At Story Wood we follow the National Curriculum for English. The overarching aim for English is to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping pupils with a strong command of the spoken and written language, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading for enjoyment. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
read easily, fluently and with good understanding
develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate
The programmes of study for reading at key stages 1 and 2 consist of 2 dimensions:
comprehension (both listening and reading)
Reading is at the core of our curriculum because, as stated in the national curriculum, we believe that through reading pupils have a chance to develop culturally, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually. Literature especially plays a key role in such development. Reading also enables pupils both to acquire knowledge and to build on what they already know.
It is our aim that, by the end of their primary education at Story Wood, all pupils have an established love of reading, are able to read fluently, and with confidence, in any subject and are fully prepared for the next stage of their school career.
Similar to our 3D curriculum model, reading has horizontal aspects that focus on progression in reading fluency and comprehension through the year. The progression in the complexity of the texts, including both language and content, run vertically across year groups; reading also has aspects that progress both across subjects and year groups diagonally. This embeds the application of reading across all other curriculum subjects and the importance of reading to learn.
We follow the Little Wandle Letters & Sounds Revised phonics programme from Reception through to Year 2. Pupils in Year 1 are prepared for the Phonics Check. Pupils who are unsuccessful at the end of Y1 continue to receive daily phonics lessons and re sit the check at the end of Y2. For any pupils who continue to struggle as they move into Y3, a phonics intervention group used to support children to continue to learn phonics and develop their fluency. Children who need support with their reading fluency and comprehension attend daily catch-up or after-school tuition sessions. Children needing extra support at any stage of their reading journey are immediately given regular intervention to help them keep up.
In Reception and KS1, reading practice sessions are taught four times a week, each with a different focus. The children work in small groups with a trained adult, and read fully decodable books matched to their secure phonics knowledge. Core texts linked to topics are also used to support writing lessons. In KS2 we use a whole-class model for teaching reading. Core texts are linked to topic and used for both reading and writing lessons. There is a weekly guided reading session where each group in a class reads with a trained adult.
In Reception, Y1, and at the start of Y2 children take home their decodable book as their reading practice book, and also bring home a book chosen from the library to share with an adult. From Year 2 to Year 6 Accelerated Reader is used and all pupils are expected to take home a reading book from within their ZPD which is assigned by their reading ability. These books are available from our AR library. The library is open daily from 8:30am daily for parents and children to spend time sharing books together. Our school also subscribes to a number of supplementary reading resources including Read Theory (for Y6), the First News (children’s newspaper) and a selection of children’s magazines.
Throughout the school there is a high-emphasis placed on the importance of reading for pleasure and this is timetabled throughout the week – through story-time and class read-alouds, sharing of songs, rhymes and poems, independent reading time, and reading for pleasure sessions. We have developed a reading spine that details all of the books that will be read to and shared with children across a range of subjects, demonstrating the depth and breadth of our curriculum.
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Philosophy 4 Children (P4C) is an enquiry-based pedagogy, it develops multi-modal thinking and is applied as a strategy to close the word gap by developing children’s understanding of words. Like the national curriculum, we recognise that good comprehension draws from linguistic knowledge. P4C starts in EYFS, lessons are facilitated in all year groups to support language development and contextualise vocabulary.