The aim of Palmarsh’s writing approach is to:
- have consistency of approach and progression through Year R to Year 6
- motivate children to write encouraging them positively to experiment and improve their work
- provide the children with a stimulating writing environment surrounded by print in a variety of forms and contexts
- teach a full range of writing strategies, including spelling, grammar, sentence structure and composition;
- reflect best-practice models and recent case studies. For example:
- Jane Considine: The Big Write http://www.thetrainingspace.co.uk/
- Michael Tidd: Writing for a purpose https://michaelt1979.wordpress.com/2014/06/30/a-mastery-model-for-writing-moving-away-from-the-text-type-treadmill/
The writing curriculum at Palmarsh is structured using the ‘Four Purposes for Writing’ (Michael Tidd) . This is so that the focus is on teaching the purpose, audience and grammar for each piece of writing, rather than teaching genres. In this way, children can make links between purposes for writing across year groups, rather than seeing genres in isolation. We use a quality text on which to base all of our English work as well as a range of supporting texts. Teachers write or source a model text (WAGOLL) that includes all of the grammar features to be taught in the unit.
The aim of Palmarsh’s reading approach is to:
- To create a lifelong love of reading, whether for learning or leisure.
- To develop the skills to access any materials throughout school and beyond
- Encourage children to endeavour to use texts to discover more.
- Encourage children to look beyond the text, see text as a tool, use text as a springboard for their own writing.
- Develop a LOVE for reading.
- Read challenging materials, that enriches and deepens their understanding.
Your child's entitlement
We want your child to love reading – and to want to read for themselves. This is why we work hard to make sure children develop a love of books as well as simply learning to read.
Reading In Key Stage One:
We learn how to use and enjoy books and then use our sound knowledge to begin to read words. As their confidence grows we work on the children’s fluency and comprehension skills.
Reading In Key Stage Two:
We develop these skills further by focusing on the language of texts. We delve into the meanings of words, hidden meanings in texts and discuss the vocabulary choices.
We start by teaching phonics in EYFS and Years 1 and 2 using the ‘Read Write Inc’ phonics programme. Children learn how to ‘read’ the sounds in words and how those sounds can be written down. This is essential for reading, but it also helps children learn to spell well.
The children also practice reading (and spelling) ‘tricky words’, such as ‘once,’ ‘have,’ ‘said’ and ‘where’. Once children can blend sounds together to read words, they practice reading books that match the phonics and the ‘tricky words’ they know.
Through speedy reading techniques, the children start to believe they can read and this does wonders for their confidence.
To improve our comprehension skills we have a computer based programme called Accelerated Reader. We use this programme from Years 1-6. It is a program used to motivate children to increase their reading & vocabulary comprehension and guide them to greater independent reading. We use whole class guided reading sessions to support children’s fluency as they progress into Key Stage Two.
Ultimately, our Reading curriculum helps children develop the skills they need to be fluent, proficient readers and lifelong learners.
Reading for Pleasure
As a school, we believe it’s a little bit ironic to have a focus on ‘reading for pleasure’ for what is reading during the other times if it is not for pleasure?
Every day classes are read a story in order to provide children with a deeper understanding of texts. Books are carefully chosen from our reading spine, to meet the needs and interests of the cohort and to enthuse our children. They may link into our wider curriculum, or may simply reflect their love of stories.
The children in our school also embark on a journey with us when they join, a real life living storybook ‘The Curious Quests of Professor Klunk’ (created by Greg Bottrill). Indeed, every classroom, our school office and our school library has its own portal to Professor Klunk.
The idea of the Curious Quests is that they form a narrative flow through our school, from Reception to the end of Year 6, each year the children encountering a new Curious Quest that builds on the story from previous years. As the children go further into the story, the narrative matures with them, new challenges and a darker malevolence reveal themselves. The Curious Quests enable us to create an emotional space within which children learn the skills from the curriculum for the purpose of the Curious Quests. Children are part of the storybook themselves.
Professor Klunk is older than the hills and wiser than a thousand owls, and he lives at our school on our roof. It is his job to spread the joy of story dreaming across the land. He has a huge cauldron in which he conjures up all kinds of potions and spells that ensure the magic of story is passed on from one person to the next. His powers are in every story whether written or told, and his spells can help with the magic of story dreaming.
We don’t need to set time aside for reading for pleasure as the connection children feel through the magic of story dreaming at our school helps them to be lifelong readers, learners, story makers and creators.