At St. Joseph’s our aim is to provide a literacy curriculum that meets the needs of all learners to ensure all pupils achieve their potential in reading and writing skills. Wherever possible, our sequences of all lessons are closely linked to the Cornerstones theme the year group is covering in the half-term. We believe that ensuring the children are exposed to a vocabulary-rich curriculum based on high quality texts (both fiction and non-fiction) will lead to a deeper understanding of the curriculum they are studying. English includes the teaching of: spelling, handwriting, grammar, phonics, reading as well as writing.
Reading / Phonics teaching:
We teach reading through a three-pronged approach: accuracy, fluency and comprehension. In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, every child reads for 30 minutes daily in a small group with an adult and participates in daily phonics sessions.
In Key stage 2, reading is split between two different daily sessions: either small group reading practice with a focus on reading aloud with expression as well as enjoyment; or reading skills sessions.
There are weekly comprehension lessons which focus on the skills from retrieval to inference and prediction based on high-quality texts.
We not only teach the skills of reading at St. Joseph's, we place a high value on reading for enjoyment. As part of this, we ensure that every child is able to enjoy listening to an adult reading to them at 3pm for our daily read. We participate in different events throughout the year, from World Book Day to the Summer Reading Challenge. Every class has a reading corner, where the children are able to borrow books and recommend books they have enjoyed to others. Not only that, but Year 5 and 6 pupils are Reading Buddies to the younger years and regularly read with the younger children.
Talk for Writing:
We teach using the Talk for Writing approach which enables the children to read and write for a wide range of audiences and purposes. The key to this approach is for the children to internalise the language structures needed to access and write the variety of different genres we cover. This is achieved through a well-planned sequence of lessons based on the needs of the class as directed from our Assessment for Learning. Each genre is structured in the same way: from orally retelling a model text; understanding the structures, features and authorial techniques; to constructing our own toolkit leading in to writing tasks. As the unit progresses, the children move into more independence in their planning and writing ending with an extended write which enables them to showcase their learning in a creative and powerful way.
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