We believe in the importance of children developing a lifelong enjoyment of reading. We want them to “learn to read so that they can read to learn!” The children in our school show a great enthusiasm for reading and they are given a wide reading opportunity through a range of schemes including Oxford Reading Tree, Rigby Star along with other supplementary phonic books (colour banded according to ability). We use our well stocked children’s library to introduce our children to the widest possible selection of books. We believe that children become confident and fluent readers when both school and home support them. We encourage parents to hear their children read a little every evening and record comments in a reading record.
We acknowledge that having a sound understanding of phonics plays an integral role to being able to read and write, therefore we support pupils who require it through the use of a scheme called Read, Write Inc. This is a structured approach to decoding, comprehension and spelling. All Early Years children begin using the programme and this is developed daily through Key Stage 1. The programme is designed to be completed by the end of the Autumn Term for Year 2 children. For those pupils who are identified as needing to remain on the programme beyond this time will continue to have this as a daily lesson.
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As the children progress through the school, they are introduced to literature of increasing complexity. Reading widely and often increases pupils’ vocabulary because they encounter words they would rarely hear or use in everyday speech. Reading also feeds pupils’ imagination and opens up a treasure house of wonder and joy for curious young minds. The children are encouraged to draw inferences, make deductions, make predictions and learn to analyse and evaluate a wide range of texts.
At Reculver we recognise the importance of developing the spoken word. Speaking and Listening is core to our curriculum and embeds all learning through discussion; talk partners play an integral role in learning within our school. We aim to model and develop ambitious and interesting vocabulary on which children can base their communication. This is embedded within our Read Write Inc (RWI) sessions as well as part of daily classroom practice. We have high standards for listening, which we take time to develop in ensuring children get as much as they can from any situation.
We assess reading termly against the National Curriculum expectations. In Key Stage 2 we also administer a reading age test, 3 times a year. This STAR assessment is linked to our Accelerated Reader scheme.
Writing skills are a key priority within our school where children use writing to model their development and understanding. We have a cross curricular approach to the teaching of writing following the National Curriculum which is linked to our 'Cornerstones' units of work giving children a purpose for writing. At Reculver we use ‘Sentence Menus’ to teach the progression of different sentence types. This approach allows children to build on their knowledge of sentence types and add variety to their writing. The children write in a variety of styles which fit into the following categories: Informal fiction, Formal fiction, Informal non-fiction and Formal non-fiction.
Within all units of writing we stress the importance of spelling, punctuation, grammar and presentation. We use elements of the ‘No Nonsense Spelling Programme’ at Reculver, beginning in Year 2 and continuing through to Year 6. This programme teaches particular spelling rules linked to the National Curriculum expectations for each year group. We also use games to develop an interest in words and vocabulary, looking at the etymology of words in our spelling lessons.
The correct formation of letters and the development of a cursive style of writing begins in Early Years and is taught progressively throughout the school, with the aim to have the children writing in a joined cursive style by the end of Key Stage 1. Children can earn their pen licence in Key Stage 2 once they have demonstrated consistently accurate, neat handwriting using the cursive script.