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Literacy

At Belvedere Junior School we strive for children to be a ‘Primary Literate Pupil’. We aim to develop pupils’ skills within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing, and then extended through all areas of the curriculum.

Presently, we follow the Power of Reading scheme and Ros Wilson’s ‘Big Write’ guidance to enable quality learning and teaching to take place.  Literacy is covered through all subjects due to a more thematic, child centred approach, which has been introduced through IPC.

Please click here to view the Literacy Policy.

Teaching and Learning

Presently, Learning and Teaching is based on the objectives specified in the National Curriculum and through the use of quality texts to increase depth of learning.  Specific skills taken from the National Literacy Strategy will be taught and rehearsed, as appropriate, during a designated hour of Literacy, each day for 4 days.  On day 5 (Friday unless time constraints do not allow), Learning and Teaching is based on Ros Wilson’s ‘Big Writing’ where an extended Literacy session is delivered covering grammar skills and giving an opportunity for an extended period of writing. A specific ‘Basic Skills’ session is also included once a week where children develop key skills linked to VCOP (Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation). This is subject to change with the implementation of a new Curriculum.

Cross-Curricular Literacy Opportunities

The skills that children are taught in Literacy underpin all other subjects.  They enable pupils to communicate and express themselves in all areas of their work.  Teachers will always make cross-curricular links wherever appropriate and will plan for pupils to apply the skills, knowledge and understanding that they have acquired during Literacy to other areas of the curriculum.

Reading

As part of home reading, children should be selecting and reading a book appropriate to their level four times a week.  We encourage parents/carers to hear their child read unless they are at a level where the pupils can assess their own reading.  Feedback on home reading is made by parents/carers or pupils within the Home Reading Records.

At school we have many opportunities for reading both in and out of class.  We enjoy guided reading every morning as well as class time in the library.  Library club runs 4 lunchtimes a week and we also have Boris the reading dog who comes once a week to listen to readers from across the school.

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Power of Reading

The Power of Reading is a whole school development project, which engages children and teachers in the literacy curriculum with high quality books and creative teaching approaches.

What difference does it make?

  • Data shows the project is effective in raising children’s achievement and progress in reading and writing.
  • In project schools children in all year groups have made nearly twice national expected progress in reading and writing.
  • In the project schools the increased rate of progress for boys has narrowed the attainment gap between boys and girls.
  • Project data shows children are developing more positive attitudes to reading.
  • Teachers are using creative teaching approaches to engage learners in the literacy curriculum.
  • Teachers’ deeper knowledge of children’s books, combined with innovative teaching approaches, increases children’s enjoyment of reading and writing and raises achievement.

Taken from www.clpe.org.uk website.

Phonics

Research shows that teaching phonics in a structured and systematic way is the most effective way of teaching young children to read.  Almost all children who receive good teaching of phonics will learn the skills they need to tackle new words. At the infant school, Phonics in the Early Years is taught on a daily basis.  Children are taught the skills for segmenting and blending words and are introduced to new phonemes as part of a systematic synthetic approach. The teaching of phonics continues in Years 1 and 2 as children are introduced to alternative graphemes, lesser known sounds and begin to learn some of the more complicated spelling rules.  At the end of Year 1 children are required to sit the Phonics Screening Check to assess their ability to segment and blend words. Children are presented with 40 words – a mixture of real and pseudo words, and they are expected to apply their phonics knowledge to read the words. If children do not meet the required level in Year 1 they then retake the test in Year 2.

Intervention groups are set up for those children struggling with their phonics learning and this additional support continues at Belvedere Junior School, with 10 minute whole class teaching sessions using Letters and Sounds, as well as small group or one to one sessions with Mrs Lomax, our Deputy Head Teacher.

Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar

A good spelling programme gradually builds pupils’ spelling vocabulary, therefore when children enter Key Stage 2 they will have discreet Support for Spelling lessons at least three times a week. During these lessons children begin to understand the principles underpinning word construction, recognise how to apply these principles in their writing and develop the skills for proof reading. In Year 6 children are required to take a Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar test. We endeavour to prepare children for this test as early as possible and therefore make spelling and grammar a key priority in all curriculum areas.

Drama and Role Play

At Belvedere Junior School we strongly believe that the more experiences children have, the better writers they become. We therefore place a strong emphasis on bringing drama and role play into our English lessons allowing the children to recreate those fantasy worlds that they so often read about.  Hot seating, teacher in role and freeze frames are just an example of the types of activities your children will experience through our diverse English curriculum.