We attribute a great deal of time and importance to the teaching of reading and writing. Speaking and listening is also developed through English sessions with regular opportunity to also develop communication skills in other subjects and drama sessions.
At St Peter's we aim to encourage a foster a passion for reading and writing. We teach phonics across Early years and KS1 follow the Read, Write Inc programme. Guided reading happens daily and we also use Accelerated Reader to engage and motivate pupils as well as develop comprehension skills. We have a large, up to date selection of reading material. Children are encouraged to read daily at home. Staff correspond with parents in home learning journals to ensure that the children read regularly and make progress. We take pride in the presentation of work and teach handwriting regularly. Literacy support groups take place where needed. Our literacy intervention teacher is able to offer support to children where needed. We aim to make creative writing sessions as interesting and as stimulating as possible. We encourage writers to visit and have strong links with local authors.
We are very excited to be a school that follows the Accelerated Reader scheme, from Year Two upwards. We have found that this greatly motivates our children to want to become independent, fluent readers. They want to challenge themselves to read different books and prove that they have understood them.
Children are encouraged to read books within their reading band and then they are invited to 'quiz' on the book through the Accelerated Reader website, for which they have their own login information. The quizzes test the children on their understanding of the book. A sample of a quiz for 'The Gruffalo' is below:
Once the child has completed the quiz, they will be awarded a percentage mark. If they score 60% or more, then the book will be added to their collection. The children all have individual targets for percentage of answers correct, which they can track.
Word Millionaires and 'Caught Reading'
Our children are already very motivated to read, and to reward this effort, we have a number of reward systems in place. If a child has reached the challenging milestone of reading one million words, they become a 'St Peter's Word Millionaire' - they then gain the opportunity to be able to recommend books, write their own quizzes and are entered into an end of year draw to win a tablet pc.
If a child decides to use some of their own time to independently read, for example at playtime, they get given a 'caught reading' slip. These slips are then entered into a half-termly draw. The lucky winner gets a brand new book of their choice purchased for them!
Guided Reading and Read Write Inc
At St Peter's, we follow the Read Write Inc phonic scheme. This begins in Reception and goes up to Year One. The children are taught phonics, blending and word recognition in small groups daily.
Once the children enter Year Two, they begin our Guided Reading scheme. This is carried out up to Year Six. This consists of whole class reading, followed by purposeful group learning. These groups include:
- Adult led reading focus groups: looking at text, decoding text, answering comprehension and inference questions about the text.
- Adult led reading skills groups: children will look at texts, pictures or other materials and apply the deductive, inferential and literal skills.
- Independent reading and discussion: children will be able to read from texts of their choice, persevere with longer texts and talk about what they are reading and their opinions.
- Application skills groups: children working independently to respond to prompts, questions, ideas and assessment.