At Saint Francis we follow the principles set out in the National Curriculum and Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework across the school. We offer a broad and balanced curriculum in language and literature so that our pupils can, as speakers, listeners and writers:
- take pleasure in all aspects of literacy;
- read and write with confidence, fluency and understanding developing independent strategies to self-monitor and correct;
- develop the powers of imagination.
In the Early Years Foundation Stage children are given opportunities to:
- speak, listen and represent ideas in their activities;
- use communication, language and Literacy in every part of the curriculum;
- listen to and read a range of texts;
- become immersed in an environment rich in print and possibilities for communication, where mark making opportunities are widely available.
- develop their phonological awareness through the ‘Phonics bug’ scheme.
At St Francis, we believe that reading underpins every other aspect of learning and, as such, view it as a fundamental part of our curriculum. From Nursery to Year 6, children are given vast opportunities to learn through literature and to develop a true love of reading.
In Key Stage 1 and 2, children have a minimum of four whole class reading sessions each week. During these sessions, children have the opportunity to develop comprehension skills using Literacy Leaves resources so that children can recognise the aspects of reading that they are learning.
We use a range of texts to practise and embed these skills including high quality picture books, poetry, and Reading Comprehension practice books (Year 2 - 6). All children in Reception to Year 6 take home a carefully matched reading book and are expected to read five times a week (ten minutes each time). Children in Reception and KS1 also have a home school reading diary where children and parents are asked to keep a record of the books that they read at home. KS2 children record their reading in Google Classrooms. This doesn't just have to be the book that they have got from school; we love to see all the other books that they have been reading at home! We ask that children's reading diaries are filled in five times a week.
Children are expected to read five times a week (10 minutes each time) at home. Reading material could include: decodable phonic books/online Phonics Bug (for early readers), book banded home reading books, high frequency word cards (Reception), library books, or other texts that the children have at home. Parents of younger children should record this reading in the reading diary. Older pupils may record this themselves and have a parent/guardian sign their diary. Regular completion of the reading diary helps to build a picture of each child as a reader and adults within school will use this is a springboard to discuss books further with pupils. We ask that your child's reading diary is filled in five times a week.
Reading Intent Statement
We intend our reading Curriculum to
Reflection – give opportunities to think about how we feel about the content of what we are reading. Does it challenge our thinking and beliefs?
Exploration - Expose the children to a variety of genre, cultures and authors they may not ordinarily choose to read.
Cooperation – Share the joy of reading with others. Through reading partners, guided group sessions, whole class texts or reading one to one with an adult.
Independence – enable all children to be able to access their learning and appropriate books for pleasure independently.
Perseverance – encourage children to keep trying with a text or concept being presented.
Engagement – foster a desire in all children to engage with quality texts and discover the multitude of worlds reading opens the door to.
Spirituality – appreciate how texts can speak to the soul and how religious texts have impact on peoples lives.
Diversity – explore a range of texts from different cultures and about the rich diverse global community in which we all live.
Ambition - for all children to be able to read fluently with a love for reading and the worlds they open up for us.
We use the ‘Phonics Bug’ programme to teach early reading skills in the Early Years and Key Stage One. Children have a daily synthetic phonics session to practise and embed new sounds and graphemes for reading and spelling. Phonics is taught at a fast pace throughout Year 1 in readiness for the statutory screening check. It is our goal that all our children are fluent readers by the end of Key Stage One.
It is so important that children pronounce letter sounds correctly ('pure sounds'). Below is a handy video to hear how each grapheme (letter) should sound:
We use a variety of quality picture books, novels, non-fiction and poetry as well as live and videoed performances to engage the children and inspire their own writing. Children have the opportunity to write in a range of genres, always thinking carefully about the purpose and audience for which they are writing.
Writing intent statement
We intend our Writing Curriculum to
Reflection - use writing as a tool to reflect on ourselves and show empathy and compassion. . Proof read and edit our work to make it even better.
Exploration - put ourselves into other people’s shoes when writing (regardless of gender, culture and race) not be afraid to express our thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas in writing
Cooperation - use existing literature to form our ideas and create our own portfolio of writing.
Independence - confidently share our ideas and build upon the skills we have learned to be the writer we can be.
Perseverance - use edit and improve techniques to achieve excellence in our writing
Engagement – Children will be exposed to and intentionally use:
- Vocabulary: Children will develop a broad and rich vocabulary and use it effectively in their own writing.
- Visualisation and planning: Children will be able to visualise the characters and setting of stories they wish to write. They will be able to create a plan (suitable to the age/ability of the child) to help structure their fiction and non-fiction writing.
- Composition: Children will be able to form, articulate and communicate ideas in a structured way (from simple sentences in Early Years to more complex, longer pieces in Key Stage 2). They will write for different purposes considering the impact that they want their writing to have on the reader.
- Spelling, punctuation and grammar: Children will be able to use the correct SPAG terminology relevant to their age and ability. They will use and apply taught grammatical structures to good effect in their own writing. Pupils will be confident spellers applying the rules and conventions of English spelling(specific to their age and ability).
- Presentation: Children will develop a fluent, cursive style of writing. This will begin with gross and fine motor skills in the Early Years setting through to neat, cursive writing in Key Stage 2.
- Editing and improving: Children will develop the skills to edit, up-level and improve their work (this will gradually become a more independent task as the children progress through the school)
Spirituality – how writing for ourselves or for others allows our spirit life and enables us to share our core beliefs and values.
Diversity – considering all audiences in our compositions and making conscious choices about what we write.
Ambition - expose the children to the variety of ways in which writing forms an important part of everything that we do and the wealth of life opportunities writing can offer
Children in Early Years and Year 1 will be taught spelling through the ‘Phonics Bug’ programme in phonics sessions.
In Year 2 - Year 6, children access our Spelling scheme. This introduces children to a range of spelling patterns and 'rules'. Alongside new spelling patterns, children will also spend time learning their year group's statutory spelling lists (common exception words) as set out in the National Curriculum.