At Greenways Primary Academy, we believe that reading is at the heart of learning: to provide children with skills for their futures; to equip them for further education; to enable children to become life-long learners; to support with writing; to foster a creative mind, which is vivid with imagination; and to develop knowledge across the curriculum. In short, we intend that our children will be independent, reflective and life-long readers, who can read fluently and for meaning, and are prepared for anything their futures may hold.
As children’s reading develops at different rates, teaching and learning is tailored to each child and their ability. Children will read daily in the classroom, either through shared reading, one to one reading or in reading lessons. Children are encouraged to read a range of books in school and at home. In EYFS and KS1, the teaching of systematic synthetic phonics encourages children to link sounds and letters and begin to read and write. Children are expected and encouraged to apply their phonics skills in all areas of the curriculum. Phonics planning must allow children to gain a progressively deeper understanding of the phonetic structure of the English language as they move through the school to ensure all children are provided with the key tools needed to become a fluent reader. In Key Stage 2, daily reading lessons, which focus on specific reading skills (known as ‘VIPERS’), ensure that children are exposed to high-quality authors and texts. Accelerated Reader helps teachers to track students’ independent practice and progress with reading, and is used from year 2 through to year 6. ‘Stoke’s 100 Reads’ are promoted within school to enjoy and encourage children to read a wide variety of books. Reading and vocabulary is developed across the curriculum using vocabulary glossaries (inspired by Alex Quigley’s: Closing the Vocabulary Gap) to support key knowledge and understanding. The home-school link is developed further through parent workshops, secret ‘story-tellers’ and through reading records. Children are encouraged to take personal responsibility through 1:1 target setting and individual feedback. Incentives such as ‘The Millionaire’s Club’, book vouchers and certificates further develop this drive and celebrate the achievements of our learners.
Collectively, this wide range of approaches ensures that our learners are prepared, equipped and ready for secondary education. Our current Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 data highlights that our learners’ reading attainment and progress is above national expectations for both age related expectations and greater depth too.
Writing within primary school is a vital part of the curriculum as children use writing in almost all areas of their learning. Writing gives children a voice to share their ideas with the world. Considering the fundamental importance of writing in everyday life, we are driven by the need to develop each learner’s writing ability. At Greenways Primary Academy, we strive to prepare children for their futures with skills that will allow them to reach GCSE grades and beyond; and we nurture our children to create flexible, fluent and confident writers, who have a love for writing.
Our learners are immersed in text and language rich environments to develop a love of story, poetry and information. Alongside our high-quality texts and experiences, they develop and use an increasing range of adventurous vocabulary to articulate their viewpoints. They are encouraged to experiment with, and explore language within their own work whilst developing a secure understanding of the technical components of spelling, handwriting, punctuation and grammar. Our carefully sequenced lessons, which build cumulatively upon previously taught skills, combined with a range of writing genres, and the subject knowledge of our staff, ensures that our children are given the best opportunities for success. Personal responsibility is of high importance and promoted through challenging yet achievable targets, 1:1 discussions and through a fully embedded editing and drafting process, involving regular peer critique. All of this encourages our children to ‘Aim High and Be a Star’. Appropriately differentiated activities, challenging yet achievable targets and regular assessments ensure that our learners have the tools they need to succeed.