At Thornaby Church of England Primary School we believe that a quality Literacy (English) curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening and who can use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in literacy skills is crucial to a high-quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society.
These aims are embedded across our literacy lessons and the wider curriculum. We have a rigorous and well organised English curriculum that provides many purposeful opportunities for reading, writing and discussion, which is celebrated during Collective Worship on a weekly basis. Teachers ensure that cross curricular links with concurrent topic work are woven into the programme of study.
Phonic awareness helps the development of reading by segmenting and blending sounds and the children will be heard reading regularly, both individually and in groups. Our guided reading sessions cover a wide variety of both fiction and non-fiction books and help to advance the children’s comprehension skills. Parents are given reading guidance and clear expectations about reading at home. We develop writing skills so that our children have the stamina and ability to write at the age expected standard. To support children in moving towards independent writing we provide a wide range of activities including the use of film and imagery, music, ICT, modelled, shared and guided writing, peer assessment and discussion. We provide varied and exciting opportunities for writing for purpose and we encourage pupils to see themselves as authors and poets. We promote the importance of written work by providing a writing purpose and opportunities for children’s writing to be read aloud and listened to by an audience. Handwriting, spelling and grammar sessions are regularly incorporated into the English lessons.
Our curriculum closely follows the aims of the National Curriculum for English 2014. The national curriculum for English aims to ensure that all pupils:
● read easily, fluently and with good understanding
● develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
● acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
● appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
● write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
● use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
● are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In addition to daily literacy lessons, children excel in reading through the use of the Reading Plus programme which has been a success for year 3 and 4 more able pupils as an extension / challenge, as well as an integral part of the curriculum for all of our year 5 and 6 pupils. We use a wide variety of quality texts and resources to motivate and inspire our children. We also provide a wealth of enrichment opportunities, from hosting Authors, working closely with our local library who provide holiday clubs and activities whereby pupil participation is rewarded with certificates and medals, visits to school regularly through-out the year to work alongside parents and children in Early Years as well as working with individual class groups and whole school to inspire our children and promote a ‘love of reading’. This ensures that children benefit from access to positive role models from the local and wider locality.
As a result we have a community of enthusiastic readers and writers who enjoy showcasing their developing literacy knowledge and skills. They are confident to take risks in their reading and writing, and love to discuss and share their ideas.