The National Curriculum for English divides the work into these areas:
The aims of the curriculum are to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment.
Our Approach to Reading
At Leverington Primary Academy, we highly value reading as a key life skill, therefore teaching a child to read with confidence is vital and we are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is essential for academic success and therefore implement the following strategies. We also aim to promote reading for pleasure and hope to instil this love of reading in all children through the culture of our school. Teachers read a variety of high-quality texts to the children on a regular basis.
Through the systematic teaching of phonics in Reception and Year 1, using the Sounds Write scheme, we aim for children to become fluent readers by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can then focus on developing fluency and comprehension throughout the school. Reading outcomes are assessed at the end of Key Stage 1 and 2, through statutory assessments, however we firmly believe that reading should be encouraged as something children choose to do for pleasure.
Our whole class reading sessions are based on the core principles of the CUSP curriculum, as with our foundation subjects. Each year group have a range of high-quality, core texts that will form the depth study for the academic year. These texts represent a promise from the school to every pupil that it is committed to studying throughout a pupil’s school journey. These texts have been mapped carefully to ensure a breadth of experiences, authors, texts and themes across Years 1 to 6. In addition to these texts, there are core poems that each year group will study in depth.
We have developed reading spines in school to promote and foster a love of reading.
Our Curriculum Reading Spine outlines the high-quality texts children will be exposed to through our whole class and guided reading sessions.
Our Recommended Reads spine suggests high-quality texts children should enjoy as class readers or through shared reading opportunities during their time with us at Leverington.
The 'Fab Five' reads are suggested high-quality stories for our youngest children to enjoy, learn and revisit regularly throughout the year. They enjoy listening to these and making personal responses to them in their class reading journals.
In a bid to improve the language and vocabulary development of our children, we are taking part in the Powerful Words project. The aim of this project is to reduce word poverty for the disadvantaged pupils in Cambridgeshire. This project uses Mrs Wordsmith resources to support accelerated progress in reading and writing for pupils by extending their vocabulary.
All children are receiving 15 minutes of direct vocabulary teaching using the Mrs Wordsmith resources, learning three new words each week and reviewing these regularly. The programme integrates words based on what children need to not only strengthen their vocabulary and reading skills, but their writing skills as well. The approach used is a simple and intuitive way to learn new words which will foster word consciousness and a lifelong love of words.
Mrs Wordsmith resources are exciting and visually stunning, created by the award-winning artist behind the films Madagascar and Hotel Transylvania.
Vocabulary lessons introduce the new words, each with synonyms and word pairs to demonstrate how the new vocabulary can be used. Children also complete weekly review activities to remember previously learned words and embed them in their long term memory. As words are introduced, they are displayed in the classroom and relevant places around school for children to use in their spoken language and writing.
Our Approach to Writing
At Leverington Primary Academy, writing is taught through studying a range of fiction and non-fiction texts, including the use of teacher-produced models for writing. High-quality texts to inspire writing for a purpose are carefully chosen by teachers and used to plan a unit of work, in which authentic examples of grammar, punctuation and vocabulary are analysed in the core text and modelled in various text types by the teacher. Children use adults' models to draft their own writing before applying these skills in fortnightly independent writing; editing and publishing skills are taught and applied to this independent writing.
Children in EYFS are taught to write using Greg Bottrill’s ‘Drawing Club’ approach. In their daily ‘Drawing Club’, children are exposed to a treasure-trove of vocabulary and are encouraged to use their imagination. The approach aims to instil a love of stories and adventures and gives children the opportunity to be creative in their writing. Whilst becoming immersed in stories, children are engaging in book talk, acquiring a rich vocabulary and also developing those important fine motor skills.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, picture books are also used as a visual stimulus to develop vocabulary choices and composition. By Upper Key Stage 2, children engage in novel studies, as well as writing independently and freely at length.
Our writing is enhanced through using resources from The Literacy Shed, Grammarsaurus, CUSP, Power of Reading, Greg Bottrill's 'Drawing Club' and Mrs Wordsmith.
Our Approach to Phonics teaching
We use Sounds Write throughout Reception and Key Stage 1. All Key Stage 1 staff have completed the in-depth, 4-day training in how to use Sounds Write to deliver systematic phonics lesson through Reception and Year 1. All children in Reception and Year 1 have a daily 30-minute phonics session following the teaching sequence of revisit/review – teach – practice – apply.
In Year 2, children access a balance of phonics and spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons based on their individual needs. Children are taught either as a whole class or in groups, based on regular assessments, so that learning and provision can be correctly matched to the children’s needs. Small phonics intervention groups and individual phonics teaching is delivered by teaching assistants, overseen by the class teachers, to provide additional teaching and catch-up sessions to plug gaps quickly.
Sessions aim to be lively, fast-paced, fun and interactive. Children are taught phonemes/digraphs/trigraphs, high frequency words and/or tricky words and these are consolidated through reading and writing.
At the end of Year 1, children will take the national Phonic Screening Test which tests children’s phonic knowledge. They are required to read real and alien words, applying the skills they have learnt.