At St Matthew’s Catholic Primary School, we believe that literacy and communication are keylife skills and that it is our role, through the English curriculum, to help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large, through spoken and written language. Through a love of reading that is embedded within our school, we strive to help children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
Aims and Objectives
As a school, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading both across the curriculum and at home. As a school, we aim 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 speaking and listening skills and are able to make formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In all Key Stages a range of genres are taught, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Each unit is an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. The children set targets at the beginning of each unit and are involved in reviewing the progress that has been made at regular intervals. During lessons the children are encouraged to explore text through role play, freeze framing, hot-seating and many other speaking and listening activities which allow children to develop their ability to communicate as well as build on their own self confidence.
English is taught within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, guided reading and writing. The children’s abilities in English are developed across the curriculum. They are taught to communicate and express themselves clearly and effectively in speech and writing and great emphasis is placed on the ability to listen and understand. The children experience a wide variety of reading material at appropriate levels of complexity and interest so that they become competent, enthusiastic and fluent readers.
Reading development is seen as a partnership between home and school and children are encouraged to choose books to take home to read to their parents.
The school has fully adopted the New Framework for Literacy. Guided reading takes place on a daily basis.
Opportunities for reading
Pupils also read regularly in other areas of the curriculum and in other parts of the school day through:
Guided Reading – Teachers work with small groups of pupils to teach specific and targeted reading skills in a book that is sufficiently challenging.
Reading Across the Curriculum – Pupils read a range of books linked to other areas of their learning and have regular lessons to look at texts in more detail.
Story Time – In Key Stage One, books are read to pupils for them to hear good examples of reading aloud and to develop an enthusiasm for reading books themselves. Class books are shared with pupils, where they read along with the teacher.
The government strongly recommend the use of synthetic phonics when teaching early literacy skills to children. Synthetic phonics is simply the ability to convert a letter or letter group into sounds that are then blended together into a word.
Here at St Matthews we are using the Read Write Inc (RWI) programme to get children off to a flying start with their literacy. RWI is a method of learning based upon letter sounds and phonics, and we use it to aid children in their reading and writing. Reading opens the door to learning. A child who reads a lot will become a good reader. A good reader will be able to read more challenging material. A child who can read more challenging material is a child who will learn. The more a child learns, the more he or she will want to find out.
Using RWI, the children learn to read effortlessly so they can put all their energy into comprehending what they read. It also allows them to spell effortlessly so they can put all their energy into composing what they write. The children are assessed regularly and grouped according to their ability. They will work with a RWI trained teacher or teaching assistant. In addition to the RWI, children will also be working on writing skills in their classes with their own teacher.
The Read Write Inc manager is Mrs Hatherley. If you have any questions or need any guidance on the programme, please pop into the school office or give them a call and they will arrange an appointment for you.
When using RWI to read the children will:
– Learn 44 sounds and the corresponding letter/letter groups using simple prompts.
– Learn to read words using sound blending (Fred talk).
– Read lively stories featuring words they have learnt to sound out.
– Show that they comprehend the stories by answering ‘Find It’ and ‘Prove It’.
When using RWI to write the children will:
– Learn to write the letter/letter groups which represent the 44 sounds.
– Learn to write words by saying the sounds and graphemes (Fred fingers).
– Learn to write simple then more complex sentences.
– Compose stories based on story strips.
– Compose a range of texts using discussion prompts.
When using RWI the children will also work in pairs:
– To answer questions.
– To practise every activity.
– To take turns talking and listening to each other.
– To give positive praise to each other.
Help your child learn to read words by sounding-blending (Fred talk) eg. c-a-t = cat, sh-o-p = shop. Children learn to read words by blending the letter-sounds that are in the Speed Sounds set. Help your child to say the pure sounds (‘m’ not ‘muh’, ‘s’ not ‘suh’ etc.) as quickly as they can, and then blend the sounds together to say the whole word.
Support your child at home using the guide below:
Once your child starts on green level reading and writing books, they will be completing spellings. These spellings support the learning that is taking place during phonic lesson’s and results are recorded.Please support your child with learning their spellings. As children progress through the levels, the amount of spellings they bring home will increase.
Reading Books Sent Home
Children in Reception who are learning the first 44 letter sounds and are not blending fluently will bring home sound sheets to practise. Once children can blend fluently and know the first 44 sounds they will bring home a red Ditty book. Children on Green level to Orange level will bring home a RWI book and these will be changed every 3/4 days.
Children on Yellow level to Grey level will also bring home a RWI book as these books are lengthier, these will be changed once a week.
Read Write Inc Books: Please encourage your child to read though the speed sounds page first, then the green and red words page and then check your child understands the meaning of words on the vocabulary check page, before they start reading the book. Your child will have read this book at least three times before they bring it home. They should be able to read this book with fluency and expression by the time they bring it home and they should have a good comprehension of what the book is about. At the back of the book are find it/prove it questions for you to do with your child.