What is our aim with literacy at Springfield? (Intent)
Reading We want children to enjoy and think positively about reading and identify as readers that are part of a wider reading community. We also want them to be able to read widely, relate to texts (that in include diverse characters from a range of authors) and take part in and experience high quality discussions about books with their teachers and peers. This should also include reading poetry so that they can develop new insights into the world around them as well as about themselves and others. On their journey through the school, they will gains skills and knowledge (including phonemic awareness) so that they will reach a point where they can read fluently and that decoding is automatic. The children will learn about vocabulary etymology and morphology so that they can unlock unknown words.
Writing Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum and by the end of Year 6 we intend our children to have developed a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word. We want them to be able to consider purpose and audience so that they are writers who think and make choices. We also want to create writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing and to be able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling. We set high expectation for our children to take pride in their work and have a fluent, cursive handwriting style alongside allowing their imagination to flourish.
What does this look like in the classroom? (Implementation) Reading In class, children develop their reading skills over three guided sessions each week. Session one aims to develop understanding by exploring vocabulary, reading schema and fluency. It means that the children who are “vocabulary poor” will be able to access a text which is appropriate for their year group but may be above their own reading level. Session two aims to develop more complex answers through teacher modelling, collaborative work and oral composition. Session three allows the children to apply their skills in a written comprehension where they may work independently or be supported by an adult.
Teachers make use of accurate assessment information to make effective interventions so you may see things such as additional reading to an adult, a KS2 fluency project, Precison Reading, Read Write Inc, Nessy, Flash Academy or BEAT Dyslexia.
Every teacher reads to their children during four demonstration reading sessions. These allow the teacher to model fluent reading as well as the thought processes of an active reader. The children borrow the teacher's reading skills to access interesting and authentic literature that would otherwise be out of their reach. We aim to develop a set of core texts for each year group that allow the children to see themselves and others in books that are based in the UK and abroad and touch upon both classic and modern fiction.
Children are starting to access a wider reading community through taking part in the "Children's Book Award" and online author visits such as the Year 6 Zoom meet with Michele Paver author of the Wolf Brother series. We also aim to re-establish links with our local library at Broomhill and you may soon see children going on a visit during an "Arts and Culture" lesson.
We have also been continuing to invest in our school library. Our new quick read section has been very popular and allows children who may struggle to access larger chapter books to experience success in reading, grow in confidence and explore a wide range of topics. We are going to add to this section so that it includes more challenging books. We have also bought in a wide selection of books that feature diverse characters from a range of different authors and this was the key theme for our "Reading is Magic" week in which children explored the idea of seeing themselves in a book. These new books are on display in the back of the hall and it generated lots of discussion and a buzz about reading. You may also see that some of our books in the library such as the "Treehouse Books" appear crinkled and tatty. They are not old but have been borrowed again and again and I think this is one sign of the popularity of reading at Springfield (although they are also being replaced with brand new copies). You may also see children using ipads to take quizes that are part of "Accelerated Reader." This system allows us to monitor children's independent reading. We can find out who are most able and confident readers are, which children have great independent reading habits as well as those who need support. Every child has an appropriate level of challenge through their own personal reading target. Children are encouraged to read in their ZPD although they may read below out of interest or above if they have support. We also celebrate success with our Word Millionaires and half termly reading raffle for those who have met their targets.
Writing During literacy lessons, teachers will use a wide range of writing stimuli to engage pupils. These may include high quality texts, actual experiences, cross-curricular links or animations that inspire and hook a child's interest. These are then explored using a variety teaching pedagogies such as shared, guided, and modelled writing which may include Jane Considine's sentence stacking. This year you may also see the children having more frequent opportunities to write although they may be writing smaller texts. We want to give them more frequent opportunities to use and apply their skills and to get regular feedback on how to improve through individual targets, whole class feedback sheets and on the spot verbal feedback.
You may hear children and teachers talking about what the purpose of a text is, who the audience is and how they make choices so that the words, phrases, sentences or text structures are appropriate.
Every term children will explore at least one unit of poetry that illicit a strong response and some of the year 6 pupils attend weekly creative writing classes with author, poet and eductor Fred Sedgewick. Grammar and punctuation are taught embedded in the main literacy lessons and the children have regular opportunities for retrieval practice in morning work. Spelling is taught using the Spelling Shed scheme of work and hand writing is supported through whole class or group use of Letter-join.
What are the outcomes for learners? (Impact) Reading By the time children leave Springfield, they are competent readers who can recommend books to their peers, have a thirst for reading a range of genres including poetry, and participate in discussions about books, including evaluating an author’s use of language and the impact this can have on the reader. They can also read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding of all subjects on the curriculum, and communicate their research to a wider audience. Writing Pupils will make good progress from their own personal starting points. By the end of Year Six they will be able to write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. Our pupils will acquire a wide vocabulary and have a strong command of the written word. Most importantly, they will develop a love of writing and be well equipped for the rest of their education.