Expectations in Reading Writing and Phonics
At The John Bamford Primary School, we believe that a quality Literacy (English) curriculum should develop children’s love of reading, writing and discussion. We aim to inspire an appreciation of our rich and varied literary heritage and a habit of reading widely and often. We recognise the importance of nurturing a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately and adapt their language and style for a range of contexts. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening; therefore, enabling them to use discussion to communicate and further their learning. We believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge-base in Literacy, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We believe that a secure basis in Literacy skills is crucial to a high quality education and will give our children the tools they need to participate fully as a member of society. Our curriculum for English, is carefully followed through our transferrable concept grids. The objectives are from the National Curriculum and Development Matters documentation.
Our curriculum ensures that all children have plenty of opportunities to write for different purposes. We encourage writing through all curriculum areas and use quality reading texts to model examples of good writing. Writing is taught through a number of different strategies across the curriculum. We believe that children need lots of rich speaking and drama activities to give them the imagination and the experiences that will equip them to become good writers.
As a school we have adopted ‘The Write Stuff’ by Jane Considine to bring clarity to the mechanics of writing. ‘The Write Stuff’ follows a method called ‘Sentence Stacking’ which refers to the fact that sentences are stacked together and organised to engage children with short, intensive moments of learning that they can then immediately apply to their own writing. An individual lesson is based on a sentence model, broken in to three chunks:
- Initiate section – a stimulus to capture the children’s imagination and set up a sentence.
- Model section – the teacher close models a sentence that outlines clear writing features and techniques.
- Enable section – the children write their sentence, following the model.
‘The Write Stuff’ also reinforces grammar through the use of:
The FANTASTICs which are an acronym that summarise the ideas of writing.
The GRAMMARISTICS is a classroom tool that enables the teacher to drive key grammar techniques, skills and knowledge. Pupils learn how to apply this new learning in their own writing live in the moment.
The BOOMTASTIC which helps children capture 10 ways of adding drama and poetic devices to writing in a vivid visual.
These are represented through the lenses on ‘The Writing Rainbow’.
Our teaching staff use this as a basis to plan their own model texts and link writing opportunities to what the children have been learning. Children are given an opportunity to apply what they have learnt through guided writes in an ‘At a Distance’ writing opportunity. Writing ‘At a Distance’ enables children to apply their skills independently a few weeks after a guided write.
We are very proud of our young writers at The John Bamford Primary School. Writing is celebrated across our school through displays.
Our reading moto at The John Bamford Primary School is:
Each classroom has a book corner which reflects our school library ‘The Enchanted Reading Forest’. Each classroom library contains the recommended reads for their year group ensuring a balance of genres and high quality texts. Staff across the school read to their class for pleasure for ten minutes each day. Our staff are role models for reading. Children then get a chance to reflect on the class reader and record their views in the ‘Class Reader Review Book’ which is located in their classroom.
The school library is sited in the main building and a timetable is available to allow classes to book into the library to explore at their pleasure. Please follow the link below to a 360 tour of ‘The Enchanted Reading Forest’ that has been created by our pupils.
Children in Early Years start off reading 1:1 with an adult and then progress to guided reading sessions with the class teacher. In Key Stage 1, pupils continue with guided reading sessions and complete weekly whole class comprehension sessions linked to the Reading Vipers. In Key Stage 2, our pupils become fluent in reading and are exposed to whole class texts and are taught how to dissect them carefully using the skills linked to the Reading Vipers. Ability and mixed ability groups are used for different purposes and planned to meet specific objectives on our transferrable concept grids. We strive to ensure that our pupils read with fluency, accuracy and understanding across a range of texts; both fiction and non-fiction – showing a true commitment to the encouragement and value of reading! We have high expectations of every child and put a variety of additional sessions in place to support the children who may find reading more challenging.
Details of our systematic phonics programme can be found on our phonics page:
In Early Years and Key Stage 1, the children learn to spell as part of their daily phonics lessons where they learn to apply the sounds taught. In Year 1 and 2, the children take weekly spelling tests based on the sounds they have learnt at school that week. In all other areas of the curriculum, the children are encouraged to apply their phonic knowledge when writing independently.
For Years 3-6, we have a clear progression of spelling expectations in line with the National Curriculum. The spelling objectives are taught through our school spelling scheme from Spelling Shed where a comprehensive package of investigative spelling games have been created. Through an enquiry-based approach, the children will discover rules and spelling patterns and will be expected to use these to practise spellings within context. Each week, the children in Year 3-6 will complete a weekly spelling dictation. These are based on either the spelling rule they have learnt at school or the National Curriculum word lists. Spellings may be personalised to individual children's needs.
Word lists and visual prompts are used in classrooms to assist children with their spelling. In all work, spelling is given a high priority. Children are encouraged to use different strategies to help them spell correctly including phonics, use of word lists or mats and dictionaries. When marking work teachers pick out spellings for children to correct.
From Years 1-6, we also follow the Spelling Shed Scheme for Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar sessions. The focus of these will always link to the genre selected for their writing opportunities.