"Reading at both Key Stage 1 and 2 is well above average and is an outstanding feature of the school." Ofsted 2013
“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea.” Roald Dahl, Matilda
At Heyes Lane we not only teach the fundamental skills of reading but also nurture children’s reading attitudes and behaviour with the aim that all children read for pleasure. Reading is a partnership and we value all the parental support children receive: it is very important that children read at home to an adult and that they are sent into school with their reading book and reading journal each day. The reading journals are a great way for parents to communicate with teachers about how each child is reading at home. The reading book that a child is sent home with is aimed at a level which they can read independently to an adult. In guided reading sessions, children read more challenging texts with teachers and teaching assistants to support the development of their reading ability. Children are also taught how to read for meaning so that they are able to discuss and explain their understanding of a text.
The teaching of writing is delivered in a creative, stimulating and cross-curricular way, linked with the topic. Children are taught through a writing process where they are introduced to the different types of writing (genres) through a stimulus which could be a text, extract or film clip. From this stimulus children are able to unpick the key features in order to plan and create their own piece of writing. The teaching of grammar is also an integral part of all Literacy lessons and children are taught how to punctuate and structure their writing correctly, becoming fluent with the relevant terminology.
Talk for writing plays a vital role in developing children’s writing. Children are provided with opportunities to use a range of drama techniques and opportunities to orally share their writing which enables them to imitate the language they need for their work.
Once a child has created a piece of writing, they then develop the skills needed to analyse and edit their work: constantly working towards taking those next steps to improve their writing.
It is important that children know the next steps they need to take in order to improve their writing. We regularly set personal writing targets, linked with the Success Criteria. Each classroom has a child friendly display which shows the steps they need to take in order to make progress.
We have a fantastic, well-resourced library at Heyes Lane which offers a wide range of fiction and non-fiction books for everyone. In addition, each classroom has a class library and a dedicated reading area to promote reading for pleasure.
Phonics is all about sounds. There are 44 sounds in the English language, which we put together to form words. Some sounds are represented by 1 letter, like ‘t’ and some by two or more, like ‘ck’ in duck. Children are taught these sounds and how to match them to letters.
Phonics is the building blocks of reading and writing and equips children with the skills needed to become independent readers and writers.
Heyes Lane has a structured approach to the teaching of phonics which begins on entry to the Nursery and continues throughout the school, incorporating spelling strategies and rules. There are two elements of teaching phonics, segmenting which supports writing and blending which supports reading. Throughout the teaching of phonics, children are also introduced to tricky words, words which do not follow the conventions taught, like ‘the’ and ‘said’.