At Cardinal Newman we believe Literacy is at the core of all our other subjects. We aim to develop in our children a love of language both written and spoken that will go with them into adulthood.
To achieve our aims, we endeavour to:
• Create a safe caring environment in which all children feel encouraged to speak and listen to others
• Give children access to a wide variety of stimulating literary texts.
• Hear children read on a regular basis and send reading books home with a reading record for teacher and parental contributions.
• Provide children with the opportunity to produce a range of written work developing skills across a variety of genre, e.g. – narrative, information and poetry.
• Provide children with a structured programme of phonics to develop their knowledge of phonics for reading and spelling.
• Encourage accurate spelling and correct grammar.
• Encourage children to develop a clear and legible handwriting style.
• Maintain records of pupil achievement to assess a child’s progress and build upon success.
Reading: Word Reading and Comprehension
Our main objective is to foster in children a love of reading. The children are encouraged to value books and read for learning and enjoyment, from a wide range of literary texts from all genres.
Throughout the school, children are encouraged to read with fluency and understanding, making use of a combination of strategies including phonic knowledge, graphic knowledge, contextual clues and sight vocabulary. Children’s awareness of syntax, punctuation, expression and comprehension is developed and assessed through book based studies, Guided Reading Sessions and individual reading.
In Key Stage 1 the children read from a wide variety of scheme books - see here for a list.
As the children progress through the school they read a range of more challenging texts and respond to different layers of meaning in them. They explore the use of language in literary and non-literary texts and develop a greater understanding of how language works.
Age appropriate resources are provided for older children who are still struggling with reading to enable them to gain greater fluency.
We aim to provide a rich range of literary experience including, themed weeks, visits by poets and authors, literacy workshops and productions by visiting drama groups.
Writing: Transcription and Composition
Our children need to develop a passion and skill for writing in which they feel comfortable in experimenting with different styles and formats. From the Foundation Stage, all children’s attempts at writing, including emergent writing, are valued and built upon, so that children appreciate the importance of their writing in conveying meaning to the reader. During Key Stage 2 pupils learn to write more independently and alter the way they write to suit different situations, purposes and audiences.
Spelling Punctuation and Grammar
From September 2014, a new primary curriculum became statutory. The changes to the English curriculum include a stronger emphasis on vocabulary development, grammar, punctuation and spelling. All literacy lessons now have a ‘SPaG’ (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) focus to help prepare children for end of key stage assessments and to ultimately develop greater fluency in writing.
Oral language has a key role in classroom teaching and learning. Discussion and interaction can engage children’s imagination and foster creativity.
In our school the key areas are:
- Speaking: being able to speak clearly and to develop and sustain ideas in talk.
- Listening: developing active listening strategies and critical skills of analysis.
- Group discussion and interaction: taking different roles in groups, making a range of contributions and working collaboratively.
- Drama: improvising and working in role, scripting and performing, and responding to performances.
Talk is an underlying factor in the development of literacy, with children engaging by responding to text and explaining their choices and rehearsing their ideas in advance of writing. In maths, answers can be discussed, data interpreted and relevant language can be developed. However, all areas of the curriculum offer opportunities in this area and therefore it is necessary to teach Spoken Language explicitly across the curriculum.
To develop their Spoken Language skills, children will be encouraged to play active roles in class discussions. They will be given opportunities to engage in role play and drama. Children will be expected to listen to others and respond with sensitivity and respect to the talk of others. They will have opportunities to speak in front of an audience, using language and techniques appropriate to the task.
Spoken Language is given even greater emphasis in the updated curriculum with children being taught debating (KS2) and presentation skills (reciting poetry).
In the Foundation Stage, children’s speaking and listening skills are developed across the curriculum as well as specifically in activities such as listening games, show and tell sessions and role play.
Useful Literacy Websites
You can find books for all primary school age groups on the The BookTrust website (BookTrust is the largest reading charity in the UK):