We view reading and writing as being linked. Reading is like breathing in and writing like breathing out. We teach children to use the skills they learn in reading to help with their writing.
Using the Talk for Writing approach we teach children to read as a reader where they focus on the vocabulary, grammar and comprehension but also to read as a writer focusing on the author’s crafting of language and use of literacy devices.
We use Read Write Inc. to teach daily phonics through EYFS and KS1. Children learn the English alphabetic code: first they learn one way to read the 40+ sounds and blend these sounds into words, then learn to read the same sounds with alternative graphemes.
They experience success from the very beginning. Lively phonic books are closely matched to their increasing knowledge of phonics and ‘tricky’ words and, as children re-read the stories, their fluency increases.
During phonics, there is a thought-provoking introduction to each reading session, prompts for thinking out loud and discussion about the story, children are helped to read with a storyteller’s voice which links directly with our approach to writing.
In EYFS and KS1 children also share stories in class with their teacher where they work the following reading skills:
- retrieval of information from the text
- developing knowledge and use of vocabulary
Once children have completed the Read Write Inc. phonics scheme (normally within Year 2), they are taught in Guided Reading groups. The teaching here focuses on the reading skills above and allows children to continue to develop their fluency, expression and knowledge of books and authors. Many of these sessions are taught in small groups using a carousel system where the teacher reads with each small group each week. We supplement this with some Whole Class Reading where the class all work together to practise skills with the same text.
In KS2, additional skills are taught in line with the national curriculum. These are:
Reading for Pleasure
Great books build the imagination. We read aloud expressively to our children to immerse them in a world of memorable characters, events and places and enable them to savour, discuss and reinterpret ideas themselves.
The texts that each class read for pleasure are a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry.
We have a well-stocked library which children are able to take a book from each week to read independently or share with an adult at home.
Writing at Gulval School
Writing is taught using the Talk for Writing, storytelling approach. Talk for Writing is an engaging teaching framework developed by Pie Corbett. It is powerful because it is based on the principles of how children learn. Children imitate the language they need for a particular topic orally, before reading and analysing it, and then writing their own version.
Spelling practise is directly linked to the learning of the 40+ sounds in the early years and then when children have mastered these, they use the Spelling Shed scheme to learn and practise the spelling patterns appropriate for their year group.
Spellings are taught in school as part of spelling sessions, embedded within writing lessons and practised at home each week
The requirements of the National Curriculum for grammar are embedded within the texts we use for writing. Children are taught specific grammatical patterns within grammar lessons and they practise these in their writing. We use SPAG.com to assess children’s progress in this area.
Handwriting is taught as a specific skill, little and often. It is taught progressively and in-line with the requirements of the National Curriculum.
Initially we teach handwriting (letter formation) by linking closely with the Read Write Inc. scheme in daily phonics sessions. In KS1 children are introduced to a simple joined handwriting style which is not made complicated by unnecessary loops or swirls.
In KS2, children will have at least one taught handwriting lessons per week where they practise the four basic joins and learn to write legibly, fluently and with increasing speed.