Speaking and Listening, Reading and Writing are key skills necessary to be fully integrated and empowered in society. At St Teresa's we want all our children to enjoy and access the world by communicating and understanding the written and oral word effectively.
We want our children to understand the message of the written word that is in the world around them and to move from learning to read to reading to learn.
We want our children to be writers who write for a purpose and can adapt their style for different audiences.
We want our children to be careful and considerate listeners who can speak confidently using a range of vocabulary and adapt their style to suit their audience.
Our ultimate aim is for children to read, write, speak and listen for enjoyment.
We actively encourage our children to read as writers and to make and draw from links with their own experiences.
Reading from Reception is taught using daily Guided Reading sessions. Children are taught reading skills in groups of up to six with children of a similar ability. A variety of genres of text are selected over each year within the range of fiction; non-fiction and poetry. Texts are finely graded and carefully selected so they provide a manageable level of challenge and learning opportunities.
Children in all classes are read to on a daily basis. A variety of genres and books are selected.
At 1pm each day, straight after lunch time, children have 'story time' in groups led by teachers, LSAs, lunchtime supervisors and volunteers. This is a valuable opportunity for different groups of children to sit together and hear a range of adults reading a selection of much loved stories to them.
Children also have an opportunity to visit the library each week during Library club. The book they select may be at a more difficult level than their Guided Reading texts. This allows opportunities for children to share the reading or be read to by an adult or older sibling. A more difficult book allows children to access more complex plots and vocabulary and gives greater opportunities for in-depth analysis and discussions.
Children take reading books home each week. Parents are encouraged to write comments in the school/home book. Teachers and LSAs also listen to all Reception children and targeted KS1 children, who need extra support, read their home reading book in school during the week.
Remember never force your child to read if they are tired or not in the mood. This can be more damaging as we want children to LOVE reading. Maybe read a book to them or tell them a story orally. This experience has a lot of learning opportunities and can be just as valuable.
We use different reading schemes, including Usborne, Rigby Star, Collins Big Cat, Lighthouse, Story Worlds, Discovery World, Story Chest, Project X, Cambridge reading, Macmillan Let's Read and Oxford Reading Tree. Here at St Teresa's we value the importance of reading for pleasure and ensure all children follow their own unique reading journey. They have opportunities to read books of different genres from a variety of reading schemes and we also have a range of non reading scheme books that the children can choose from. It is essential that children read a variety of texts and do not become over-reliant on the format of just one reading scheme.
Free E-books are also available for parents to access on The Oxford Owl website - via https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk
The school teaches phonics daily, following the plans from School Improvement Liverpool, using the Letters and Sounds programme. Good quality phonics teaches the decoding (reading) and segmenting (spelling) of words within the context of sentences. Children work in ability groups with a teacher or Learning Support Assistant. Children are also taught to read and spell high frequency words during the sessions. As children become secure with decoding and segmenting they are taught spelling patterns and rules.
We delight in hosting a range of interactive performances based on treasured story books in our own school hall. Recent examples include The Gruffalo, the Little Princess, Pinocchio and Sleeping Beauty. Children were able to join in with the repeated refrains and had opportunities to perform using actions and voices.
Writing is modelled and encouraged from the earliest days in Nursery. Children see adults writing words and messages, which are displayed around the classrooms. Each classroom environment displays the alphabet, phonics, high frequency words, topic-related vocabulary and examples of child and adult writing. Children are encouraged to 'THINK, SAY, WRITE, READ BACK' their sentences. A range of prompts, word mats and dictionaries are accessible in each class.
The writing process:
'guided writing' where teacher models and verbalises the writing process
'shared writing' where the teacher leads the writing process with input from pupils
'independent writing' where the child feels confident and equipped to write independently
Each half term we have an 'Everybody Writes Day'. The whole school moves outside of their classroom to write and there are opportunities to see work from other classes. All adults write too! Themes this year have included Hedgehogs and Christmas messages for the elderly and homeless in our community.
Letter formation and handwriting are taught in dedicated sessions over each week and practised during phonics sessions.
We follow the School Improvement Liverpool plans for English, phonics and spelling.