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Reading at Marden Vale
Reading lies at the heart of the curriculum at Marden Vale. We are dedicated to enabling our children to become lifelong readers and we believe reading to be the key to academic and future success.
At Marden Vale we believe that all pupils should have the opportunity to be fluent, confident readers who are able to successfully comprehend and understand a wide range of texts. We want pupils to develop a love of reading, a good knowledge of a range of authors, and be able to understand more about the world in which they live through the knowledge they gain from texts. By the end of their time at primary school, all children should be able to read fluently, with confidence and with pleasure. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in reading and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both word reading and comprehension skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school through good quality texts.
Books and stories
We have two excellent libraries and inviting book areas in all classrooms with a wide range of fiction and non fiction books. Topic books and favourite picture books are displayed. Story time is an important and protected time of the day. Texts that tempt are chosen with rich language to stretch and broaden children’s experiences.
We teach phonics and reading skills as whole class lessons, in small groups and 1;1 as appropriate so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for those that need it to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. More fluent readers are also given opportunities to demonstrate a greater depth of understanding through extended answers, targeted questioning requiring more reasoned answers and making greater links across and between texts.
Phonics: Early Years and Key Stage 1:
Pupils are taught in groups closely matched to their ability, focussing on individual sounds, groups of sounds and common exception words within different ‘phases’. We are a Letters and Sounds school. Children who need extra support are given additional help from teachers and teaching assistants as part of planned interventions that take place in addition to the lesson.
During the Summer Term in Year 1, pupils undertake a Phonics Screening Test which assesses their ability to apply what they have learnt. Pupils who do not pass their Phonics Screening Test continue to have intervention to support the acquisition of these key skills.
Whole school Reading Scheme
We have a whole school reading scheme that ensures progression in both word reading skills and comprehension. In EYFS and KS1 books are grouped by phase ensuring all texts are fully decodable. In KS2 we use colour book banding, structured to ensure that children have access to a wide range of texts, and allows for pupils to develop their skills within a level before moving to the next level. All pupils are encouraged and rewarded to read at home daily in order to practice the skills they have learnt at school and to develop fluency
At Marden Vale you will see;
- Pupils with a love of books and stories and have a thirst for reading across a range of genres.
- Pupils of all abilities succeeding in all reading lessons
- Pupils with a good knowledge of a range of authors, be able to make links between texts and recommend books to their peers.
- Pupils able to read books to enhance their knowledge and understanding on any subject.
- Parents and carers with a good understanding of how they can support reading and home.
- No significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs non-disadvantaged)
Writing at Marden Vale
Writing is a crucial part of our curriculum at Marden Vale. We want our children to develop a love of writing and to be able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly and creatively through the written word.
At Marden Vale we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time in primary school. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing by developing a good, joined, handwriting style. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process. We do not put ceilings on what pupils can achieve in writing and we do not hold pre-conceptions about any pupils’ ability to make progress. We understand the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to develop both grammar, spelling and composition skills, and so we want to encourage a home-school partnership which enables parents and carers to understand how to enhance the skills being taught in school.
We teach English as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. Within lessons, teachers and teaching assistants target support for those that need it to enable them to achieve at an age-related level wherever possible. This may involve a greater level of scaffolding and access to additional support materials or a greater level of modelling. More fluent writers are given opportunities to extend their writing in a variety of ways, including through showing greater control in their writing, a deeper understanding of the impact that their writing has on the reader and by using a higher level of vocabulary and grammar features.
Spellings are taught according to the rules and words contained in Appendix 1 of the English National Curriculum, and in EYFS and KS1 linked to the phonics phase they are working in. Children are given spellings to learn each week and are given a spelling test the following week. When marking work, teachers identify words that children have spelt incorrectly from within that child’s known ability and children are then given time to correct them.
Grammar and Punctuation:
Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand alone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
English Lesson Sequence:
Each year group have a yearly overview of the writing genres- narrative, non-fiction and poetry that will be taught. These have been planned to ensure correct coverage of the key genres as well as build on skills from year to year. In EYFS and KS1 we use the Talk for writing principles, linking our writing to a carefully chosen text that acts as a stimulus, including the teaching of word and sentence level features. The three stages of Talk for Writing are;
- ‘imitation’ -where pupils learn, explore and internalise texts,
- ‘innovation’ -where pupils use these ideas and structures to co-construct new versions with their teachers
- ‘invention’ -where teachers help pupils to create original texts independently.
In KS2 we use the Jane Considine ‘The Write Stuff’ principles; teaching sequences that slide between experience days and sentence stacking lessons. With modelling at the heart of them, the sentence stacking lessons are broken into bite – sized chunks and taught under the structural framework of incorporating creative techniques, and the use of precise punctuation techniques to enliven the children’s writing.
At Marden Vale you will see;
· Pupils who enjoy writing across a range of genres
· Pupils of all abilities succeeding in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded
· Pupils with wide vocabulary that they use within their writing
· Pupils with a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience
· Pupils who leave primary school being able to effectively apply spelling rules and patterns they have been taught
· Parents and carers with a good understanding of how they can support spelling, grammar and composition and home, and contribute regularly to homework
· No significant gaps in the progress of different groups of pupils (e.g. disadvantaged vs nondisadvantaged)