Reading into Writing 2021 - 2022
“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.” – Phillip Pullman
At Boundary, we call English ‘Reading into Writing’ as we firmly believe that reading is the key focal point of good writing – it encourages curious writers who use a range ambitious vocabulary and written techniques to create purposeful final pieces. Each genre is taught through a journey approach, where the very first piece of writing children complete is a pre-assessment (cold write) and the last piece of writing in the journey is the ‘hot write’ – a piece of writing that has been researched, modelled, planned, drafted and edited. Throughout the journey, children explore the genre by reading lots of different examples, look at grammar and punctuation and spelling linked to the writing and learn to plan, draft and edit their work. Our aim is to provide a range of cross-curricular writing opportunities that allow the children to have a purpose for their writing and to develop not only their written skills but to strengthen their knowledge and understanding of key learning concepts in other subjects.
This follows on from our Phonics work. The children are taught to read and spell age appropriate words from the National Curriculum and are tested on these each week. These structured spelling sessions include handwriting, revision of previous spelling patterns and the spelling and understanding of new words. We use Spelling Shed across the school with each child having their own log-in. Here, the children can practise the spelling focus for the week as well as play games to strengthen their spelling and understand rules and patterns. Children are encouraged to log in at home but are also given the opportunity to use school iPads to access their accounts.
The teaching of phonics is crucial to children’s early reading development. As a school we follow Little Wandle Letters and Sounds revised as a scheme of work. The programme focuses on securing word recognition skills, which are essential for children to decode and encode word accurately.
At Boundary we follow the programme from phase one to phase five. Phase one focuses on promoting speaking and listening, phonological awareness and oral segmenting and blending. Phase two to phase five focus on high quality phonic work to help children develop fluent word reading and spelling skills.
Phonics sessions are taught in a highly structured programme of daily lessons from Nursery to Year One. It is taught in differentiated groups according to the children’s phonological awareness and development. These sessions follow the teaching sequences of ‘ revisit, teach, plan, apply’ where teachers use a variety of interactive teaching methods to support the children’s learning. These include use of the interactive whiteboard, songs, letter rhymes, flash cards, small groups activities, games and whiteboard work.
The children’s progress of phonics knowledge, reading and spelling of words is formally assessed every half term, as well as ia baseline at the beginning of each academic year. Daily assessments during phonics sessions enable our phonics groups to be fluid. These assessments ensure that teachers have a clear understanding of any gaps in knowledge, which can then be addressed within other teaching sessions.
To support the children in the application of phonic knowledge children are provided with home reading books that focus on the sounds they have been working on in school. This provides the children with an opportunity to apply the skills they have learnt at school and be successful in reading at home.
Celebrating Writing at Boundary
At Boundary we value writing and aim for all our children to become enthusiastic writers who can write for lots of different purposes and for a variety of audiences. As well as daily Reading into Writing sessions we try to provide the children with other writing activities throughout the year:
- Our local author, Dan Worsley, regularly visits our school to provide writing workshops. This year he will be working with Year 3 through to Year 6 to engage children with their writing and to give them opportunities to produce high quality pieces of fiction. In Years 5 and 6, Dan exposed the children to one of his own suspense story openers and discussed with the children his vocabulary choices and why he thought they made the writing effective. The children were then given the time to write their own suspense openers using what they had learned.