We intend that our pupils develop their skills in Language and Literacy so they continue to improve in their ability to:
We teach writing using quality texts including a range of genres including fiction and non-fiction texts. The children answer the question, ‘Where have we been and who have we met?’ at the start and end of each unit to ensure an understanding of the context of each text. The writing process at St Thomas’s involves:
Planning for the purpose and audience, recording key vocabulary in magpie books, drafting, revising, editing and proof reading, publishing to a high level of presentation, reflecting and evaluating. Opportunities for writing for a real purpose are planned.
Opportunities are also identified for extended writing in other curriculum areas. Parents are invited into school during book week where they join in with lessons and take part in the writing process.
SPELING, GRAMMAR AND PUNCTUATION
Daily phonics sessions are taught from Nursery to Y2 and year group spellings are taught daily in key stage 2. Spelling homework is sent home and children are tested on the weekly spellings and year group spellings in context every week. Discreet grammar and punctuation sessions are taught every week and skills are applied to independent writing.
At St Thomas’s we teach a cursive script and aim for a consistent, whole school approach which sets high expectations and maintains a constant awareness of the importance of presentation. Handwriting is taught at the start of each writing session. The cursive script is employed in all writing activities across the curriculum. Teachers employ this style on the board and in their marking.
We teach the objectives of the national curriculum in each year group. In key stage 2 children have a minimum of 15 minutes independent reading every day during which children choose an age appropriate book, newspaper or magazine. This aim of this session is to foster a love of reading and to enable pupils to build speed, reading stamina and to practice learnt strategies. We use Key Learning Goals to assess progress towards expected standards during guided reading sessions.
We believe that reading to children regularly demonstrates positive role models, models fluency and exposes children to high quality texts. All classrooms have a reading corner stocked with a range of books selected for pupils of their age groups. Pupils borrow a book from the school library to take home every week.
Every pupil has a home/school diary. This contains a record of all reading books and library books read.
Advanced learners are identified in Y2, Y4 and Y6 and they are invited to join our Reading Gladiators group who meet to read and discuss a wide range of challenging texts every week for one hour after school.
Reading skills are taught and modelled during literacy sessions through shared and guided reading. A whole school VIPERS approach to the teaching of reading is used. Teaching is planned with a specific focus on Vocabulary, Inference, Prediction, Explanation, Retrieval and Summary.
Annual assessments are conducted during the summer term. National SAT tests are taken along with NFER tests. These provide a summative assessment of the child’s annual progress in relation to national expectation.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
At St Thomas’s a huge emphasis is placed on teaching the children to be confident when speaking to others. From Nursery, children are taught to speak in whole school assemblies and celebrations progressing to our oldest children confidently leading whole school celebration assemblies. Children are encouraged to develop effective communication skills in readiness for later life. Debates, discussions, drama and role play are planned for and used across the curriculum. We recognise that spoken language underpins the development of reading and writing.
ASSESSMENT – TARGETS – RECORDING
Informal daily assessment based on a specific activity centres on the lesson target and informs the teacher’s future planning for individuals or groups. Outcomes are measured against the success criteria and progress towards Key Learning Goals is recorded. The school marking policy is integral to this process.
Written assessments are conducted at the end of each unit of work and at least every half term to map progress. These are recorded in the yellow writing assessment books which follow the children through the school to show a progression of skills. Children have class targets and individual targets are set where appropriate.
The staff moderate examples of writing assessments to ensure clarity of judgement. The teacher is responsible for inputting all data onto Integris.
The data allows us to:
The reports will also be used to inform report writing and information to parents.
MONITORING AND EVALUATING
The Literacy coordinators and the Senior Leadership Team monitors Literacy. Having identified priorities and after consultation with all staff members, the School Improvement Plan is written by the SLT and governors. From this, an action plan is written. This forms the basis of monitoring activities including classroom observations, book monitoring and the analysis of data.