It is our intention that as our pupils journey through the school, our English curriculum enables each child to experience success, challenge and enjoyment in reading, writing and discussion through high-quality teaching and creative learning activities.
We are determined that every pupil will read easily, fluently and enthusiastically for both pleasure and information, as we believe that reading is the cornerstone of their learning. Through developing a range of reading strategies, our pupils will explore and deepen their understanding of a wide range of genres, authors and styles and be able to voice their opinions and thoughts about the texts read.
We want every child to write independently with confidence and clarity for a variety of purposes and audiences across the curriculum, whilst developing their own individual flair and style. This will involve writing with grammatical accuracy, applying spelling knowledge, patterns and rules correctly plus using neat handwriting. The link with reading is fundamental in exposing our pupils to a wide range of engaging, high-quality texts, from which they will fuel their imagination and acquire new vocabulary alongside knowledge about themselves and the world in which they live. We also aim to develop a culture where children take pride in their writing and can re-read, edit and improve their work as it progresses.
We believe that spoken language is essential to the development of reading and writing and is intertwined within school activities. We encourage our pupils to share their own voices alongside listening to and respecting those of others.
We intend to develop positive attitudes to reading and writing across all subjects and so foster a lifelong love of both whilst recognising that every child has their own starting point for learning from which they are expected to make progress. At Howley Grange we also recognise the importance of parents and carers in supporting their children to learn and strive to encourage a successful home-school partnership to facilitate this.
Finally, we recognise the upmost importance of reading, writing and speaking and listening as key life-skills and crucial in achieving our overall curriculum aim in readiness for each child's continuing journey in education and beyond.
In EYFS and KS1, pupils read books which match their individual phonic knowledge from our new Bug Club Phonics scheme. If needed, these are supplemented by other phonetically decodable books available from Oxford Reading Tree. Currently, as the children move into Year 2 as confident readers, they become established on the higher colour bands of Oxford Reading Tree. EYFS and KS1 Children read individually to an adult at least once a week.
Accelerated Reader has been introduced from Year 3 onwards. The books are colour banded according to the Book Level and children are allocated a Book Level to read based on STAR Reading assessment results, teacher assessment and quiz results to ensure continued challenge and widening of each child's reading range. Once a child has read a book, they take an online quiz before choosing the next book.
For more information click on the parent guide below.
Click the link below to access the Accelerated Reader website.
All children are encouraged to read at school and at home and have a reading diary to use as a record of their reading. Pupils and parents are encouraged to write comments about the books read, so facilitating the link between home and school.
For more information on reading at Howley Grange please click on the PDF below to view slides from our parent workshop.
Across the school, VIPERS is used to improve the comprehension of a text in specific reading lessons or when a book is being read daily, allowing staff and children to focus on specific question types linked to the six reading domains.
Pupils are also given opportunities to apply and develop their reading skills across all areas of the curriculum in order to understand the purpose and potential that all reading
brings to learning.
For more information on VIPERS please click the links below.
What parents can do to help with reading...
- Encourage your child to read at home. They must be reading for at least 20 minutes a day. We set aside 10 minutes in class per day for AR.
- Talk to your child about what they are reading. Consider using VIPERS style questions to do so
- Use www.arbookfind.co.uk to search for books to read at home alongside their school book.
- It is okay for your child to read books outside of their ZPD as reading for pleasure, but these may not have AR quizzes or develop their reading ability if the books are too easy or too difficult.
- Develop a reading culture at home. Does your child see you read?
- Consider 'Reading Time' away from screens.
Reading Curriculum Progression
In the Early Years Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, phonics is taught using the Letters and Sounds program as its foundation and follow the lesson structure of review, teach, practise and apply model. Following rigorous assessment, groupings are formed within Reception, Years 1 and 2. Children receive a phonics session 4x per week. A variety of approaches are encouraged so that children can hear, identify and use sounds in their reading and writing. Frequent reviewing and assessing takes place and there is flexibility between the different phase based groups.
For more information on the Letters and Sounds program please click the link below.
From Year 3 onwards, the Rising Star spelling scheme is used on a weekly basis to teach whole class spellings. Many of these words would be included in a class's weekly spelling list that would be tested the following week.
Handwriting and Presentation
We use the Kinetic Letters program to teach our younger children the foundations in order to build towards a joined and fluent style of handwriting. Kinetic Letters revolves around four strands of learning:
- Making bodies stronger/ motor and spatial preparation
- Learning the letters/using dynamic movement for learning the letter shapes
- Holding the pencil/optimal pencil hold for speed and legibility
- Developing flow and fluency/speed and stamina developed.
Older children are then encouraged to continue to use a joined, fluent style of handwriting.