Children write daily across a range of text types – fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Alongside the quality text studied, children are immersed in the focus text type, exposing them to the language and structural features of this. Equipping children with the skills to identify, analyse and write varying text types enables them to write for a range of audience and purposes, as well as developing an awareness of this. The quality text is matched to the half-termly humanities units of work, providing the children with a continual point of reference as well as opportunities to gain further knowledge. The pinnacle of our topic is for our children to enjoy a thematic outing e.g. museums, workshops and outdoor experiences. At BSPS, we believe that preparing and learning for a focus trip enriches their cultural experiences. To complement this, we invite guest speakers to share first-hand knowledge on a range of topics e.g. Holocaust survivor.
We aspire for children to develop deeper thinking skills in order to refine their work; editing and proofreading is paramount to this. Through self-assessment and peer-assessment, children are encouraged to evaluate their work, building resilience and writing stamina. This process is enhanced through author visits during our annual Book Week – an opportunity for children to be inspired by real-life writers – combined with the myriad of texts on sale at our Book Fair.
At Beit Shvidler, we value reading as a key life skill, and are dedicated to enabling our pupils to become lifelong readers. We believe reading is crucial for academic success and consequently, ensure that we have a holistic approach to the teaching of this. Children’s exposure to texts begins at nursery where they are read picture books daily. As children progress from EYFS to KS1, our children are familiar with a range of texts and can demonstrate their understanding and thinking behind these.
All classrooms are equipped with age-appropriate book corners that offers an array of texts for children to borrow. These books are often linked to the topic that is being taught which offers additional opportunities for the children to apply their reading skills across the curriculum. Moreover, we have created a Magical Reading Garden – an outdoor library – to encourage a love of reading, which is always accessible outside of lessons.
We have a strong home/school reading programme in place in EYFS and KS1 to support children with their reading. Children in Reception and KS1 are given colour-banded books to take home from the Oxford Reading Tree scheme.
Alongside reading their class text, children from Y2 and above, have a weekly comprehension lesson where they are taught discrete skills – fact retrieval; prediction; inference and deduction; understanding words; identifying the main idea; concluding and summarising; and evaluation. In EYFS and Y1, children are read to daily by their class teacher. This could be a book that the teacher recommends to the class or a recommendation from a child. This once again enables the children to be immersed in a variety of age-appropriate books. During this time, the teachers questions the children with a focus on prediction, inference and deduction as well as identifying the main idea.
Our reading curriculum is designed with the aim that our children leave Beit Shvidler as competent readers who have a thirst for a range of genres, and ultimately, a true affinity with books.
Phonics is a key part of the curriculum at Beit Shvidler. Integral to our phonics teaching is the Read Write Inc scheme, however, we have adapted it to meet the needs of our children. Both in Reception and Year One, phonics is fully integrated across all areas of the curriculum. The building blocks are set in Nursery in readiness to start the formal phonic teaching in Reception.
In Nursery, the children are exposed to the idea of different sounds in our environment, using multisensory activities and active learning through actions, stories and songs. The lessons are all child focused and creative to introduce the children to the first steps of systematic synthetic phonics through play.
Reception follows the main format of the Read Write Inc programme. We teach them the alphabetic code (set 1) and to blend these sounds into words (real and alien words), before we move on to set 2. The children learn to write the sounds and words and start forming sentences. The children learn actions to go with each grapheme to help the kinaesthetic learners. These actions are used when the children identify the sound when reading or writing in both Reception and Year One. Early in the Reception year the children are exposed to “tricky (red) words” that cannot be decoded. Lots of emphasis is placed on consolidating set 1 and set 2 sounds to ensure they are secure in their knowledge for Year One. Regular meetings are held in the summer term between the Reception and Year One teachers to ensure a smooth transition for September.
Read Write Inc is continued in Year One which ensures consistency of phonics teaching. Furthermore, we continue to work on tricky and alien words to move on the children’s learning. In addition, we focus on alternative graphemes and how to make sensible choices in our writing. Continual assessment takes place to promote positive learning outcomes, set at the correct speed for each child. With this knowledge, we set up early interventions to provide additional support.