The main aim of Literacy teaching at Brunton is to promote high standards of language and literacy as well as developing a love of reading. All year groups have a daily literacy session, but the inter-related skills of reading, writing and speaking and listening are taught and practised throughout the curriculum.
We aim to ensure that all children at Brunton:
- Are fluent readers with a good understanding of what they have read.
- Read widely for both pleasure and to find things out.
- Develop a wide vocabulary and a solid understanding of grammar.
- Appreciate a wide variety of literature.
- Write clearly, accurately and coherently in different styles, for different purposes and audiences.
- Use a joined handwriting style from the end of reception.
- Can explain their understanding and ideas to others through discussion.
We use ‘The Power of Reading’ approach to teach writing for a range of purposes. Teachers use a chosen text as the stimulus for children, enabling them to write for a range of purposes in meaningful contexts. The children get chance to explore and immerse themselves in the book they are studying, through activities such as drama and art. Our literacy lessons enable the children to slowly develop and refine the skills they need for a particular piece of writing, including working on handwriting, spelling, punctuation and grammar.
As a school we follow Letters and Sounds. Children in Reception and Key Stage One are taught a daily discrete phonics session for 15 minutes, 5 times a week. Children are taught in smaller, flexible groups to enable teachers to focus more on personalising and differentiating the pupils’ learning according to their specific needs. Interventions are put in place to support those pupils at risk of not passing the phonics screening check.
Spelling, grammar and punctuation
Once children are confident with their phonics we then focus on the spelling rules and common exception words. In Key Stage One and Two teachers use dictated sentences to assess spelling. The grammar requirements for each year group are taught through the Power of Reading approach and integrated into the daily literacy lessons. Teachers choose which Power of Reading texts lend themselves to the teaching of particular grammatical features and use examples from the text to model these features to the children.
We use both whole class reading and guided reading to help the children develop the different skills they need to enable them to read. Phonics sessions in Key Stage One help children to develop confidence when decoding which will enable them to access a wider range of texts. Across the school we teach different skills the children need for reading. They are as follows:
Retrieval – the children are taught how to retrieve answers from the text.
Prediction – the children learn how to make predictions based on the front cover/title or predict what might happen next in a story.
Inference – the children are taught how to infer and to look for clues when they are reading to help them find out more.
Sequencing– the children learn how to sequence the events of a story.
Vocabulary – the children learn to spot new vocabulary and identify the meaning using the rest of the sentence, they also think about why the author has chosen particular words.
In addition, in KS2 we introduce the skills of summarising and thinking about author intentions.
Children are given access to a wide range of high-quality texts within their classroom, but are also encouraged to make a weekly visit to the school library. Children are encouraged to read their school reading books regularly with an adult at home. Children also have the opportunity to access age appropriate e-books at home, through the Oxford Reading Buddy application.
Oxford Reading Buddy
Oxford Reading Buddy is a programme designed to support your child with their reading at home. Your child can access it via their tablet or home PC using a unique username and password which has been given to them by their class teacher. Children can access a range of reading materials appropriate to their reading stage, and can take a fun quiz after completion to check their comprehension. This programme is intended to support and supplement your child’s reading at home, not to replace it, and we still wish for pupils to continue reading their weekly books.
Please do not hesitate to speak to your child’s class teacher if you need a new log in, and if you are experiencing any difficulties in using the programme please follow this link for helpful suggestions:
Children are encouraged to read their reading books regularly at home. We ask that parents of younger children record a short positive comment in their reading record, but encourage the older children to take ownership of their reading and record extra reading they are doing in their reading record independently. A termly overview of spellings to be learnt is sent home in the reading record of Key Stage One and Two pupils. Children are encouraged to practise these words as homework, and to focus on spelling them correctly in their work at school.