Reading and Phonics
Our Reading Curriculum aims for all pupils to develop a love of reading. All pupils will have access to a range of high quality ambitious texts to embed them in a culture of rich vocabulary and discussions. Our literature spine is carefully considered to ensure children read a range of contemporary and heritage narrative, non-fiction and poetry. Our diverse reading spine encourages discussion and deep thinking about key moral, ethical, cultural and social issues and are also linked with Abbot’s Hall’s key themes of Aspiration, Responsibility and Environment. The spine allows the children to explore BAME authors as well as strong female role models. We aim to enthuse and evoke reading for pleasure in our pupils.
We encourage all children to ‘Be the best that you can be’ and have developed a clear reading pathway to support those who need fluency, phonics or comprehension based support. We believe Early Reading support and teaching of Phonics is essential to closing the gap and this is shown through our fidelity to the Rocket Phonics scheme.
In line with our school ethos, we aim for our Writing Curriculum to encourage all children to be the best that they can be. We believe our curriculum encourages all children, no matter their ability, to make at least good progress from their starting points. We ensure our children are taught key skills required by the National Curriculum, which follows a clear pathway of progression, as they advance through the school.
Our high quality feedback aims to support all learners and allows teachers to provide bespoke provision to identified children, so that all learners can be successful.
We believe that our topic based curriculum and carefully considering literature spine along with our high expectations gives children the vocabulary, ideas and motivation to become ambitious and articulate authors. Encouraging our children to aspire to be their best and to be responsible of their own learning will create writers who can re-read, edit and improve their own writing and will be able to confidently use the essential skills of grammar, punctuation and spelling they are taught.
Reading and Phonics
Reading starts with our commitment to the validated systematic synthetic phonics programme ‘Rocket Phonics’. This is taught from the beginning of Foundation Stage until Year 1. In Year 2, pupils move to the Rocket Phonics Next Steps for Year 2 to further consolidate their alternative sounds and develop further links with reading and writing.
From Year 2, pupils are identified for extra phonics interventions (using Rocket Phonics) and their suitability are systematically checked through end of unit tests and phonic assessments and this is continued throughout KS2.
Rapid Reading in Year 1 is an intense 2 week programme used every half term to develop fluency in our readers.
Children’s individual reading books are closely matched with their level of phonics instruction and reading ability. Parents are made aware of their child’s next steps in reading through their yellow logs. Class teachers monitor reading at home and school.
In Foundation Stage and Year 1, children develop their reading skills through x4 30 minutes guided reading sessions a week and year 2-6 focus on x4 30 minutes whole class reading sessions. In both types of pedagogy, VIPER skills are explicitly taught and focused on over the week. Book talk, echo reading, modelling and pupils reading are emphasised throughout the week. Activities linked to the skills are developed with a focus on how to answer specific questions by the end of the week.
Our literature spine has been carefully mapped to ensure progression and ensure every child accesses a range of high quality texts before leaving primary school. Books chosen also support in developing cultural capital for all children.
Our teachers enthuse writers through our topic based curriculum. The writing curriculum links to our reading, literature spine and wider learning, which in result allows children to develop ideas, vocabulary and confidence to inform their writing.
Early writing is supported through the delivery of Rocket Phonics. Writing is celebrated and encouraged through the early years setting. Teachers promote writing in child-initiated activities.
From Year 1 to Year 6, writing is taught four times a week through a well-defined and considered sequence. We believe that writing should begin with explicit teaching of grammar and key skills, followed by extensive, deliberate practise and opportunity to apply these skills. Teaching incorporates regular modelling to clearly demonstrate application of skills learnt, so that the children can develop fluency in these. Lessons are well planned to set the children’s imaginations alight. Children across the school are familiar with ‘magpieing’ which encourages use of ambitious vocabulary and sentence structures. All writing units build up to regular extended writing opportunities. Writing is also celebrated half termly through our Wonderful Writing. Children can show case their progress and share this with grown-ups at home.
Spelling is taught regularly throughout the school. Rocket phonics is built upon from Year 1 into Year 2. KS2 then use Twinkl to support their delivery of the National Curriculum objectives in spelling lessons. Struggling spellers are given extra phonics intervention, following the school scheme.
Handwriting follows the PenPal scheme. Handwriting is taught regularly in each year group. When children reach the expected standard, they are able to use handwriting pens.
Reading and Phonics
We want children at Abbot’s Hall to develop a love for reading and acquire strategies to support them in understanding new vocabulary and unknown texts. It is our aim to ensure all children become competent and fluent readers and will be able to think critically about the author’s choice and the impact on the reader.
Children at Abbot’s Hall will make good progress in reading and this will be seen through data and monitoring of teaching and learning.
Children will make good progress from their own starting points. Our children will be able to discuss and share their ideas. We want children throughout the school to enjoy their English learning and be able to talk about their lessons. From Foundation Stage to Year 6 children will be able to listen and respond to feedback and use this to support their progress.
Children will be able to apply the skills they have been taught prior to their writing. In lessons and books children will be using their reading to inform their writing and understand what is being asked of them.