Literacy is taught through a range of themes and genres of texts. These are organised into our 2 year cycle. Every class experiences guided reading in small groups led by a teacher, which helps pupils to practise and share their reading skills, thoughts, and questions about a variety of texts and gives them confidence to help others when the pressure is not on them to read.
As a class, all ages share/read texts on our Interactive ‘Smart’ Boards to learn word, sentence and comprehension skills. Teachers model writing on smart boards and pupils can interact with their learning by organising, matching/moving letters, sounds, words, pictures, etc.
Writing is taught initially by encouraging pupils to use their sounds learnt in daily Letters and Sounds teaching during KS1. (Foundation Stage and Years 1 & 2) As pupils develop their writing skills they are encouraged to write for many different purposes. Literacy planning always builds upon learning (for example this may be looking at lots of different examples of text types such as poems on a given theme or structure, or sharing texts and then using drama to get into character roles) and works towards developing an extended or independent piece of writing for each unit.
We encourage all pupils to use their phonic skills (sounds) to write independently and spelling, punctuation and grammar is taught alongside this. From Year 2 –Year 6 pupils get given weekly spelling homework.
This academic year, staff are focussing on writing throughout the school. We plan to have author visits to inspire pupils. We use drama and other creative avenues to inspire pupils with their writing.
All Classes have ‘free’ writing books for children to develop their independent writing skills.
We have a 10 stage handwriting target system to encourage pupils to progress towards correct letter formation and placement of letters on the line. Once pupils can write neatly with a joined script (taught during Year 2) they are awarded a ‘Pen License’ which can be retracted if their handwriting isn’t maintained! Pupils can at this stage begin to develop their own more personal handwriting style. Pupils are presented with certificates for completing each handwriting target.
September 2014 brings a new curriculum and an opportunity for Keevil staff to devise a new way of assessing pupils learning in Literacy. Staff hope for this to be up and running by Spring 2015. This means every child from Y1 – Y6 will have personal target cards for writing which will enable pupils to be aware of their next steps in learning.
All staff mark children’s writing by informing them verbally and on their work with what they are pleased with and next steps to improve their writing. Pupils are also expected to assess their own and others’ written work using a ‘Stars and Wishes’ system.
As a small school we promote high standards of speaking and listening and give many opportunities for speaking to different audiences. We include every pupil in our assemblies and performances for parents.