Statement for Literacy
As a school, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word. We believe that developing a love of our language in our children is vital in achieving success at school and later in life.
As a school, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
· Read easily, fluently and with good understanding
· Develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
· Acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
· Appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
· Write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
· Use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
· Are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
At Thames View we believe that sound phonics teaching is key to success in reading and writing. . The document ‘Letters and Sounds’ is used as the basis of the phonic curriculum. All pupils in Early Years Foundation stage (Reception) and Key Stage One (Years 1 and 2) participate in daily phonic lessons which are led by a teacher or teaching assistant. Children in Year 3 who have not achieved the required standard in phonics also receive daily lessons. Assessment in Phonics is completed termly by the class teacher. From the data collected, pupils who are working below their age related expectations are identified and they receive additional support from a teacher or teaching assistants. Where necessary, additional phonics teaching may be provided to ensure all children are able to develop age-appropriate skills.
GPS (Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling)
At Thames View Primary, we place great emphasis on the use of correct spelling, punctuation and grammar... We place great value on the importance of accurate spelling. A structured programme of spelling extends across the whole school following Letters and Sounds in EYFS and Year 1 with a clear spelling scheme in Years 1-6. This is supported by the individual log-ins to Spelling Shed where children can practise weekly spellings.
Whole class reading
Children who read for pleasure gain a richer vocabulary, more knowledge, critical thinking skills and become independent learners. As such, all pupils participate in at least four whole class reading sessions a week. Whole class reading sessions at Thames View Primary are timetabled first thing in the morning to as we believe that reading is the key to children accessing the wider curriculum. Work is evidenced through the use of Reading journals, where children respond to what they have read.
The books used for Reading and home reading follow our own school developed book banding system, going from lilac for pre-reading to lime and white for more able children in KS1. Each reading band is matched to the phonics code/phase children will be working on in class. This means that all children should be able to develop independent reading skills, using the relevant phonic decoding skills. The books consist of a range of genres from a variety of publishers. Children are encouraged to change their own home reading books, within the book band they are working at. More able pupils, who have completed the reading band, can have free choice of their class library. In this instance, teachers should ensure the child reads a range of genres from different authors.
English lessons take place, after Phonics (in KS1) and whole class reading, allowing children to apply the skills they have just acquired. A range of genres are planned throughout the year to ensure children have the opportunity to learn and apply many different skills. Stimulus for writing is developed through science, history, geography or current events. Throughout the writing units, pupils are given the time to read and analyse features of good writing. This is followed by exploring and playing with language and sentence construction, drawing on grammar, spelling and vocabulary work. Children will then have the opportunity to write their own examples of the chosen genre.
Pupils can earn pen licences, which encourages them to place value on the development of correct letter formation and neatly presented handwriting. We give children a range of opportunities in which to develop their writing skills.