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Mundella Primary School

Aspire & Achieve

    School Information

    Reading, Writing & Phonics

    At Mundella we believe that being able to read and write are vital skills that enable us to understand and express ourselves more effectively.

    These skills open the door to learning. We passionately believe in helping children to develop not only the technical skills of reading and writing, but also in engendering a love for literature and the different genres of writing.

    Reading

    We believe that success in reading is the key to independent learning and so reading is given a high priority.  We aim to enable our children to become confident, enthusiastic, independent readers who are reflective and read with high levels of enjoyment, understanding and comprehension. Success in reading has a direct impact upon progress in all other areas of the curriculum and is crucial in developing children’s self-confidence and motivation.  We endeavour to promote an enjoyment of reading and the understanding that reading is a life-long skill which opens the door to a world of knowledge. 

    Our classrooms are full of visual stimulus to help children begin to read and write. Children take part in individual and guided reading sessions, led by an adult. These sessions focus on decoding words, children’s understanding of texts as well as developing the skills of inference and deduction as they become more fluent in reading. In guided reading sessions, children may be sharing a book, poem, newspaper article or any other text relevant to their learning.

    Texts are also shared with the whole class and children are also read to by the teacher on a regular basis. This enables the children to listen and really understand the meaning of the texts. It is also an important opportunity for children to share their thoughts and ideas and to learn from one another.

    Our home reading books incorporate several different schemes, such as Dandelion Readers, Oxford Reading Tree and Sounds-Write texts. Children are encouraged to read at home on a daily basis and to discuss what they are reading, ensuring that they have a very good understanding of the meaning as well as being able to decode the words.

    We also encourage our families to make the most of the many ‘real’ reading opportunities in the home and to understand that reading a recipe or the back of a cereal packet is as much of an opportunity to develop reading skills as reading the school reading scheme book.

    Reading is also developed and encouraged through using texts in other curriculum areas. Our cross-curricular creative approach to learning means that the children will be required to read and use what they have learnt in curriculum areas such as science, history and geography.

    Writing

    One of the benefits of the Sounds-Write programme is that the children learn the link between sounds and symbols at a very early stage and begin to write the sounds covered immediately.

    Within school, we work explicitly on spelling, punctuation and grammar to ensure that these technical elements of writing develop as the children progress through the school, whilst always focussing on the quality and content of the children’s writing.

    Teachers plan stimulating and engaging experiences to encourage the children’s writing, all designed to give a ‘real’ context to the children’s writing and to bring the curriculum to life.

    In school we use ‘feedback marking’ to ensure that children gain a good understanding of the things they are doing well and what they need to improve. This is achieved through our ‘’tickled pink’ and ‘blue for better’ feedback process. The children are then given an opportunity to respond and improve their writing.

    All teaching staff are trained in using Pie Corbett’s ‘Talk for Writing’ programme where children learn and rehearse key texts orally through the use of story maps before planning new or similar stories using key features. This systematic approach enables children to learn in depth the process of applying new skills through a supportive and structured approach. Children learn set time connectives (so, before, moreover for example) within each year group and understand the main points of different genres of writing, for example- how to write a suspense story, the key features of a non- chronological report.

    Children are encouraged to make links between reading and writing, using techniques and skills employed by authors of texts they have read. They also make links between writing and speaking, working hard to understand the differences in the language used for both.

    Teachers make detailed assessments of children’s writing and, in conjunction with the child, identify individual targets for further improvement and development by using ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ writing tasks.

    For further information: www.talk4writing.co.uk

    Parents are encouraged to help with their child’s writing development by helping their children to write for different purposes at home and by supporting in written homework tasks.

    Phonics

    All of our EYFS and KS1 and some of our KS2 teaching and support staff have been trained in the phonics programme ‘Read Write Inc’. This begins very early on when children start school in the Foundation Stage and continues until a child is a confident and competent reader and speller. Read Write Inc is used around the world and has been used very successfully in many other schools.

    The knowledge of sounds and symbols is an important starting point for understanding and using written language and we believe that a strong and consistent approach to the teaching of phonics is vital for our children to begin to access the rest of the curriculum. This is, however, used in conjunction with many other strategies to help children to begin to read and write.