At Springfield we believe that all pupils should be able to confidently communicate their knowledge, ideas and emotions through their writing. We want pupils to acquire a wide vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words by effectively applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn. We want them to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We believe that all pupils should be encouraged to take pride in the presentation of their writing, in part by developing a good, joined, handwriting style by the time they move to secondary school. We believe that all good writers refine and edit their writing over time, so we want children to develop independence in being able to identify their own areas for improvement in all pieces of writing, editing their work effectively during and after the writing process.
We teach writing as whole class lessons, so that all children have access to the age-related skills and knowledge contained in the National Curriculum. We use strategies from Talk for Writing throughout the school, which involve the use of text maps, scaffolding, boxing up, writing toolkits and word banks. The writing process is modelled through carefully selected units of work and engaging cross-curricular topics.
Grammar and Punctuation: Grammar and punctuation knowledge and skills are taught through English lessons as much as possible. Teachers plan to teach the required skills through the genres of writing that they are teaching, linking it to the genre to make it more connected with the intended writing outcome. Teachers sometimes focus on particular grammar and punctuation skills as stand-alone lessons, if they feel that the class need additional lessons to embed and develop their understanding or to consolidate skills.
Presentation: Handwriting is not only taught discretely; it is an integral part to any lesson and is reinforced daily. Children are expected to use joined, legible handwriting.
Using the Talk4Writing approach, children are given the opportunity to write in a range of genre and for different audiences. This allows the children to write for a real purpose, engages them in exciting topics and enables them to apply and develop their Literacy skills within other subject areas. Grammar is also taught within these sessions, as warm-up exercises or as discrete areas of learning. Writing is planned and taught so that children follow a consistent process in all year groups.
More about the T4W process can be found here: https://www.talk4writing.com/about/
Speaking and Listening
We recognise the importance of speaking and listening. Children across the whole curriculum need to express ideas clearly and to listen and respond to the ideas of others. There will be planned opportunities to support the acquisition of these skills through a variety of approaches including: Talk 4 Writing, Performance Poetry Week, structured group discussion, drama, year group and whole school productions and through an increasing emphasis across the curriculum on children speaking aloud.
At Springfield children are given the opportunity to learn spellings through a variety of strategies from Sounds Write (phonics programme) and No-Nonsense Spelling.
Extra support is planned for those children with specific individual needs through interventions, small group work and/or 1:1.
All children will enjoy writing across a range of genres, make links and apply their skills in cross-curricular topics. Children of all abilities will be able to succeed in all English lessons because work will be appropriately scaffolded. They will have developed a wide vocabulary that they are able to use within their writing and will have a good knowledge of how to adapt their writing based on the context and audience. Children will leave school being able to effectively apply the spelling rules and patterns they have been taught.
We firmly believe that all children need to ‘Learn to Read’, for them to ‘Read to Learn’.
Reading is an important life skill – it is the key to all learning. As stated in the 2014 English curriculum aims, reading at Springfield is designed to meet the needs of all pupils.
Our aim is to enable each child to:
- become a competent and fluent reader
- develop a love of books
- develop a knowledge of a variety of genres
- gain a thirst for knowledge across the curriculum through reading
Our curriculum closely follows the National Curriculum for English 2014.
We use Inference Strategies in the teaching of reading which are reinforced through whole class reading, small groups, 1:1 or through intervention support with targeted children. Each year group follows a carefully selected reading spine, which include links to topic areas.
The school uses Book Bands which work towards all children becoming free readers. Baseline assessments and information from previous teachers are used to ensure that children are reading at their appropriate level. Within the lower school, these books will be supporting and reinforcing the children’s phonic knowledge. All children are able to choose their own reading books, which are monitored on a regular basis.
Children are encouraged to become Reading Buddies and support others with their reading during lunch times. A group of sixth form students visit weekly as Reading Mentors and support our reluctant readers from all year groups. Parental support is actively encouraged when reading at home and children are expected to read at least five times a week. Children participate in a half-termly reading challenge which rewards those who read regularly. A weekly reading challenge allows each class to compete for the school’s reading mascot, a specially selected box of books and the school Kindle.
Children are able to access website based applications at school and at home, such as Reading Eggs (lower school) and iHub (upper school) to supplement their reading and comprehension skills.
All children are members of our school library, which is well-resourced in a variety of fiction and nonfiction texts. Classes are timetabled weekly for library sessions, where they have free choice of books which can be shared both in school and at home. The library is also open at lunchtimes and staffed by a number of school librarians and a TA.
The children are actively encouraged to join their local library and Swadlincote Library staff visit the school to promote their activities. Visits to the library are arranged regularly and parents are encouraged to sign up for membership so they can use the facility out of school time.
Reading is promoted regularly through Book Fairs (Scholastic), reading competitions and Book Swap Shops. An outdoor reading space has been created for the children to use through a Read-a-Mile sponsorship competition.
Staff and children recognise reading as a high priority improvement area for our school. The school’s progress score has gradually increased over the last three years. The majority of children in each class now read at least five times per week and those who need support are targeted as priority readers. Reading is celebrated as an enjoyable and positive experience, they are encouraged to develop their own love of genres and authors and share their experiences with their peers. Children are able to access other areas of the curriculum through their reading.
At Springfield, we are passionate about reading in all areas of the curriculum. In order for every child to become proficient and independent learners, they first need to be confident and fluent readers. During their time at our school, children will read and grow to love a variety of books. Our aim is for them to develop a real love of reading and reading for pleasure.
As parents, you can support your child by:
· Reading with them, ideally five times a week or more.
· Use the Paired Reading method to support less confident readers.
· Read to them – children are never too young to listen to a good story.
· Encourage your child to read a variety of materials – Reading Eggs / Eggspress, iHub, comics, newspapers, recipe books etc.
· Join your local library and explore together the different books on offer.
· Come along to our Book Fairs and discover new books of interest.
· Record all reading in our Home/School Diary.
Reading is celebrated each half term through our Reading Awards Certificates. Children reading 5 times per week will earn a Bronze, 6 times a Silver and 7 times a Gold.
All children are members of our school library, which is well-resourced in a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. Classes are timetabled weekly for their library sessions, where they have free choice of books, which can be shared both in school and at home.
At Springfield, a variety of approaches are used in the teaching of reading. Early reading is taught through the acquisition of phonics using Sounds Write. Children are supported with accurately matched decodable books which follow the Sounds Write units. Reading skills may be taught as a whole class, group or individual basis. Every child will ideally read at least once per week to the teacher or teaching assistant; priority readers on a more frequent basis.
Parents and Reading Mentors from the local Sixth Form play a vital role in volunteering to listen to children read and visit the school on a regular basis.
Paired Reading at Springfield Junior School written instructions