We use the Big Cat reading scheme across the school to support the development of individual reading skills. The scheme includes a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts, which gradually build in range of vocabulary and length of text. The Big Cat Books are supported by comprehension discussion prompt cards which help pupils to develop their deeper understanding of the texts they read.
We also have a range of Big Cat and National Geographic phonics books to support those pupils in the initial stages of reading development. These have been carefully selected to be appropriate to the interests of Key Stage 2 pupils, including those with SEND. All pupils are screened for phonics gaps upon entry to the school and these gaps are addressed through small group interventions and 1:1 support where required.
Extending more able readers
For pupils at the top of the school who have successfully completed the Big Cat scheme, we have a free reading book selection which includes full length classics and a range of quality modern children’s fiction suitable for those aged ten and above.
Pupils are taught reading comprehension skills through whole class guided reading, which has an emphasis upon quality discussion of texts. Using quality texts and high quality discussion between pupils with the support of the teacher, pupils develop their skills for understanding new vocabulary and concepts. Pupils learn the skills of inference and deduction as well as learning to give their opinions clearly and use the text to justify their ideas.
The writing process
We follow a school agreed writing process which has helped us to improve the quality of our writing.
Plan – Compose – Revise –
Edit – Publish – Evaluate
The stages of the writing process help our pupils to develop their writer’s voice over a series of sessions, paying particular attention to the audience and purpose of their writing.
Across the school pupils learn to write in a range of genres, and links to other parts of the curriculum are made to reinforce learning and make writing meaningful. Writing tasks aim to be linked to topic or PSHE coverage within the same term, with further opportunities to write using their knowledge of particular genres across the curriculum.
Across all areas of our curriculum we promote high quality discussion and talk. Pupils are supported to expand their vocabulary and increase their confidence in discussions using stem sentences and sentence starters.
Spellings and vocabulary
Spelling and vocabulary coverage are carefully planned into our English lessons. Each year group uses planned focus words for a week at a time to give pupils the opportunity to use and embed new vocabulary.
Our spelling patterns are taught weekly and also used for handwriting practice alongside our handwriting scheme.
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