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Reading

Reading is extremely important to the development of a child's literacy skills. It allows children to explore the world of langauge and develop their imaginations. It helps them to broaden their vocabulary and understand grammar and punctuation. The knowledge that they gain from reading improves their writing tremendously. 

In Foundation Stage and Key Stage 1, we listen to the children read at least once a week and engage in a variety of reading comprehension activities. Children in Key Stage 2 may read less frequently on an individual basis to an adult unless they need additional support with their reading. In addition, for children in Year groups 2- 6 there are two whole class (group) reading sessions per week.  We expect parents to read with their child at least 4 times a week at home. Here are some tips for reading at home: 

  • Make reading a time of pleasure for you both
  • Start sharing books even before your child knows which way to hold a book
  • Let them re read their favourite books and stories
  • Praise your child's efforts
  • Read books your child loves and don't set up reading as a test
  • Focus on the things which are right, not on the mistakes
  • Keep reading to children even after they've learned to read independently
  • Stop when they have had enough- reading is not a punishment
  • Read yourself to show your child you value reading
  • Visit the local library
  • Find out how phonics helps children get underway with reading

There are two elements to reading, decoding the words themselves and understanding the text. 

Word Reading 

The children learn phonics right from the beginning of their school lives. Phonics gives children the building blocks to read. More information about phonics can be found below. Reading frequently with children enable them to develop their ability to read the words and increase their fluency and site word bank. 

Comprehension 

There are different types of comprehension questions that help children to develop a deeper understanding of the text these are:

Context

Who wrote this? For whom? What is their purpose? What genre is it? Even non-fiction can be objective or subjective.

Literal

The answer is right there, in front of you, in the text

Inferential

You need to be a detective, searching for clues, building up a picture of the plot, characters and meaning.

Vocabulary

What do words actually mean, in the context of the passage?

There lots of different quesitons you can ask to develop these comprehension skills. A list of these questions can be found in the link below.

In school our books are colour banded. Please find below a document which summarises what is expected of the children at each colour band and the skills they need to learn.

Reading For Pleasure

At Broad Town School, we aim for children to become ‘lifelong learners’.  As a school, we are currently really focusing upon Reading for Pleasure- thinking more about reading buddies, book talk, author recommendations and widening children’s experiences of reading a range of authors for pure enjoyment. To that end, we will no longer be continuing with our ‘Battle of the Books’ reading challenge.  From 2022, children will have greater freedom of choice of the texts, both fiction and non-fiction, they select in school,  alongside their ‘school reading scheme book’.

These are just some of the reasons Reading for Pleasure is so important :

  • Escapism and enjoyment                                - Relaxation
  • Developing vocabulary                                   - Widening knowledge of the World
  • A shared experience with others                     - Finding out new things 
  • A life skill                                                       - Encouraging empathy
  • Developing a positive ‘habit’                         - Supporting mental well being
  • Developing reading stamina                           - and much more ………

Indeed Reading for Pleasure is the single indicator of a child’s future success.  We have already carried out Reading Pupil Voice Surveys across the school and analysed the outcomes of this. The findings are really interesting and are enabling us to plan and move reading forwards in our school and ultimately build a whole school reading community including children, parents, staff and governors as well as members of the local community.

We hope to build our school reading community by:

  • Giving the children more opportunities to talk about books they have read both at home and in school. Chatting about books and sharing recommendations will be encouraged more frequently
  • A greater range of children’s authors will be introduced to the children
  • More whole class story sharing time, with less interruptions/questions from the teachers – at the request of the children !!
  • Creating reading environments that motivate and engage children in reading as a pleasurable activity, including further developing outside spaces for reading and relaxing
  • As staff, we will endeavour to know our readers even better. What do children like to read? When do they like to read? What authors do they enjoy? How can they be challenged further?
  • Mrs Rosie Law will be our 'Reading for Pleasure' governor advocate – sharing her love of reading with the children
  • Mr Tuck already shares stories with the children in Class 1 via Zoom and we would always encourage parents in all classes to share stories with the children if you have any spare time to give
  • We would like to encourage ‘Book Talk’ at home between our pupils and their parents. Children of any age love to be read aloud to as they clearly showed us in their pupil surveys!
  • We are setting up a peaceful reading area in the hall where groups of children will be invited to relax and read for pleasure
  • Once a term, after school, we would like to put out children’s books for a ‘book swap’.  The first ‘book swap’ will be on Thursday 27th January. If you have any books in good condition that you would like to donate to school for this purpose (no more than 3 books per child initially so that we are not inundated!) please send them into your child’s classroom on the day. The books will then be put outside and children can select books to take home and keep.  There will be a donation box should you wish to make a contribution for the books you take. All proceeds from this donation box will go straight towards extending the range of brand new fiction and non-fiction books available to the children in our classrooms.

World Book Day

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Writing

At Broad Town Primary School our aim is to develop children as confident writers. We want our children to value writing as an essential life skill and as a form of communication and expression of idea, thoughts and feelings. We emphasise that in order to communicate ideas, writing needs to contain correct spellings, grammar and punctutation, to make sense and be enjoyed by the reader.

Every opportunity is taken to develop writing skills for a range of purposes and a variety of audiences, both in literacy lessons and across the curricculum. One of the great ways we celebrate children's writing is through our school newspaper. All articles in the newspaper are written, chosen and edited by the children and makes for an excellent read!

Through constant provision, writing begins at an early age with mark making opportunites in every area.

We use a combination of strategies across the school in order to develop writing. Through Talk for Writing and Big Write children acquire all the skills they need to become confident writers.

At the beginning of every unit the children produce a 'cold' piece of writing and at the end of the unit they produce a 'hot' piece of writing. This enables us to see the progression that the children make through the unit. Talking, explicit SPAG (spelling, punctuation and Grammar) lesson and editing are some of the many strategies we use to develop our children as writers.

All children are given a writing target that is displayed in the front of their literacy books.

Phonics

At Broad Town we follow the Dfes scheme of Letters and Sounds to teach our phonics. This is also supported by the Jolly Phonics actions. Once children have achieved phase 6 of Letters and Sounds the children are taught the appropriate year group spelling rules from the New National Curriculum.

We use a variety of resources in phonics and in class to support the children in reading and writing.From Year 2 to Year 6, the main resource for spelling is 'No Nonsense Spelling' and Rising Stars Spelling for Year 1.

Phonics and Reading

More information on phonics and reading is on our phonics and reading page.

Handwriting

With the new curriculum that came in, in 2014, there has been a massive change to the importance of handwriting. Here at Broad Town we have now introduced a new scheme Letter Join and have implemented a new handwriting policy (see attachment below).

All children will be taught handwriting with the entry and exit strokes from foundation stage. If you would like any help or advice on how we teach handwriting in school please feel free to ask your child's teacher.

Your child can also access Letter join at home and the login details are as follows www.letterjoin.co.uk user name lj1584 password home.

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