At Whiston Willis Primary Academy, we teach English by following the Literary Curriculum (Literacy Tree). The Literary Curriculum is a complete, thematic approach to the teaching of English, placing children’s literature at its core.
Children explore over ninety literary texts and experience at least seventy five unique, significant authors as they move through their learning within our two-year cycle.
As a whole school approach, it provides complete coverage of all National Curriculum expectations for writing composition, grammar, punctuation and vocabulary, as well as coverage of spelling, phonics and reading comprehension. All sequences lead to purposeful application for a wide range of audiences across a variety of outcomes.
Reading opens the doors to a world of knowledge and allows us to explore everything around us. It is more than a fundamental skill – it is a necessity!
Here at Whiston Willis, we teach reading through a variety of ways, these include phonics, guided reading sessions, reciprocal reading, shared reading and independent reading. Not only do we teach our pupils the skills needed to read, we want to ignite a love of literature within them. Books are well loved throughout our school and our staff are true advocates of reading. Our children understand that we can gain a lot from a love of books and they can bring a great deal of enjoyment to us. They are also aware that books give us an insight into many topics and they provide us with new perspectives. Our passion for reading can be felt in all areas of our school and we hope to encourage others to love books as much as we do.
Guided Reading Cycle
In KS2, we teach guided reading through a two phase cycle. During this cycle, the children will immerse themselves in a fiction or non-fiction text, as well as another media type such as photographs, illustrations, lyrics or poetry. This ensures that the children are constantly being exposed to a range of genres and text types. Over this period, the children will focus on particular skills such as prediction, factual retrieval, inference, vocabulary, explanation, summarising and sequencing. Discussion is promoted within class and we encourage the children to have inquisitive minds and raise questions.
Reciprocal Reading is used from Year 3 to Year 6. Year 2 are gradually prepared for Reciprocal Reading during the spring term. During Reciprocal Reading sessions, children have the opportunity to develop and deepen particular reading skills, these are: prediction, questioning, clarifying and summarising. We also encourage the children to challenge each other’s views courteously to promote in-depth discussions.
Reading at Home
All children at Whiston Willis are encouraged to continue their reading at home.
All children will have a reading record. We ask that your child reads for at least 4 times a week for a minimum of 10 minutes. This can be either 10 minutes of reading or 5 minutes reading and 5 minutes discussing the book with an adult.
As well as this, the reading records have an abundance of information for parents/ carers so you can support your child further at home. You will find questions that you can ask to aid comprehension, high frequency words, common exception words, the recommended word list for their phase and strategies to support with tricky words.
All KS2 can access our Accelerated Reader scheme using books from our school or local library. This is a fantastic scheme that promotes a love of reading and helps develop the children’s comprehension skills. Parents are able to access their child’s Accelerated Reader account too. This means they can carefully track their child’s progress over time. As a school, we use this programme to help assess each child’s ability to read. By doing so, we are able to direct them towards the most appropriate books for their age and ability.
Phonics and Reading in KS1
Our school follows the highly successful Read, Write, Inc programme for teaching phonics and guided reading in EYFS and KS1. This programme allows for a rigorous approach to the teaching of early reading. Children have 20 minutes of phonics everyday followed by a 20 minute guided reading session were they apply their new phonetic knowledge directly to a Read, Write, Inc text. By teaching early reading in this way, we can ensure children have the opportunity to repeatedly apply their phonetic knowledge so that it is deeply embedded.
Any children who has not passed the phonics screening by the end of Year 2 will have additional phonic support in KS2.
Home Reading Scheme
Children in KS1 will take home a ‘Read, Write, Inc Book Bag book’ which will be directly linked to the phonemes and graphemes they have been learning that week. In addition to this, children will be given an Oxford Reading Tree book. Our school has adapted the Oxford Reading Tree scheme so that it directly links with the order we teach phonics through Read, Write, Inc. These books are given to your child so they can have further practice.