At Carr we aim to create a positive reading and writing culture in school, where both are promoted and enjoyed by all pupils. Our intent is that all children - irrespective of their needs, abilities or background - leave Carr with excellent written communication skills, confidence in their proficiency in using the English language and with a genuine love for reading. Through the texts and other stimulus we choose, we aim to help our children understand diversity and the world around them so that they can be friendly, caring and respectful of everyone. Our children have exposure to a wealth of high-quality texts, which feed their curiosity and creativity; unlocking their imagination. When our children leave our school, we expect them to be avid readers, children who read fluently and widely, and are able to express preferences and opinions about the texts that they read. We want them to read for pleasure, having had access to a wide range of text types, genres and authors in order for them to make informed opinions about their favourites. We intend to inspire children to be confident in the art of speaking and listening, using discussion to communicate and further their learning. We want children to write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences. We want our children to acquire a wide range of vocabulary, a solid understanding of grammar and be able to spell new words effectively by applying the spelling patterns and rules they learn throughout their time at Carr. We believe that proving a language rich environment, with a strong focus on oracy, is essential to achieve success across the curriculum.
By the time our #carrstars join us in KS2, we expect them to be ready to participate in our daily whole-class reading lessons. The focus of these sessions is on vocabulary development, the development of specific reading skills and immersion in a wide range of text types. Each class also has a class novel which is read to the children every day so that a skilled teacher can model how to read. These class novels are used as a stimulus for deeper thinking and link a range of fiction and non-fiction texts in order to develop contextual knowledge and understanding. At Carr, reading is our priority and we encourage reading for pleasure as it plays a major role within reading development. By promoting reading in this way, we believe that we can also provide our pupils with a creative outlet and an alternative to the digital distractions that can affect their personal, physical and mental wellbeing.
Planning for Progression
Teachers plan and teach high quality whole-class reading lessons daily that follow our school’s reading structure.
Each child has a ‘Reading Jotter’ where they make their own notes during daily reading lessons. The children’s work is assessed by the class teacher during the reading lesson through questioning, listening to responses and addressing misconceptions at the point of teaching.
Each class has a class library where the children can choose exciting books to read for pleasure. These books are changed regularly to ensure the children are excited by books. Children can also access a wide range of books digitally. In addition to the class libraries, we also have a school library where the children can choose to spend time reading books and each class can visit once a week to choose a book to take home to read for pleasure. We encourage our children to look after and take ownership of their class and school libraries.
Through our carefully selected class novels and text extracts, we ensure we are teaching our children to understand and respect diversity and the world in which they live.
We take every opportunity to create a culture of reading for pleasure. We have ‘Reading Buddies’ where children are given the opportunities to link up and read to each other. We have reading theme days throughout the year as well as a reading driver for one of our Big Ideas. Each class also has a book of the week where we can celebrate good books and authors even more.
We know that some of our children are reluctant or self conscious readers so support is provided by the class teacher, TA, critical friends or resources in the safe, friendly and nurturing environment of the classroom. We plan our lessons so that every child can succeed!
Writing at Carr is taught through ‘Writing Projects.’ Through these projects, we teach the process of writing with a specific structure that is consistent across school. Our approach has many advantages, as it breaks down the writing process into manageable and explicitly taught chunks. This provides all pupils with the opportunity to practise their writing skills repeatedly, in a variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes and audiences. Our writing projects always start with a hook to engage and excite the children. Throughout the year, children in all year groups have opportunities to learn and explore writing in a range of fiction, non-fiction and poetry genres.
Planning for progression
We have a long term plan in place across the key stage ensuring coverage of the National Curriculum with opportunities to consolidate, build on and extend skills and understanding.
Writing at Carr is taught in a 5 step process: immersion, planning, drafting, editing and publishing. Children are fully immersed in the subject of their writing before they begin to put pencil to paper. Teachers achieve this through providing exciting opportunities for the children to explore their own knowledge, ideas and feelings towards their writing purpose. Children are then allowed time and given support in turning their ideas into an informative plan, which will provide structure and reassurance. By this point, children are enthused and prepared to start their writing journey! At Carr we approach their drafting through the form of ‘modelled writing’. We believe that when children are provided with a ‘mastery model’ of writing, this allows them to gradually internalise the writing requirements for the purpose and audience. Our children actively join in this process as they share in the creation of the model. Finally, children work closely with their ‘critical friends’ to edit and evaluate their drafts.
Each child has an ‘English book’ which is used to record writing projects. Much of the immersion work is done verbally, through drama, group and whole class discussions and children collect useful resources and ideas to store in a ‘Prep Pocket’ which goes at the beginning of each writing project within the book. Other planning, grammar step-outs and drafting then follow. Children write on every other line to provide space for editing.
Throughout the writing process, children are given verbal feedback to help them progress. In each lesson,teachers will aim to do a complete ‘progress sweep’ to offer individual feedback. When drafting, all children will be given feedback from the previous lesson through a ‘Whole Class Feedback’ slide which addresses strengths, areas for development, grammatical and spelling errors and handwriting, whilst celebrating the successes of ‘Star Writers’. In books, teachers will highlight in green when children have incorporated elements from the success criteria into their written work.
Spelling and Grammar
This is taught through step-outs within writing projects, making links between grammatical elements and writing purposes. All English lessons begin with the ‘Grammar Train’.
Each child has a ‘Publishing book’ to showcase their finished drafts for each writing project. When appropriate children are provided with additional supporting resources linked to their piece of writing. These along with the class working walls are used to support children to become independent learners.
SupportThis can come in many forms and may be different according to the needs of each child. Adults can be used to support small groups and individuals to ensure children can access the learning and ‘keep up’ during the lessons. Working walls and other classroom resources are also used especially as a tool to encourage independent learning. Children are encouraged to ‘magpie’ ideas from others and teachers will ‘chirp’ good examples throughout the lessons for children to use in their own work. Children make good use of their ‘critical friends’ when editing their writing and these are usually mixed ability pairs to encourage all learners to extend their thinking.
Children have a passion and enthusiasm for reading.
Children use their curiosity to ask questions to extend their knowledge about texts in a safe and nurturing environment.
Children read and comprehend texts with confidence.
Children can write with grammatical accuracy and with confidence for a range of different purposes and audiences.
Children leave Carr with the skills to communicate effectively through both spoken and written language.
Children have high expectations of themselves in English and aspire to achieve.
At Carr, the impact of our approach to English is continually measured through learning walks and book looks as well as pupil and staff voices. At the end of KS2, our English data is reported nationally.