Literacy lies at the heart of all learning whether through speaking and listening, reading or writing. Therefore Literacy shapes and guides our learning at The Churchill School.
We believe that it is every child’s right to learn to read but we hope that our children go beyond this and develop a love for reading during their years at The Churchill School. Reading is taught through discrete phonics sessions, guided reading sessions with a teacher or teaching assistant, shared reading and for some children, a daily reading session on a one-to-one basis to give more structured support.
Staff are reading role models, who demonstrate and encourage a love for reading and children have access to a wide variety of reading materials in class libraries, the school library, the school reading scheme, the guided reading scheme and carefully selected core texts used in our teaching of Literacy. Children’s progress is tracked through Reading Assessment Grids and Benchmarking is used to track the progress of children who are daily readers. This is to ensure that all children are supported and challenged at the appropriate level.
In Early Years our children develop good listening skills and enjoy responding to and joining in with repeated words and phrases in familiar stories. Children will then act out the stories to embed their understanding of the text. Through this the children begin to internalise story patterns and structures. When confident, through structured support the children begin to create their own story ideas by imitating the original text.
We recognise the value of ‘Talk for Writing’ through the school and lessons often use Talking Partners to think through and discuss ideas. The role of speaking and listening is crucial in this process as children can formulate their own questions, such as about a character’s behaviour or motives. Storytelling plays an important role throughout the school allowing children to internalise writing patterns in order for them to imitate, innovate and invent their own stories.
As children progress through the school they develop a sense of purpose in their writing. Writing tasks may be cross-curricular such as an historical letter or writing up the results of a scientific investigation. Staff use the school’s active and response marking to inform pupils of their next steps and to inform future planning for individuals and groups. Children are encouraged to reflect on their own learning, and the learning of their peers, and to edit and improve their writing as a direct result.