All Saints Catholic Primary School

English

Our Philosophy

At All Saints Catholic Primary School we aim to create an environment in which thinking, listening, speaking, reading and writing serve as a foundation for lifelong learning.

We Believe…

  • All children have the right to be taught to the best of their ability and should view themselves as readers and writers.
  • Children need to be engaged in authentic daily reading and writing activities.
  • Our children learn best when affirmed and celebrated in a supportive and caring environment.
  • Placing appropriate demands and expectations on each child builds self-esteem and results in greater personal success
  • Literacy means not only to read, write, speak, and listen, but also to use language to learn, think, and communicate effectively.
  • Classrooms need to be print-rich and to contain a wide variety of reading materials, resources, and technology to support a child’s literacy development.
  • Children need to enjoy reading and writing and develop life-long literacy habits.

You can help your child by:

  • Be a role model for your child – let them see you enjoying reading and writing as often as you can.
  • Practise your child’s reading book as often as you can – always praise their effort and make the time relaxed and positive.
  • Find as many ‘real’ reasons to read and write i.e. A letter to Father Christmas, or in response to the Echo article about dog muck write to your MP.
  • Come and join in some of our parents courses – it will help you understand phonics and the way we teach early reading.
  • Make sure you and your child read for fun – borrow books from school, the library or access some of the learning materials on the internet, such as The Bug Club. (http://www.bugclub.co.uk).
  • Immerse your child in as many different experiences as you can and talk with them – the more they experience and reflect upon those experiences, the more their language they will develop (e.g. visits to the museum or trips to the beach).

Our Curriculum

Language for Learning

Phonics – The Sounds That Make The Letters

EYFS and KS1 have a phonic session each day – following the Letters and Sounds guidance from the government. In Y1 children are also invited to an after school Phonic Fun Club. Learning is made as fun and interactive as possible, using games and ICT.

Children finding it difficult may be taught in small groups, or may be given extra personalised learning support (PLS).

Speaking & Listening

Oral language provides the foundation for reading and writing. Effective listening is modelled and practised every day.

All classes offer opportunities to speak through discussion, drama, role play activities. We constantly use this time to widen our children’s vocabulary.

At present we are trialing lessons in debating skills for the English Speaking Union, which we hope will lead to our children taking part in national competitions.

Children finding it difficult will be given extra time and space to be involved with speaking and listening in a small group supported by an adult.

Writing

Independent Writing

Children write unsupported and marking or discussions with the teacher gives them feedback. This help the children identify what it is they have to get better. Successes are celebrated both in class and with the whole school.

Writing where possible is linked to the wider curriculum giving children real reasons to write across a range of genres.

All our teachers have received Big Write and Alan Peat training to help support their teaching of writing.

If a child is finding this difficult they may be given Personalised Learning Support, or extra phonics lessons. In upper KS1 they may be offered sessions 1:1 with very experienced teachers who work intensively on writing.

Guided Writing

This is a time for small groups of similar needs to practise composition and writing. Teachers work alongside the group observing students’ needs and intervening to support them.

Modelled Writing

The children watch as the teacher writes, thinking aloud, demonstrating all the strategies ideas or decisions adults make when writing.

Superskills

Across KS2 each day children work on a range of word and sentence activities for thirty minutes. The emphasis of this session is to sharpen basic skills such as spelling, grammar and punctuation.

Reading

Guided Reading

When a child becomes a confident reader they read at least once a week in a group with a teacher. Teachers use this time to ensure children have a deep understanding of everything they read. Children will consider the reasons why authors have used a particular word or piece of punctuation. Teachers will probe both literal and inferential understanding (asking what? and why ? questions).

Individual Reading 

During KS1 our aim is that children are heard read 1:1 with an adult at least three times a week. This ensures that the child is fully supported in their efforts to read, helping them to be moved forwards without losing confidence. All children read a variety of self-chosen books which are banded by levels of difficulty. Please try and hear your child read for a few minutes every day.

Children finding it difficult will be given extra opportunities to be heard read by adults. Personalised Learning Support (PLS) is offered from the end of Y1 for children who are struggling with early reading. We firmly believe that all it is an absolute right of all children to learn to read to the best of their ability.

Reading for Pleasure

Although we at All Saints want all our children to develop into lifelong readers we also realise that children who read for pleasure go out to do significantly better in exams than their non-reading counterparts. With this is mind we are constantly looking for ways to encourage all our children to read. Here are just a few things that we have tried:

  • Many new and exciting books to read, both for classes and the reading room
  • Inviting areas in classrooms have been developed to encourage children to relax and read for fun.
  • Reading Room developed to provide a quiet pleasant place to read. Children planned and decorated this wonderful environment themselves.
  • Reading Club from 8am each morning. Children get to read at length, and then spend time investigating texts using role play.
  • Access to new technology – many children prefer to read using different media. To support this we have provided 30 tablet computers containing thousands of book to each year group, and provided access to books and activities on line at home via The Bug Club (link here). Lexia – requires programme to be downloaded (Link here) is a skill based support programme which can be accessed from both school and home. Contact the school for further details.
  • Superhero reading group – Using men who work or support our school to spend time reading to reluctant readers, providing positive role models and an enjoyable experience.
  • Golden time books – In KS1 children are encouraged to bring in their favourite books from home to share with the rest of the class during Golden Time.
  • Visits to local libraries
  • Visits into schools from storytellers, poets and local authors.

Shared Reading

This takes place daily in classes. The teacher reads with the children, often pieces the children could not read for themselves. This allows the teacher to demonstrate strategies for reading.