English at Our Lady Star of the Sea
We follow the Literacy Company Pathways To Write scheme which places emphasis on the use of high quality books as stimuli for writing. We deliver our writing curriculum through a text-based, mastery approach. Through using books as a writing tool, the children are exposed to high quality language from a variety of different authors and genres and are provided with many different writing opportunities.
The Texts and Mastery Overview can be seen here.
The children are introduced to a book through a hook and they initially focus on a few ‘gateway keys’ (national curriculum skills that the children should already know) that will be built upon throughout the unit of work. These are revisited throughout the unit of work.
Once the teacher is happy that they are secure in the gateway keys, they progress with the book with a focus of between three and five ‘mastery keys’ (national curriculum skills that are brand new to the children). Children are exposed to these skills in several different ways in order that they are able to practise and master them.
Each unit of work has a genre-specific outcome and the children finish their work with an independent piece of writing. The children are given time to edit their work in order to improve various aspects; this may include the editing of spelling and punctuation or it may be more key-specific editing (e.g. have they used the mastery keys effectively in their work?).
Through writing, the children are exposed to many different elements of vocabulary, punctuation and grammar. The full break down of the areas of SPaG taught in each year group is available at the following link: Vocabulary, Grammar and Punctuation
At Our Lady Star of the Sea, the children follow the Collins Reading Scheme through coloured bands until they become free readers. This is delivered as one-to-one, in some cases, and in groups during Guided Reading sessions. One of the most important elements in supporting a child’s reading ability is regular home reading and this is one of the ways in which you can best support your child during their journey with us in school.
Reading (for enjoyment)
At Our Lady Star of the Sea, we have developed a whole school reading spine, consisting of a variety of books that children will reading during their time at our school. The reading spine was developed under the five plagues of reading: archaic texts, non-linear time texts, complexity of the narrator texts, complexity of the story texts and resistant texts. Teachers take time at the end of each day to read some of the story to their class.
We recognise the importance of fluent readers in being able to comprehend texts so our main priority with reading is to develop fluency. During learning to read fluently, the children will be asked questions about their books. We also teach Whole Class Shared Reading. In EYFS, we deliver a Whole Class Shared Read once per week. In Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, we deliver two Whole Class Shared Reading sessions per week. The underlying format for Whole Class Shared Reading is that we teach an element of vocabulary, an element of retrieval and then we teach a new concept. This is followed up through Guided Reading work.