Bainbridge, Askrigg and West Burton primary schools have implemented the ‘Talk for Writing’ approach to teaching English. This is a method of teaching writing that enables children to imitate the key language they need orally before they try reading and analysing it. Children take part in fun activities that help them rehearse the tune of the language, followed by shared writing to show them how to manipulate language effectively. They are then ready to write independently, drawing on their learning to create a confident and effective text.
There are three stages in Talk for Writing:
1) Imitation - the children learn a text and the language they need
2) Innovation - the children adapt the text with ideas of their own
3) Invention - the children create their own text using the language and skills that the model taught them.
We also use a comprehensive handwriting programme called ‘Letter Join’ which teaches children the mechanics of writing from the very earliest stages of emergent writing. This programme can be accessed through RMUnify. We teach a cursive (joined) script right from the very beginning, as soon as children are beginning to form their first letters.
Reading is a core skill which is key to pupils’ learning in all subjects. In EYFS and KS1 we ensure that our children learn to read. During KS1 and throughout KS2, the focus shifts to ‘reading to learn’.
At EYFS and KS1, phonics sessions take place daily until children are fluent readers with the decoding skills they need to tackle a range of books.
Guided reading is our primary approach to the teaching of reading. In small groups, children work on a book which is pitched just above their current independent reading level. It is during these sessions that the class teacher will explicitly teach and develop reading skills, word-recognition and comprehension.
Our children access a wide variety of books in school. Each child takes home a daily reading book which will match his/her independent reading ability. In other words, it should be a pleasure to read rather than a struggle. There are several opportunities for children to change these books during the week. We ask that you regularly listen to your child read at home (daily if possible) and record this in the child’s Reading Record, which will be checked by the class teacher.
Every child also has access to the library. We have developed our libraries on all three sites so that the children can borrow and return at any of our schools. Children have a free choice of books with age-appropriate content.
Finally, we have our popular ‘Round the World Reading Challenge’. This encourages children to tackle a wide variety of challenges, matched to their age group. They are awarded certificates in our Celebration Assemblies when they complete the set of challenges for each country.
EGPS (ENGLISH GRAMMAR, PUNCTUATION AND SPELLING)
EGPS is embedded across the curriculum. In addition to this, we teach EGPS as a discrete subject, using a variety of skills based games and writing challenges that help children develop their understanding of grammatical rules. Throughout every writing unit, children are taught spelling, grammar and punctuation rules that are related to, and appropriate for, the text type that they are focusing on.
Across all aspects of the national curriculum we provide opportunities for children to present and discuss their work and ideas. Oral rehearsal of written work is an important way of developing ideas, improving work and ensuring the use of Standard English.
Every week, children are introduced to a new spelling pattern or rule and they are given time to develop their understanding of this in class. A list of spellings that follow this rule are sent home on a Wednesday and children are expected to learn these in readiness for a Monday morning spelling test.