At Boney Hay, we recognise the importance of early language development in creating opportunities later in life. We believe in creating vocabulary-rich learning environments and unlocking new words through quality texts and life experiences. Our English Curriculum has been developed to support a life-long appreciation of reading and writing.
We love reading and want every child to discover their own love of reading before they leave our school. We have several library areas around our school which pupils spend time in each week and choose books to take home from. On top of understanding the importance of reading to acquire knowledge, we want our pupils to know and enjoy the pleasure of books.
In our English lessons and daily story times, we choose engaging, high quality books that allow the children to see and understand the world through different lenses. Through these texts, we create opportunities for children to develop spoken language through debate, drama and discussion about the issues raised in the texts. We foster an enthusiasm for writing by providing meaningful writing opportunities that allow pupils to write for different purposes and audiences. We believe it is important for our pupils’ futures to be able to write confidently in all contexts.
As pupils complete the Read Write Inc. Programme in Year 2, they move onto writing units using the ‘Teach through a Text’ approach from the Literacy Tree. By placing books at the core of our approach to writing, we allow teachers to use the text as the context for the requirements of the National Curriculum from Year 2 up to Year 6. Literacy Tree units are based on children immersing themselves in a book and discovering the world the author has created, creating strong levels of engagement with the themes of the book, before encouraging creativity and inspiring children to write.
- We deliver five weekly sessions with lessons taken from Literacy Tree planning sequences.
- The lessons focus on different types of texts: fiction, non-fiction and poetry. There is a variety of books used including picture books in all year groups.
- Planning sequences are adapted, personalised and scaffolded by teachers to ensure they meet the needs of each child in the class.
- Children have opportunities to write at length but to also complete shorter writing tasks throughout a unit.
- The writing tasks have a focus on thinking about who is the audience and what the purpose of the task is.
- The writing tasks are meaningful and cover a range of genres.
- Children have the opportunity to edit their work before it is marked.
- Feedback is given through the use of green and pink highlighters to identify the child’s successes and next steps in their writing in line with our feedback policy.
- Throughout the unit of work, there are grammar and punctuation lessons which link to writing tasks to make these lessons purposeful.
- Teachers use live modelling, where they act as an author to ensure that our children can think through their writing and the impact it has on an audience.
- Children are given weekly spelling lists to practise at school and at home which they are tested on each Friday and expected to apply in their writing.
We are so proud of our children’s work and love showing it off at any given opportunity! Our classrooms and corridors are full of wonderful stories, poems and letters.
As pupils complete the Read Write Inc. Programme in Year 2, they move onto whole class reading lessons which explore key texts with a focus on comprehension. We use VIPERS as a teaching tool to ensure children cover a range of comprehension questions in each reading cycle. VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains as part of the National Curriculum. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.
- We deliver whole class reading lessons daily with a focus on unpicking comprehension skills and modelling how to answer different question types.
- We use echo reading daily with the aim to develop fluency and expression as well as an understanding of the text. This also gives every child a chance to be heard read daily.
- We have several well-stocked library areas in school which children visit weekly and choose books from to take home.
- Each classroom also has their own reading corner with a selection of books linked to their topics each half term which children have access to.
- Those children who are not at their age related expectations take place in an intervention suited to their needs. This may include joining a RWI phonics group or using the ‘Fresh Start’ programme to help them reach their targets.
In addition to our RWI phonics and whole class reading lessons, we also deliver a daily story time for all children from Reception to Year 6. These sessions focus on reading for enjoyment and are a fantastic opportunity for teachers to model fluent, expressive reading to children. Our story time is sacred!
Reading at Home
Each week, children bring a library book to enjoy with you at home. Children on the RWI programme also have access each week to a book at their phonics level alongside a weekly quiz on this. As children progress from RWI, they move onto Oxford Reading Tree book bands and bring home a book to read for themselves at their reading level.
Our school expectation is that children read at home at least three times each week and reading diaries are signed to reflect this. Every Monday in our school assembly, we update our Reading Races board to show which classes are zooming ahead with their reading at home!
For 10 top tips on supporting your child with their reading at home, please visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/10-top-tips-to-encourage-children-to-read/10-top-tips-to-encourage-children-to-read
English Policy Statement - Literacy Tree
Feedback for Learning Policy