At Bosley St Mary’s CE Primary School our aim is for every child to become a fluent, confident and enthusiastic reader. We want to ensure children meet their age-related expectations and additionally we want children to develop a love for reading and encourage reading for pleasure on a regular basis.
Our curriculum is designed around the needs of the pupils in our school and there are a variety of approaches to enable the pupils to make good progress.
The aims of teaching reading in our school are to develop pupils who:
- show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards reading;
- rapidly acquire a secure knowledge of letters and sounds and make sustained progress in learning to read fluently;
- read easily and fluently with good understanding across both fiction and non-fiction;
- acquire a wider vocabulary;
- participate in the teaching of phonics knowledge, skills and understanding in a systematic and enjoyable way;
- develop their reading in all subjects to support their acquisition of knowledge;
- develop a love of reading;
- read for pleasure both at home and school on a regular basis;
- through their reading develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually;
- develop good comprehension drawing from their linguistic knowledge.
Our school follows the Read, Write Inc phonics program from Foundation Stage and throughout Key Stage One. All children complete a baseline assessment in phonics and are then grouped accordingly by their teachers. Phonics sessions take place daily and last for approximately 20 minutes. Children move to different classrooms and learning areas for phonics and all staff including TA’s are responsible for a group.
When planning teachers have access to handbooks and online resources. Where a TA leads a group a designated teacher will be responsible for the planning, preparation and assessment of that group.
Regular assessments are carried out by both teachers and TA’s and the groups are changed accordingly.
Whole Class Reading
Due to the nature of our classes, we have adopted a Whole Class Guided Reading approach called VIPERS.
What are Vipers?
VIPERS is an acronym to aid the recall of the 6 reading domains which form the reading curriculum. They are the key areas which we feel children need to know and understand in order to improve their comprehension of texts.
VIPERS stands for:
The 6 domains focus on the comprehension aspect of reading and not the mechanics: decoding, fluency, prosody etc. As such, VIPERS is not a reading scheme but rather a method of ensuring that teachers ask, and students are familiar with, a range of questions. They allow the teacher to track the type of questions asked and the children’s responses to these which allows for targeted questioning afterwards.
Children practise VIPERS in both Willow and Oak Class. Often VIPERS sessions start from Spring Term in Willow Class. Teachers follow the below process when teaching VIPERS:
Day 1 - Children are introduced to a short piece of text, this may be from their class text or from a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction. Teachers choose texts which link to what the children are currently studying in class to ensure maximum engagement. The teacher model reads the text to the children on Day 1. This allows children to hear how the text should be read. Children then complete an 'I think, I wonder' chart which allows plenty of time for book talk. During this time they are encouraged to make text to self links, text to text links and text to world links. Once they have completed this activity, they then begin answering VIPERS questions which will have been carefully planned by the teacher. Every session includes a V (vocabulary question) and one or two other IPERS questions.
Day 2 - On Day 2, children revisit the text. This time, the whole class takes part in an Echo Read. An echo read involves the children reciting short sections from the text after the teacher. All children read at the same time and are expected to echo how the teacher reads. Once they have completed an Echo Read they then move on to answer more VIPERS questions.
Day 3 - On Day 3, children revisit the text for the final time in the week. They also take part in a Choral Read where the class read a section from the text in unison. Reading together in this way promotes fluency, self-confidence and motivation especially for those who may feel self-conscious when reading aloud as they have a built-in support network when taking part in activties such as echo and choral reading. After the choral read, children complete their final VIPERS questions for the week.
Each VIPERS session lasts for 30 minutes.
Reading and Assessment
When children first become readers they have access to our Accelerated Reader Programme. Children complete half-termly reading assessments known as Star Reader quizzes. From this quiz, Accelerated Reader creates an individual diagnostic which places children on a certain level on the Accelerated Reader scale. The reports also produce a ZPD (zone of proximal development score). The Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) defines the readability range within which pupils should read to best develop their reading, while avoiding frustration. Teachers are also able to see the childs reading age once they have completed a Star Reader quiz and this helps teachers to group their pupils into Guided Reading groups.
Every child will read with a teacher once during a week. This will happen during a group, guided reading session.
Reading for pleasure
Reading for pleasure is at the heart of our English curriculum at Bosley. Since the introduction of our new English curriculum, The Literary Curriculum, we have focused on using high quality, engaging and inspirational texts. Our curriculum is based on teaching from a text and therefore our children are constantly immersed in quality literature.
In each classroom, there is a dedicated reading area. These areas are comfortable and special for the children with a range of texts made available include fiction and non-fiction.
Author time takes place everyday, either at the of the day or after lunch. This is time dedicated to reading aloud from a book the children have voted for. Furthermore, each teacher selects a theme every half-term to focus on and ensures a range of books are available based on this theme for the children to explore.
We are also very lucky to have access to our local educational library service. Teachers ensure they have a wide range of books and items ordered from the ELA so children have access to these throughout topics studied.
Reading in our school is progressive and planned to meet the needs of all children. Assessments are carried out regularly to ensure children are accessing books of the right level and are being challenged in their reading. At the same time we provide books to ensure that children read for pleasure and learn to love reading.
If children are keeping up with the curriculum, they are deemed to be making expected or more than expected progress. In addition, we measure the impact of our curriculum through the following methods:
- Phonics assessment;
- Phonics screening results;
- ZPD score - assessed through Accelerated Reader;
- Summative assessments each term;
- End of Key stage SATs results.
At Bosley St Mary’s CE Primary School, it is our aim to equip all our children with the necessary skills to enable them to not only participate fully as members of society but to flourish. Therefore, it is imperative for the school to ensure that by the time the children leave our school they are capable and confident writers. Through teaching a broad and balanced English programme, using objectives from the National Curriculum 2014, we will ensure that all children are able to write clearly, accurately and coherently; able to adapt their writing to suit a range of audiences and purposes. A variety of resources are used to promote a reading and writing culture. Children are given a range of writing opportunities including the use of paired, group and independent writing tasks. A culture of learning from each other is promoted through use of co-operative learning structures.
The aims of teaching writing in our school are to develop pupils who:
- show high levels of achievement and exhibit very positive attitudes towards writing
- use and understand language as speakers, readers and writers
- are competent, confident and independent in the use of language in their writing
- have an awareness of different audiences and purposes for writing
- apply their grammatical knowledge in their writing as stated in the POS 2
- apply their phonetical and spelling knowledge in their writing as stated in the POS 1
- apply the English language in all areas of the curriculum
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is followed to ensure continuity and progression from entering Reception Class and then through to the National Curriculum in KS1 & KS2.
The Early Years Foundation Stage Curriculum is divided into prime & specific areas of learning and development. 'Communication & Language' is one of 3 prime areas that are fundamental to supporting children’s language development. 'Communication & Language' is made up of the following aspects: listening and attention, understanding and speaking. ‘English' is one of 4 specific areas which include the development of essential skills and knowledge and is made up of the 2 aspects: reading & writing. Pupil provision is related to attainment, not age. Children learn through play, speaking and listening activities, teacher modelling, group work and self-direction. The children are supported to use and hold a pencil effectively. In order to develop early writing, children are encouraged to “read” their text and tell staff what it means and why they wrote it. Staff celebrate children’s achievements without an over-emphasis on moving to “correctness”. In order to encourage the willingness and desire to write, the class teacher will ensure that there are opportunities for purposeful writing in all areas of learning in the EYFS so that children are interested and motivated in their work.
Key Stage 1 & 2
(see more information below in our English Policy Statement)
Spelling and Grammar
In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, children are taught how to segment words in order to spell them through the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics using the Read Write Inc. programme, which underpins reading and writing, as well as spelling. Our phonics teaching is characterised by planned structure, fast pace, praise and reinforcement, perceptive responses and active participation by all children. Children are grouped according to their phonics knowledge. To further develop children’s understanding of phonics, children in Year 2 receive additional spelling lessons. These structured lessons encourage children to apply their knowledge of phonics to unknown words and develop their understanding of spelling patterns.
In Key Stage 2 we teach regular Spelling and Grammar lessons. Children are introduced to a certain spelling pattern and practice the spellings throughout the week. Each year group has a different set of spellings relating to the national curriculum. They practise spellings during handwriting and by completing tasks relating to their spellings such as anagrams and crosswords.
Neat and presentable handwriting is modelled throughout the school by all staff. In Blossom class there is a focus on letter formation and presentation. This is continued in Willow Class and cursive handwriting is encouraged in Oak Class to ensure children produce work they are proud of.
Assessment for learning strategies are used on a daily basis. These will allow a picture to be built up of the pupils’ progress, any areas of strength or weakness which can then be addressed in teachers’ planning.
Assessment of learning is completed termly. Children complete independent writing pieces within a unit of work, which are assessed against our writing criteria. Analysis of the data impacts upon teachers planning so pupils’ needs can be addressed. Moderation of teacher assessment is also completed in order to ensure that judgements are accurate. Children are assessed using national curriculum level descriptors and analysed to ensure that they are making at least expected progress if not more than expected progress, this document is then monitored by subject leaders and senior leadership team. Children who are not on track are identified for intervention/target teaching.
Leadership and Management
The subject leader's role is to empower colleagues to teach writing to a high standard and support staff in the following ways:
• By keeping up to date on current issues; disseminating relevant information and providing training for staff members (either directly or through other professionals)
• Leading by example by modelling lessons or styles of teaching
• Having a knowledge of the quality of writing provision across the school and using this to provide a coaching and mentoring role
• Identifying and acting on development needs of staff members
• Monitoring expectations, provision and attainment across the school and providing feedback to develop practice further in order to raise standards
Monitoring and Evaluation
The quality of teaching and learning is monitored as part of the appraisal process through lesson observations and through the progress and attainment documents. In addition, continuity and progression across the school is monitored by the subject leader as is the implementation and impact of Assessment for Learning. The subject action plan and external advisors identify actions intended to raise standards.
The English Subject Leader will also provide an annual summary report to the Headteacher in which s/he evaluates the strengths and weaknesses in writing and indicates areas for further improvement.
A named member of the governing body is briefed to oversee the teaching and learning of English. The link governor meets, at least termly, with the subject leader to review progress.
Partnerships with parents
In September parents are invited to attend a whole school development plan meeting where they are informed of school priorities and year group overviews. Also parents are informed on how they can help their child at home by attending English and Mathematics workshops. Parents are kept informed of topics that are being covered through a newsletter sent half-termly. During Parents' Evenings curricular targets are shared and a written report is completed annually in the Summer Term. Homework is set weekly. Reception and Key Stage 1 can choose an activity from a list. Key Stage 2 are set tasks.
At Bosley St Mary’s CE Primary School, we want our children to become passionate and confident writers, happy and inspired when writing independently. We want them to understand how becoming successful and self-assured writers will aid them in future life.