At New Chapter Primary School we encourage all pupils to develop a love of reading and writing.
Our English curriculum is closely linked to our creative curriculum topic which enables all writing to have a purpose. An example of this is year 5’s ‘Fitness for Life’ topic. In their literacy lessons, the children are taught how to persuade, with the outcome being to write a persuasive letter to their parents on why they should keep fit. We use the three stages of Talk for Writing as a structure for our literacy lessons. The structure also ties in with the composition literacy strand in the National Curriculum.
Using the National Curriculum, we have mapped out our own half term core skills of progression in spelling, grammar, punctuation and handwriting. This ensures that all aspects of the curriculum are covered and ensures progression year on year. These are taught discretely and applied in literacy lessons.
We use a range of quality books by a variety of authors to immerse the children in the magic of stories and the fascination of information books. These books are mapped out in our whole school reading curriculum map. We teach reading skills through 1:1 reading, small guided group teaching and whole class teaching. Intervention programmes such as Rapid Read, Inference Training and Better Readers provide struggling readers with the extra help they need to get back on track.
At New Chapter, we follow RWI phonics. Children in EYFS and KS1 have a daily phonics lesson (in addition to whole class reading and writing lessons) where they are grouped according to stage not age. Phonics interventions are also provided in KS2 for children who are not secure on their phonics.
We also spent a considerable amount of money a few years ago on redesigning and purchasing new books for the library, which we renamed the reading room. The reading room is now located at the heart of our school and is used by children regularly.
Throughout the school year we also organise events to promote Literacy. For example, ‘World Book Day’ where children and staff dress up as their favourite book characters to promote engagement, enjoyment and discusion. Each class often takes a theme. This theme is explored in detail and writing opportunities and links to the wider curriculum arise from it. We also regularly enter into the Young Writer’s Award competitions. Each year we also take part in Milton Keynes Summer Holiday Reading challenge. For children that take part, a winner is chosen at random where they receive a Waterstone’s book voucher. We also have author visits. For example we have had the author Luke Temple in our school to engage children in a love of reading and writing. More recently UKS2 met with Cressida Cowell to hear about the release of her new book ‘The Wizards of Once.’