There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all.
Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, American First Lady
An introduction from our English leads:
Mrs Rossiter (Reading) and Mrs Harris (Writing)
At Longlands, we believe that children need to develop a secure knowledge base in English, which follows a clear pathway of progression as they advance through the primary curriculum. We understand that having a secure foundation in English skills is crucial to a high-quality education, where children are provided with the tools they need to engage fully in society. Our aim is that the children will develop a love of English, where our pupils will be capable readers, writers, spellers and speakers. We want to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening, so that they convey their ideas fluently and accurately and use discussion to communicate and further their learning.
Our aim at Longlands is that children, from EYFS to Year 6, will develop a natural love of reading, so that they gain an appreciation of reading widely and often. Our aim is to equip new parents (in EYFS) with the knowledge that will help them to understand how their children learn how to read and write, so that they can support their early phonics learning at home too. Our aim is to encourage the children to build on their early learning, so that across the school children read for pleasure, building on their knowledge and understanding.
We know that the development of early literacy skills are based on a strong understanding of phonics and we aspire for all children to be confident in using their phoneme/grapheme correspondence to tackle any unknown words they may encounter.
Our learning is centred around the Power of Reading, we strongly feel that the more we link core texts to learning, the more opportunities it will provide the children with. Children will be exposed to a range of quality language which will influence their writing style as they develop their writer’s voice.
The ability to read and write and articulate ideas is the key to access many areas of the wider curriculum and the world, and so English skills are embedded in context across the curriculum. We intend our children to leave our school with a wide vocabulary, write clearly, accurately and coherently, for different purposes and audiences and speak confidently in order to learn and explain their ideas and understanding.
At Longlands, we believe that carefully selected literature is vital to the development of young writers and we therefore use a variety of text types to help the children shape their writing. We Immerse children in rich reading and writing opportunities, fostering a love of literature and exploring a wide range of quality texts to support both word recognition, comprehension and vocabulary development and writing skills. This is done across the school through the texts used in classes. The texts for years 1-6 are chosen from ‘The Power of Reading’. This is the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education, (CLPE)’s proven professional development programme that supports Longlands to evolve a high quality literacy curriculum, which develops reading comprehension and writing composition, and fosters a whole school love of reading and writing. Through its implementation, our aim is to further enhance children’s engagement with their learning by ensuring they are reading and writing about matters associated to their thematic topic. The texts chosen are closely linked to either a historical, geographical or scientific concept, question or idea. Through their reading, children explore the meaning of words and are encouraged to understand how the writer has used effective language throughout the texts. The high quality texts reflect the diversity of our community and support our aim to ensure that the texts in our class and school libraries reflect our diverse community.
At Longlands, we ensure a secure start to every child's reading journey. From Reception to Year 2, children receive daily phonics lessons to develop their early reading following the Twinkl phonics programme. Books that are sent home are carefully matched to the same sounds that the children are learning in class. From Year 1 to Year 6 children’s daily English lessons provide opportunities to develop their reading, writing and oracy skills. Our core expectations outline the structure of our English lessons and reading sessions and medium-term planning supports teachers in ensuring the appropriate outcomes are reached. To support children’s progress, from decoding words to reading fluently and for pleasure, we use fully decodable books expertly aligned to children’s phonic teaching and learning. As part of their learning, pupils are taught strategies which enable them to become independent learners in English (spelling rules and patterns and how to tackle unfamiliar words when reading). We recognise the importance of children building on their understanding through independent reading and so as the children progress through the school (usually years 2-6), they are introduced to our Reading Scheme, Accelerated Reader. This is internet-based software which assesses reading age, and suggests books that match pupils' needs and interests.
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. Children at Longlands are able to plan, revise and evaluate their writing. To be able to do this effectively, pupils focus on developing effective transcription and effective composition. The aim is that they develop an awareness of the audience, purpose and context, and an increasingly wide knowledge of vocabulary and grammar.
At Longlands, we take pride in our aim to highly promote all aspects of English. We celebrate children’s achievements in their creative writing and presentation skills in class and in our Achievements Assemblies. We take pleasure in encouraging reading and writing across the school by including extra activities, such as writing competitions, author book days, book fairs, World Book Day and weekly awards.
We measure the impact of reading and writing in a number of ways. This is done consistently during lessons to highlight misconceptions and intervene where appropriate. We monitor reading and writing using both formative and summative methods at various points throughout the year. This process is overseen by the Deputy Head, as Assessment Lead, and is done in partnership with the school’s Leadership Team and English Subject Leaders. Monitoring the impact includes:
- data analysis
- looking at children’s work and other evidence of outcomes
- lesson observations
- feedback from children
- feedback from teachers
- termly testing
- accelerated reader testing
- phonic testing
Children at Longlands were asked,
'What do you feel about reading?'
'It's great, it's fun to get sucked up in a book'
(Year 3 girl)
'It makes me happy because I like to read. It makes your brain smarter' (Year 2 boy)
'I really like it. Some books are funny. My favourite is Room on the Broom, when the dragon comes' (Year 1 girl)
'It's so good for my understanding...in all subjects...and it really helps with my diary and story writing' (Year 5 girl)
'I can relax...I can picture in my mind and I'm really there' (Year 6 boy)
Word Guerrilla-visiting poet
What an amazing day! The Word Guerrilla had us all hooked from the moment he started performing.
His presentation of poetry was up to date, so unique that we were all captivated-using beat boxing, word play, and rapping. The activities had all abilities inspired and enthused. Can't wait to have him back!
Caught on Camera
Where have Longlands staff been caught reading?
English curriculum documentation
We cannot stress enough the importance of younger children reading out loud every day, older children reading every day for at least 20 minutes and for children of all age groups to be read to.
Through vocabulary, reading helps with children's understanding. It helps to develop spelling, grammar, speech and provides ideas for writing.
We are very excited about building on our use of Accelerated Reader, which gives the children the opportunity to read books at an appropriate level and checks on their understanding (by way of a quiz), before they move on to a new book.
Please check that a quiz is available to take on ARBookfind.co.uk
Reading at Longlands Top 10 Tips Leaflet
Get reading for FREE with Oxford Owl
Go to: https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/find-a-book/library-page/#
What is Accelerated Reader all about? Check out the Parent PPT below to find out:
World Book Day 2023
Decorate a Door with a book
What a fantastic opportunity the children had to meet author Tony Bradman, hear him read from his books and learn how he makes his ideas come to life through his stories.