Subject Vision Statement
“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.”
At St. Ignatius, we intend to nurture pupils who are enthusiastic, lively writers with a desire to read for pleasure. Children will leave our school fully equipped with the literacy skills to achieve their dreams in future life. They will experience an abundance of quality, engaging texts that stimulate writing and encourage reading. It is delivered by highly motivated teachers with excellent subject knowledge that inspire their pupils to achieve their potential.
Reading is at the centre of all learning and is the key to success in future lives. Therefore, reading is taught through focussed phonic sessions; lessons which teach strategies (such as inference, application, summarising, sequencing and retrieval) to develop comprehension and opportunities to simply enjoy a wide range of genres. A range of reading schemes are used in collaboration to best support and extend the individual child and their individual learning needs and backgrounds. The school is a community of readers with adults and children alike immersed in the pleasure of reading. We aim to bring reading to life and give it purpose by using music, drama and performance and link it to the wider curriculum.
It is our vision that every child will learn to write by being given real and exciting materials and opportunities. We will show and explain everyday occurrences to the children and inspire them to write about them. We will share excellent writing to inspire children to emulate styles. We encourage children to read their work for enjoyment, to read it aloud to others and provide audiences for writing. We want children to have an understanding that writing has a real purpose and that word choice and style can bring about change. We aim to open children’s minds to inquiry and imagination, linking our wider curriculum with our writing, therefore giving it enhanced value and meaning.
We use a range of reading schemes to add interest and engagement for all groups of children. They are all organised primarily through phonics phase however, some inference-based texts are especially used at early stages. This is in line with our online reading resource, Bug Club. Children are assessed and given reading books that are appropriate for their phonics phase, their fluency and comprehension level. Reading is taught explicitly through comprehension-based lessons as well as using these skills to deepen understanding of their topic-based work. Children are assessed formally every term using appropriate reading assessments, which assess their competency in comprehension. Benchmarking occurs at the correct time for the child and assesses individual fluency and comprehension to ensure the books provided are appropriate.
Handwriting is concerned with individual expression and the conveying of meaning through fluent composition. The principal aim is that handwriting becomes an automatic process which frees pupils to focus on the content of the writing. Through the teaching of handwriting, we are seeking the development of a clear, legible and fluent style. In the Foundation Stage, pupils are taught to form their letters by printing (with some exit strokes) so that their letters resemble the texts that they read. Children then move onto using pre-cursive script to form letters with exit strokes then eventually join their letters in cursive script when the child is ready.
Initially, spelling patterns are linked to the phonics phases however as children progress from Year 2, common spelling patterns are taught in lessons in line with the National Curriculum expectations. Spelling lists are set and tested weekly. We use Spelling Shed as an in-class and Home Learning resource and expect pupils to learn weekly spellings online.
Children are taught how to write by following the 7 components of writing (outlined by Education Endowment Foundation research) of Planning, Drafting, Sharing, Evaluating, Revising, Editing and Publishing. With all pieces of writing, children are taught to focus on the purpose and audience. Each of the four main writing purposes (to entertain, to inform, to persuade & to discuss) are taught throughout the writing curriculum through different text genres that are applicable to the writing purpose. Children are then taught genre specific skills that match their end of year expectations. Writing also considers the audience making changes to vocabulary and writing structures to match the desired audience. The stimulus for writing ideas come our topic-based books and lessons to ensure all children have the best possible understanding of content to enable a greater focus on writing skills. Books are chosen for their high vocabulary, interest level and challenge.
We celebrate literacy through book fairs, World Book Day events and other special one-off events such as literary festivals. We also hold competitions to promote the reading and writing process in the school. We also have a half-termly Reading Newsletter that inspires children to continue reading outside school and provide opportunities for them to write for a real purpose.