At Park and Parkwall Primary Federation we aim to provide pupils with a high-quality English curriculum that will teach them to speak, read and write fluently so that they can communicate their ideas and emotions to others effectively in the rapidly changing times in which they live.
Our aim is that all children leave our schools able to-
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- read widely and often
- take pride in their writing
- write clearly and accurately, adapting their language and style for a range of contexts
- be confident in the art of speaking and listening
- use English (reading writing and discussion) to communicate and further their learning.
We want our children to become enthusiastic, engaged readers and to develop a life-long love of books. We introduce the children to a range of high quality fiction, non-fiction and poetry through our topic core-texts, whole class approach to teaching reading and through daily story time.
In the early stages of reading, we use the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme to teach children to decode words using phonic skills as their main approach, alongside which we teach sight vocabulary. Once grasped, the focus for developing reading is on understanding and comprehension.
Developing readers take home levelled books to practise the phonics skills they are learning at school, and a picture book for you to read with your child. As children become more independent readers they will bring home a self-selected levelled book from the reading areas.
We are passionate about reading for pleasure and have compiled lists of 30 ‘Recommended Reads’ for each year group. These are books by a range of authors for the children to enjoy either by sharing with family or friends or by reading alone. There are also copies of the books at your local library.
We believe the ability to convey meaning and ideas competently and accurately through writing is a key skill whose impact remains long after formal education ends. Through our writing curriculum, we aim to instil in pupils a lifelong love of writing by providing the inspiration and skills for them to write confidently and with a sense of enjoyment. Good writers experience greater success across the curriculum and the earlier writing skills are mastered, the greater this success.
Writing is an integral part of our English curriculum and wider curriculum; the reciprocal nature of reading and writing is reflected in our curriculum which is taught through high quality texts sources from a diverse range of authors. Our writing curriculum is designed to take pupils on a writing journey mapped with opportunities to write with a real sense of purpose and audience across a range of genres. Through writing, we aim to widen our pupils’ exposure to a rich and sophisticated vocabulary which has the capacity to create imaginative story settings, vivid descriptions and engaging narratives.
How to support developing readers at home:
Your support is hugely important for developing your child’s reading skills, confidence and understanding. Even if your child is an independent reader, it is still important for you to read with them, listen to them and discuss the books they are reading.
- Try to listen to and read with your child regularly, at least five times a week.
- 10 minutes a day is better than a longer session once a week. It can help if a regular time is set aside so that it becomes part of a routine.
- Find a quiet place to share books where you can feel comfortable and relaxed – learning to read needs to be a positive experience – build their confidence by praising their efforts.
- Encourage your child to have a go at reading words, by using phonic skills to read any unfamiliar words, and by working on building up their sight vocabulary.
- Talk about the meanings of words to help to develop your child’s understanding and use of language.
- Encourage your child to read a range of texts such as stories, newspapers, comics, labels, poetry, non-fiction, tickets, signs, leaflets etc.
- Read books to your child as well; if they see you enjoying a book it will encourage and motivate them to want to learn to read.
- Ask them questions about the text to develop their understanding.
Questions you can ask your child to develop understanding:
Where/when does the story take place?
Who are the characters in the story?
What happens in this part of the story?
Tell me one/two things that the main character does in this part of the story?
Can you retell the story using your own words?
Tell me what this character was like?
Tell me the most interesting/ exciting/ funniest/ your favourite part of the story? Why?
What do you think the character feels about…? How can you tell?
What do you think would have happened if…?
What do you think is going to happen next?
Which part of this book did you like best/least? Why?
How has the author used words/phrases to make this character funny/ sad/ clever/ frightening/ excited etc?
Why is … a good title for this story/book/chapter/play?
Do you know any more stories like this? Tell me how they are alike.
Do you know another story with similar characters in? Tell me how they are similar.
What do you think this story is trying to tell us?
Has anything like this ever happened to you?
Tell me two things you found out that you didn’t know before.
What does this part of the text tell us about ….?
Which part of the text tells us about …?
Why are some words in bold?
How does this text/ layout help the reader?
How does (a diagram/picture/caption) help you to understand the information on this page?