Literacy is at the heart of our curriculum. We believe that it is an essential life skill and as such we embed other curriculum areas into literacy lessons in order to develop pupils’ spoken language, reading, writing and vocabulary. Across any given week children experience a wide range of literacy based activities and skills, allowing them to learn, practise and adapt their understanding, skills and knowledge to everyday life.
Throughout the school we incorporate drama, role-play and speaking and listening activities into all our work to enhance their speaking and listening skills.
We use cross curricular topics to make learning come alive and aim to:
Develop competent writers;
Enthusiastic readers who are able to deduce and infer from a text and
Children who are fluent in the English language.
Children are taught in a daily literacy session which lasts between 60 and 75 minutes. Objectives are grouped into units of work which focus on a specific text genre e.g. poetry and follow a teaching cycle of reading, where children immerse themselves in the text type – speaking and then writing. Specific grammatical or punctuation points are taught where appropriate in the cycle. In addition to the main literacy session children engage in daily guided reading sessions. These lessons enable children to read multiple copies of the same text with their class teacher. These groups are normally determined by reading ability and focus on comprehension skills as well as decoding strategies. In addition, children are given individual reading books to read at home and at school, and have opportunities through each week to use the school library.
We believe that whilst children are learning to read they should also be learning to love books. Consequently we ensure that there are a range of whole school activities provided, such as Book Week and character days that introduce the children to new authors and share our love, as adults, of literature. Our pupils are taught to read through adopting a range of strategies to decode print. One of these strategies is phonics, the breaking down of language into its component sounds. We follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ programme across EYFS and KS1, extending the programme into KS2 where appropriate. Sessions take place daily, lasting 20 minutes.
Speaking and Listening is a vital part of our literacy curriculum. If a child cannot ‘speak’ something, they cannot ‘write’ it. Children are given opportunities to engage in formal and informal speaking and listening opportunities across the school including ‘Show and Tell’ sessions in Reception, Years 1 and 2; class assemblies and performances. The children are taught how to hold a pen or pencil correctly from Reception. After learning the basic letter formation they are taught how to join letters and then engage in specific weekly handwriting sessions.
Literacy is not only taught as a discrete subject but is linked across all curriculum areas. When planning for our Cornerstones topics, usually covering History, Geography, Science, Art and DT, teachers will identify specific areas where specific literacy skills can be reinforced or embedded.
At Christopher Rawlins CE Primary School, we follow the statutory National Curriculum Programme of Study for English in Key Stages 1 and 2. These can be accessed by clicking here.
Additional key documents for each year group are below for reference.