English at Pakefield Primary School
At Pakefield Primary, the love of reading is nurtured and children develop as confident, competent readers.
The schools reading books are organised into book bands which are consistent across the school. Competent readers are encouraged to use the school library, where they can access a wide range of fiction and non-fiction texts. Teachers are responsible for the organisation of reading within their own classroom.
As a school we have recently changed the way we are teaching Guided Reading; this is now taught using a whole class approach. Teaching Guided Reading as a whole class allows children to access a range of different texts whilst developing comprehension, inference and core reading skills.
Reading challenges play a key role in our school and children are encouraged to read at least 3x a week at home. Reading at home can involve school reading books, comics, newspapers or any of your own books. We want to promote a love of reading and this comes in many forms!
The children follow the ‘Letters and Sounds’ phonics programme daily, which starts in the nursery and progresses through Key Stage 1, and lower Key Stage 2. In Upper Key Stage 2, children who still need to develop their phonic skills will be taught in small intervention groups. Have a look at the following website to see how letters and sounds works: http://www.letters-and-sounds.com/
Year 1’s Reading River Challenge
Shared Reading in Years 3 and 4
Bringing books to life with the Westend Choreographer.
Talk 4 Writing
As a school we teach Writing through Pie Corbett’s Talk 4 Writing Scheme. Talk 4 Writing enables children to imitate the key language that they need for a topic orally before they try to use it within their own writing. We have seen a strong improvement in children’s vocabulary since starting this process.
There are 3 main stages to this approach to teaching Writing:
The imitation stage: Children start each unit of work with a cold write and targets are then set to work on throughout each unit. Children are introduced to a new topic using a hook which excites them (a dragon coming to school, a chocolate cake, aliens etc). This is followed by children learning a model text through learning a story map. This process enables children to hear and use language orally before being expected to write anything down. Below are some examples of hooks and story maps:
Visit our class blogs to see some of the story maps in action!
The innovation stage: Once children are familiar with the model text they move onto innovating the text. This can involve lots of drama activities to develop speaking and listening skills and to gain a deeper understanding of the text. Children create a tool kit for what a good version looks like and use this to develop their own version. This can involve changing the story map and boxing up their own version of the text. Lots of shared writing takes place at this stage with a strong focus on grammar and vocabulary.
The invention stage: Children create their own version of a text focussing on their targets that were set in the initial stage. Children complete a topic with a Hot Write and targets are re-assessed. These targets may be carried forward if they are not fully achieved. After completing a hot write children are given the opportunity to up-level and redraft their work.
Our children are very positive about Talk 4 Writing. Reggie in Year 2 said “ I love Talk 4 Writing because I don’t have to think about what I need to write and it’s helping me get better at writing.”
Grammar is focussed on through all stages of Talk 4 Writing and is taught through a range of mini activities, games and plenaries. Some aspects are taught through stand-alone lessons as we progress into Key Stage 2.
At Pakefield Primary School we really understand the importance of children being able to use spellings throughout the curriculum and not just achieve 10/10 in a spelling test. To support our children to learn their spellings and internalise them we use the following pattern of teaching each week:
All spellings that are sent home are from the DFE’s spelling lists which can be found at:
Our School Feedback and Marking Policy also supports children to notice when they have made a spelling mistake and they then go through and purple polish their work using dictionaries, word cards or teacher support.
If you have any questions relating to the teaching of reading or writing, please speak with your child’s class teacher or make an appoint with Mrs Nielson, Miss Cook or Miss Barnard.