Reading – Subject information
Throughout the curriculum we aim to ensure that all children become competent, confident and life-long readers. As a school, we recognise that reading underpins all other learning and is a crucial skill required to give our children the best start in life.
At Thorpepark Academy, we provide an engaging, high-quality reading curriculum that will equip all pupils with the skills they need to be accurate and fluent readers. We ensure that learning to read is prioritised when pupils join the school and that these skills are developed year upon year.
In addition to children’s precise word reading capabilities, we ensure that insightful comprehension is gained through developing the key reading skills that underpin Thorpepark’s reading curriculum. These skills include:
Our reading curriculum aims to lay the foundations for the children’s future and our philosophy is that pupils will learn to read, in order to read to learn. Gaining these fundamental skills will allow our pupils to become enthusiastic, effective and critical readers.
Through interactive, fun and stimulating lessons, the children will follow a robust phonics programme to develop their early reading skills. The school follows a book banded system that children progress through as their phonics knowledge grows. Fully phonically-decodable books are provided to ensure that children can apply their existing knowledge with confidence. Benchmarking assessments are used to assess children’s word reading and comprehension abilities which ensures that the books they read independently are providing appropriate challenge.
Our engaging reading curriculum, aims to inspire children to develop a genuine and long-lasting love of reading. The use of quality texts, detailed on each year groups literacy spine, ensures that children are exposed to high quality literature and vocabulary from a young age. Literacy spines also ensure progression throughout the curriculum and exposure to a broad range of genres, authors and text types.
Through guided reading sessions, pupils in KS1 upwards will be given the opportunity to unpick the language, characters and content of different reading material. They can share their ideas and thoughts with one another, as well as ask questions to deepen their understanding.
Children at our school are encouraged to read beyond the classroom through a range of incentives and experiences. These include:
- Daily story time throughout the school
- ‘Bedtime Reading’ – a library loan service available for pupils to borrow and share stories with their families at home
- Home reading reward system
- Reading challenges and competitions
- ‘Stay and Read’ sessions with parents
- Author visits
- Lunch time library clubs
Writing – Subject information
At Thorpepark Academy we recognise that children are able to communicate and express themselves through their writing. It is our aim to ensure that writing opportunities across the curriculum equip the children with the ability to communicate their ideas, knowledge and emotions confidently and creatively.
As a school, we aim to deliver high quality teaching that ensures children are able to develop an acquisition of knowledge and skills to write clearly and coherently, in line with the National Curriculum.
Whilst intending to instil a love for writing from an early age, we also strive for independence in adapting language choices and writing features by identifying audiences and purposes. We recognise that good writers have the ability to refine and edit their writing over time. For this reason, we aim for children to develop their independence in identifying their own areas for improvement, enabling them to edit during and after the writing process.
We want children to acquire the basic skills needed to write effectively, such as using advanced vocabulary, gaining a secure understanding of grammatical features and spelling efficiently by applying spelling patterns and rules.
At Thorpepark Academy we intend on children taking pride in their work, including the presentation of their writing, by developing a legible joined handwriting style before leaving primary school.
We teach using an adapted Talk for Writing approach throughout the school that involves text imitation, boxing up, toolkits, scaffolded writing and shared writing that ultimately leads up to independent innovations and applications.
Two-week units of writing include a range of genres that are carefully selected to make some cross-curricular links and progress throughout the year groups. Each unit begins with the children being presented with inspiring and engaging materials. Using high quality model texts and familiar texts from our literacy spine enables children to use what they have read to enhance their writing. The children are taught the required basic skills for the particular genre to connect with the intended outcome. The writing process is then modelled through a planning, drafting, editing and redrafting process with clear context and purpose before publishing a final piece. Children’s published pieces are assessed using the teacher assessment frameworks to identify progress made and areas for development.
Throughout the school, teachers often focus on standalone spelling, punctuation and grammar lessons to embed or consolidate learning. Children are then encouraged to apply a greater range of skills across the wider curriculum.
Handwriting is not only taught discreetly but is an essential part of the weekly timetable. Explicit handwriting lessons are taught multiple times per week to encourage legibility and joins.