Throughout school we strive to encourage a rounded approach to reading where phonics skills are applied to increase fluency and improve comprehension. Our reading books are levelled to match the progression in phonics in order to offer children a range of fiction and non-fiction texts to challenge them at an appropriate level to ensure accelerated learning.
Our aims are that all children should use phonics as their primary strategy for decoding words in order to read and subsequently use this strong foundation and other strategies in order to develop a life-long love for reading.
For those children who have a secure knowledge of phonics and have an embedded ability to use this to support reading and writing we begin to introduce spelling strategies and patterns. The spelling patterns are introduced using a progressive structure which flows throughout school. Spelling is taught during literacy skills time and is taught through the use of pupil led and collaborative activities.
At WCPS we use the National Curriculum alongside HCAT documentation as the framework for the teaching of Literacy. This works in conjunction with our Early Reading and Spelling and Handwriting policies.
We endeavour to teach English with conviction, joy, skill and enthusiasm, and to feed the children with rich and meaningful literature experiences at every opportunity.
The LIRA approach has been devised at WCPS using the HCAT Reading curriculum based on the National Curriculum. Daily LIRA lessons develop reading fluency and ensure comprehension skills develop through pupils’ experience of high-quality discussion with the teacher, as well as from reading and discussing a range of stories, poems and non-fiction. Finally, we ensure children are exposed to a balanced diet of reading skills by covering age appropriate literal, inference, reader response and authorial intent objectives.
Reading is assessed by teachers who use the HCAT trackers for their year groups to allocate a level and next steps for each pupil. In addition to this two formative assessment points are scheduled within the academic year. Cross moderation occurs in school every term during moderation challenge meetings.
Reading trackers are in place in every year group in order to build on skills progressively throughout school. Each reading tracker is segmented into the four key areas of comprehension; literal, inference, readers’ response and author’s intent. The HCAT trackers ensure teachers are carefully choosing age appropriate objectives and lessons are pitched correctly.
At WCPS we use the HCAT writing curriculum which is based on the National Curriculum. The HCAT curriculum is split into writing composition, structure and purpose, grammar for writing, punctuation, spelling and handwriting as well as identifying discrete grammar skills which need to be taught to each year group. Year on a page documents have been tailored for each year group in order to ensure progressive coverage and high expectations for all.
Teaching writing centres around the use of Gather, Skills, Apply. This approach provides pupils with the opportunity to analyse elements of high quality texts, develop new or refine existing skills linked to the text type and apply this to writing. Pupils are explicitly taught the skills required to enable them to become successful and independent writers’. Throughout the ‘Gather’, ‘Skills’, ‘Apply’ phase, children have the opportunity to embed and practise their skills through the use of ‘Mini Applies’ in units of writing.
The Accelerated Learning Cycle, based on the work of Alastair Smith, is applied in all lessons. It stems from the idea of a supportive and challenging learning environment. The cycle has active engagement through multi-sensory learning, encourages the demonstration of understanding in a variety of ways and the consolidation of knowing.
Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each lesson. It judges progress and enables the teacher to make flexible adaptations to their planned teaching.Effective formative assessment, daily marking and feedback and adult interaction within lessons is firmly embedded into our approach to teaching and learning. All pupils are supported to develop, progress and move their learning forward through support, questioning and feedback. Pupils demonstrate the impact this has on improving their learning through editing and response.
Writing is assessed by teachers who use the HCAT trackers for their year groups to allocate a level and next steps for each pupil. We aim to produce at least 2 assessed pieces of writing per half term. Cross moderation occurs in school every term and pieces are gathered for a model portfolio. Moderation across trust and the LA support this process.
If parents would like more information regarding the curriculum we follow please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we can put you in contact with Mrs Ainley, our Literacy leader.