At Fleet we believe that reading and writing are key skills for life which is why they feature in all subjects across our curriculum. We want children to leave our school being able to read and write fluently, listen to others and communicate clearly. Children should have a strong command of the spoken and written word, enabling them to be good communicators. They should develop their love of literature at school so that they can become lifelong readers. Creativity is encouraged in all areas of our curriculum and children are encouraged to express themselves creatively through their writing.
Some of the key skills we aim to develop are:
Confident, independent reading, with children enjoying a range of texts
Writing for a range of purposes and audiences and recognising the value of writing
Writing with accuracy and meaning, including using grammar and punctuation with accuracy
Communicating with others effectively and expressing themselves clearly, as well as actively listening and responding to others.
In EYFS, children begin by learning rhyme and songs to help build up their repertoire of language, before starting phonics learning in Spring term. Children are taught reading through a systematic synthetic phonics programme, starting with early skills in Nursery, progressing through the main content in Reception and Year 1 and then consolidating where necessary in Year 2. We follow a Systematic Synthetic Phonics programme: Little Wandle Letters and Sounds Revised. We use phonetically decodeable books to develop children’s confidence in reading and the enable them to make links with their phonics learning. We also use ‘real books’ to help children develop their reading for pleasure. Children take books home regularly to share with their families.
In EYFS, children take part in dialogic reading where they focus on one book per week, familiarise themselves with the story and then use it as part of their independent learning the following week. Children in year 1-6 have guided reading sessions with their teacher to develop key reading skills. Children have regular library visits to encourage their reading for pleasure and book corners in classrooms are used regularly.
Children cover a variety of writing units during their time at Fleet. Each term, units will include fiction, non-fiction and poetry and will usually link to the class topic as part of our immersive curriculum. We use high quality texts to inspire writing. Children’s writing is celebrated by being published and displayed in class, with a range of learners’ work on display. In EYFS, children develop their fine motor skills and use a variety of tools to help develop their pencil grip. They do mark making in a range of contexts. Children are then taught handwriting throughout their time at Fleet, first focussing on letter formation and then moving on to cursive script. Punctuation and grammar skills are embedded in English units to help children contextualise the skills they are being taught. Within a writing unit, the teacher will teach the specific text type and give the children success criteria, including at least one which has a grammar focus. Spelling is taught initially through phonics and then in weekly sessions in years 2-6. We include lessons which teach specific rules and high frequency words and then children work through a series of increasingly challenging spelling tests. Children are given individual feedback on their writing weekly through our marking policy.
Children have many opportunities to develop their spoken language skills at Fleet. In EYFS, children learn key texts through repetition and are encouraged to use these as part of their role play. From Reception, children take part in termly class assemblies where each child will have a spoken role around their class topic. These are then performed to the school and to families. Children regularly use drama to help explore the texts which they are using in their writing units and in upper KS2 they further develop spoken skills through activities like debates.
Children are assessed against the Early Learning Goals in EYFS and a profile on each child is kept to show their progress over the year. From Year 1 onwards, teachers use summative assessment at the end of each term. For reading, we use running records and phonics trackers in Years 1 and 2, moving onto a written reading paper mid-way through Year 2. In KS2, children do a written reading paper at the end of each term. We record their results and these form part of our end of year judgements on the children’s attainment. We also use formative assessment in reading, through questions around our whole class texts and during our guided reading sessions.
In writing, children complete a ‘cold write’ style piece of work once per term. This is a familiar text type where the children write with little support to enable the teacher to see what they can do independently. Children do extended pieces of writing at least once per week in Years 1-6 so these pieces would also form part of the teacher’s end of year judgements on the children’s attainment.
We teach the skills of self and peer assessment from Year 2 onwards to help children become able to critique their own and others’ work. We aim for children to develop their independence and confidence in both reading and writing throughout their time at Fleet to enable them to carry forward these skills into their further education and beyond.