever possible, children’s vocabulary is acquired and enhanced as part of shared, guided and individual reading.

Planning incorporates performance poetry, drama and debating opportunities in order to hook children and develop empathy.

The reading environment is planned to engage and promote a range of books (to include high quality authors) with a strong emphasis on parental partnerships.

Impact

On-going formative assessment takes place within each reading session against the assessment focuses.  This includes: teacher observations, questioning, discussions and marking and feedback of reading journals. These outcomes are fed forward into timely teacher intervention and subsequent planning to ensure gaps in knowledge are closed and progress is not limited.

End of term assessments are used to track progress and to identify gaps in the following reading strands, as follows:

  • Inferences with evidence
  • Retrieval
  • Words in context
  • Summarise main ideas
  • Enhanced meaning
  • Comparisons within a text
  • Related content

Outcomes from end of term assessments are used to identify gaps in knowledge and will inform future planning.  Pupil progress will also identify precise actions and objectives for targeted focus children, including the lowest 20% who are not likely to meet end of year expectations and/or not making expected progress. 

We recognise that quality first teaching in reading is the essential first step in improving outcomes for all children.  With this in mind, we ensure that teachers and teaching assistants are kept up to date on the latest initiatives and news.  This is through continuous professional development by outside providers and within school (such as local authority networks, TA training and SHINE partnerships).  In response to monitoring, evaluation and review outcomes, weaker areas in staff subject knowledge and pedagogy are developed through the school’s coaching/mentoring programme.

What children say about reading

“I love reading because you can go to a different world.”

“I used to hate reading but I have read every day and I am now a good reader.”

“I love reading because I love book reviews.”

“I love choosing new books”

“Reading affects children’s education because there are new words to learn.”

“Challenging books help me read because I push myself to learn new words and the more you read, the more you get used to it and the more you enjoy it.”

“ERIC time is amazing because it makes me feel calm after chaos.”

“I love reading because it lets you escape from this world into another.”

“I love reading because it is relaxing.”

“The overlay makes me read faster and this helps.”

“ERIC is great because it gives us a space to read when we can’t find one at home.” 

Text Drivers

Writing

Intent

Following the aims and objectives of the National Curriculum and Early Learning Goals, the school endeavours to engender a life – long love of writing. We provide children with the knowledge and skills in order for them to become effective communicators in the world beyond the classroom.

It is our intention to ensure that reading and writing are interconnected so that children can make purposeful links across their learning. It is for this reason that we place a significant focus on the study of literature from across the ages and across genres. Vocabulary rich books are chosen to both stimulate and challenge the children, leading to high-quality writing outcomes.

Children will be given opportunity to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes to write effectively for a range of purposes and audiences. They will develop this knowledge around three key aspects:

  1. Authorial intent (purpose)
  2. Precise and ambitious use of vocabulary
  3. Tone

 We want children to write clearly, accurately and coherently and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. Furthermore, we recognise that handwriting is part of our daily lives; it is on show to others and may be used to make judgements about us. Therefore, we encourage our children to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style.

Implementation

The curriculum has been designed to ensure that children are given systematic and frequent planned opportunities to enhance their composition of key text types. For the lowest 20%, tailored differentiation focusing on key tenets of spelling, punctuation and grammar develops a progressive knowledge of words, phrases and clauses.

In EYFS, we provide children with a range of experiences, across the curriculum. Practitioners use incidental observations and feed forward planning in order to promote emergent and developing writing, either through continuous curriculum or discrete teaching sessions

In KS1, we continue to enhance continuous provision, developing the physical skill needed for handwriting and the oral competency required to organise their ideas in writing. Transition is planned carefully in order to close historical gaps that emerge in speech and language and physical development and so may hinder progress, in writing, of the bottom 20%. In KS2, we teach shared writing, through formal modelling of the writing process, at least three times a week, both in discrete literacy lessons and across the curriculum, for a variety of purposes.  The use of sub-conscious voice, throughout this scaffolded writing allows children to develop a ‘talk for writing’ as they begin to draft their work.  Knowledge about how grammar and punctuation structures language, and enables a writer to create a desired tone, allows children to develop a metalanguage and thus transform sentences in order to meet the criteria of a specific style of writing. Writing is always displayed as a process and children are given the tools for writing on working walls, displayed in each class; these contain cues about grammar, spelling, purpose and organisation and composition and effect of identified genres.

Spelling is taught systematically to ensure that children understand the link between phonics teaching and phonically plausible spellings.  As children move into Y2 and KS2, sight words are spelt with increasing accuracy and there is an increasing focus on word origin and etymology to support spelling of polysyllabic words.  In KS1 and KS2, children use a spelling log to refer to spelling rules and patterns and eradicate their own misspellings.

Writing is always taught within meaningful contexts and usually follows oracy activities and rehearsal including drama, debate or reciprocal reading activities.  Often, this leads to a variety of word, sentence and whole text activities so that children shape the language and structure that they need for writing.

Impact

On-going formative assessment takes place within each writing session and, against layered success criteria children mark their entry and exit points.  Children develop independence and use ‘fix it’ times to make corrections, sometimes from additional scaffolds provided to enhance or reinforce their learning and there is regular opportunity to do this. Outcomes are fed forward into timely teacher intervention and subsequent planning to ensure gaps in knowledge are closed and progress is not limited.

End of term assessments are used to track progress and to identify gaps in the following writing strands, as follows:

  • Transcription (spelling and handwriting)
  • Composition (articulating ideas and structuring them in speech and writing).

Outcomes from end of term assessments are used to identify gaps in knowledge and will inform future planning.  Pupil progress will also identify precise actions and objectives for targeted focus children, including the lowest 20% who are not likely to meet end of year expectations and/or not making expected progress. 

We recognise that quality first teaching in writing is the essential first step in improving outcomes for all children.  With this in mind, we ensure that teachers and teaching assistants are kept up to date on the latest initiatives and news.  This is through continuous professional development by outside providers and within school (such as local authority networks, TA training and SHINE partnerships).  In response to monitoring, evaluation and review outcomes, weaker areas in staff subject knowledge and pedagogy are developed through the school’s coaching/mentoring programme.

 What children say about writing :

“I can use better adjectives to make my writing to describe it in greater depth.”

“I can use relative clauses to add more information to a sentence.”

“I can write neater, although it takes me a long time to do this.”

“I enjoy it because you can make your imagination run loose.”

“I like using thesauruses to find better vocabulary because it makes me feel smart when I read it back!”

“I love it when you finish your work and it looks beautiful and sounds like you are an author.”

“I love writing because I am good at it and because I read a lot, this makes my writing better.”

“I love writing because you can use your imagination and then you really get into it.”

“ I use subordinating conjunctions and this makes me so clever!”

“ I love writing informal letters as you really get to show your emotion and this makes your pencil move fast!”

“I feel empowered when I use words that I wouldn’t normally use”

“I love writing in first person because you feel you are actually there!” 

Progression of Knowledge and Skills - Click on English or Text Types to see the progression