While there will be discrete English lessons each day, literacy skills (in particular speaking, listening and writing) will be used and developed in every curriculum area.
Our English sessions ensure that children are engaged in a variety of activities matched to their specific needs. Alongside the more technical approaches to teaching English, children at RAPS learn to write through play, storytelling, talking about their own experiences and ideas, drama and improvisation. Our teaching uses a range of instruction, group collaboration, paired work, practical activity, performance, individual research and investigation with appropriate. Varied and regular writing tasks are also a feature across the whole of our curriculum in every year group. This enables our pupils to access writing for a range of purposely and extends writing beyond an English lesson.
At RAPS, phonics is taught via the ‘Read Write Inc’ programme (also known as 'RWI'). This consistent, rigorous and dynamic literacy programme aims to teach every child to read by the age of six. Using synthetic phonics, children quickly learn to blend letter sounds together following a fun and effective programme.
The RWI programme has been proven to be a very successful method of teaching children to read and write using phonics. Evidence of this can be found in the Ofsted Report: ‘Reading by six: how the best schools do it.’
All children in Reception and KS1 follow the RWI programme and are placed into the appropriate groups following regular assessments. In their groups, children work through the programme, learning phonics and recording into their RWI workbooks. KS1 use RWI as their reading scheme. The programme can also be followed by older children, who may need to catch up or plug any gaps in their learning.
In reading we use a variety of approaches such as:
- shared reading
- reciprocal reading
- independent reading
- guided reading
These are strategies that enable children to construct meaning from a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. They also provide a strong decoding and spelling foundation using a blend of phonics and visual techniques to suit the learning needs of the individual child.
Teaching and learning approaches are adopted using the practices associated with the “Power of Reading” project developed by the Centre for Literacy in Primary Education (CLPE).
In Key Stage 1 when children have completed their phonics programme, they move on to our English curriculum where reading is taught to groups appropriate to their stage of learning and understanding. High-quality texts are used throughout to encourage children to become skilled and fluent readers.
In Key Stage 2, reading is taught from a whole text. Learning is scaffolded and differentiated according to need, enabling effective learning to take place for all. Immersion in high quality literature allows children to develop a love of their reading and they then transfer this to their skills as writers.
From Year 2 to 6, additional reading and literacy learning groups will ensure that children are able to catch up and keep up in order to access the whole curriculum. These groups will be taught through Read, Write Inc, Fresh Start (a RWI programme for children beyond year 2) and precision teaching methods.
Writing plays an essential role in the curriculum as a whole. Writing opportunities interest and engage children so that they learn to become thoughtful, reflective and evaluative writers. Our children learn to write for a range of audiences and purposes. Throughout the teaching and learning of writing, our pupils develop an understanding of how to write a broad range of text types (fiction, non-fiction and poetry).
Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling
Whilst grammar, punctuation and spelling will be taught throughout the literacy curriculum, these skills will also be taught in discrete, daily lessons to ensure that children become confident, competent and proficient writers.