It is our intent that children at St. Joseph’s receive a high quality writing curriculum that develops confident writers, communicators and fluent readers who are able to effectively articulate their ideas and emotions in the wider world. We deliver varied and rich literary teaching that inspires and nurtures a culture where children take pride in their writing, can write clearly and accurately across a range of genres and recognise their own potential when doing so.
We recognise that at our children have varied life experiences and the ability to read and write effectively directly impacts their life choices. We understand that reading and writing skills also has a direct impact upon progress and attainment in all areas of the curriculum and also upon a child’s self esteem, well-being and motivation to learn. Therefore, we recognise that children need to develop a secure knowledge of the skills in literacy which follows a clear path of progression as they develop through the school. This is crucial for our school as we support them to become lifelong writers and readers enabling them to participate as full members of society.
In order to achieve our intent, our aims are embedded through the Success For All Programme (SFA). SFA is an evidenced based programme that focuses on using skills intended to increase the reading and writing skills of every child. Cooperative learning is at the heart of SFA ensuring that children are engaged, learning from each other and strengthening their knowledge and understanding of their reading and writing skills every day. Learning is differentiated so that reading and writing skills can develop and grow.
In order to support this programme, we incorporate our SFA skills of teaching and learning with a thematic approach of Cornerstones. This ensures that our children are able to receive a Cross Curricular approach to their learning and as a result they obtain a deep understanding of the concepts taught and are able to then make links in their literacy skills across all of the subjects.
Our teaching and learning in Literacy is broken down as follows:
When children start at St Joseph’s the teaching of literacy focuses on oral language development, phonemic awareness, phonics, alphabet knowledge and early reading. Lessons use a selection of age appropriate, high quality texts in a range of genres and incorporates rhyme, singing and an environment that is rich in opportunities for discussion and talk to help promote early literacy skills. Children are able to enjoy a wide range of engaging and exciting concepts that build knowledge and vocabulary that is essential for successful comprehension as they continue on their learning journey through the school.
As children progress through the school they are introduced to a wide range of texts that are specially selected to provide the focus for writing tasks across a range of genres. They receive daily teaching of reading, writing, spelling, punctuation and grammar. This teaching explicitly links phonics skills to their reading and writing tasks. Reading lessons have a targeted phonics sound enabling children to fully embed and practise the sounds they have learnt in their literacy skills.
Across the school, their literacy is further widened including not just fiction and non-fiction but a real dive into poetry and play scripts and continues to both support but also challenge more competent readers and writers. Vocabulary is extended and there are numerous opportunities for extended writing. Teaching is supported by high quality texts that are chosen by the teachers to engage and deliver rich literacy teaching across the curriculum as well as time allocated for a story at the end of the day. Phonics does not stop in KS2 and where children need further support with their reading skills they will continue to receive daily phonics teaching.
All of our children have opportunities to write with purpose everyday. The writing process includes planning, drafting, sharing, evaluating and editing. During the editing process the children are able to share good examples of learning and examples for improvement which complements our collaborative learning ethos across our literacy curriculum and beyond. Through this process of peer and self-editing, children are equipped with the skills to understand how to improve their own learning; improving content rather than just error spotting. In addition, the teaching supports a natural progression of their writing stamina.
Cursive script is taught throughout the school from Reception to Year 6. We have consistently high expectations of handwriting and presentation across all areas of learning. Our children take pride in their learning and recognise the need to write carefully and clearly so that it can be celebrated by everyone.
As a result of our intent and implementation, we have a school community of enthusiastic readers and writers who can recognise their progress, are confident enough to take risks within their learning and enjoy nothing more than celebrating their literacy skills and achievements. Our results at both KS1 and KS2 and KS1 Phonics are above National Average, and KCC.
Our children's learning is assessed from our teacher's assessment and knowing and understanding the children that we teach. In order to track progress across the school, we are using the Cornerstones skills progression tool. This ensures that we are able to individually track progression of skills and learning.