At Wilberforce Primary, we believe that literacy and communication are crucial life skills. Through our curriculum, we will help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively through spoken and written language so that they become lifelong learners. We want children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
Literacy is at the heart of all children’s learning and is central to their intellectual, emotional and social development. Therefore it has an essential role across the curriculum. The English Curriculum consists of many aspects of literacy:
Reading has its own policy, though it is part of the whole school approach to Literacy.
To encourage children to:
- be effective, competent communicators and good listeners;
- express opinions, articulate feelings and formulate responses to a range of texts both fiction and non-fiction using appropriate technical vocabulary;
- foster an interest in words and their meanings, and to develop a growing vocabulary in both spoken and written form;
- engage with, enjoy and understand a range of text types and genres;
- be able to write in a variety of styles and forms showing awareness of audience and purpose;
- develop powers of imagination, inventiveness and critical awareness in all areas of literacy;
- use grammar and punctuation accurately;
- understand spelling conventions;
- produce effective, well-presented written work.
Writing and Communication
Early Years Foundation Stage
Children follow the EYFS curriculum for writing. In Nursery they are given regular opportunities for mark making, and when they are ready they are shown how to form letters according to the ReadWrite Inc (RWI) programme. Reception children join the streamed RWI groups for literacy lessons.
The areas of Communication and Language are carefully planned so that children have opportunities to develop their skills in understanding, speaking and listening across the curriculum.
This is a special intervention that builds up children’s confidence in language acquisition and communication through play.
These take place for one hour every day. Children follow the RWI programme in Reception and KS1. When they are ready, they move on to other appropriate literacy units of work. As far as possible the work they do will link to the Creative Curriculum topic.
Children learn how to write across a range of genres during creative curriculum lessons, as well as in literacy lessons. No opportunity for writing is missed, and children improve rapidly by frequent practising of skills.
Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar
The school follows the Assertive Mentoring spelling programme, and children are taught strategies for spelling through the RWI programme as well. Grammar and punctuation are taught in specific lessons, and reinforced during all literacy lessons. The school is piloting the Assertive Mentoring ‘Grammar Hammer’ approach this year, where children are regularly assessed to move them on through the new grammar curriculum.
The school follows the RWI programme for the introduction of letter formation. Thereafter the Nelson programme is used. We aim for children’s work to be presented to a high standard, and for them to learn to write fluently and neatly. Pen licences are awarded to children who have earned them.
Every week children showcase what they have learned and write an extended piece in a range of genres. This is carefully assessed by the teacher and children are given a target to work on for the following week. The aim is for them to improve their skills as quickly as possible. The school uses the Assertive Mentoring system to guide children through the stages using the Writing Criteria from the National Curriculum.
Children are given every opportunity to develop their skills of understanding, speaking and listening. They are encouraged to discuss ideas with other pupils and to develop their debating skills. Partner talk is something that happens throughout the school across the whole curriculum. We aim for children to be confident, fluent and articulate speakers. They learn poems by heart and perform them.
Drama is another means of developing oracy and inspiring children with a love of literacy and performing. Children regularly read play scripts and prepare these to perform to the rest of the class at the end of Guided Reading sessions. Frequent workshops and trips ensure that Drama is given a high profile.
Children are assessed every half term to make sure they are making rapid and sustained progress in reading and writing. Pupil progress meetings ensure that planning meets the needs of all children. Identified children have access to booster clubs before, during and after school so that they catch up quickly.
Children new to English are taught in small groups so that they acquire the language as quickly as possible