At Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, we believe that literacy and communication are key life skills and that it is our role, through the English curriculum, to help children develop the skills and knowledge that will enable them to communicate effectively and creatively with the world at large, through spoken and written language. Through a love of reading that is embedded within our school, we strive to help children to enjoy and appreciate literature and its rich variety.
Aims and Objectives:
As a school, we aim to promote high standards of language and literacy by equipping children with a strong command of the spoken and written word, and to develop their love of literature through widespread reading both across the curriculum and at home. As a school, we aim to ensure that all pupils:
- read easily, fluently and with good understanding
- develop the habit of reading widely and often, for both pleasure and information
- acquire a wide vocabulary, an understanding of grammar and knowledge of linguistic conventions for reading, writing and spoken language
- appreciate our rich and varied literary heritage
- write clearly, accurately and coherently, adapting their language and style in and for a range of contexts, purposes and audiences
- use discussion in order to learn; they should be able to elaborate and explain clearly their understanding and ideas
- are competent in the arts of speaking and listening, making formal presentations, demonstrating to others and participating in debate.
In all Key Stages a range of genres are taught, including fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Each unit is an integrated programme of speaking and listening, reading and writing. The children set targets at the beginning of each unit and are involved in reviewing the progress that has been made at regular intervals. During lessons the children are encouraged to explore text through role play, freeze framing, hot-seating and many other speaking and listening activities which allow children to develop their ability to communicate as well as build on their own self confidence.
English is taught within an integrated programme of speaking and listening, guided reading and writing. The children’s abilities in English are developed across the curriculum. They are taught to communicate and express themselves clearly and effectively in speech and writing and great emphasis is placed on the ability to listen and understand. The children experience a wide variety of reading material at appropriate levels of complexity and interest so that they become competent, enthusiastic and fluent readers.
Reading development is seen as a partnership between home and school and children are encouraged to choose books to take home to read to their parents.
The school has fully adopted the New Framework for Literacy. Guided reading takes place on a daily basis.
Reading and Phonics
The importance of reading and phonics at Sacred Heart
Reading plays a vital role in the development and education of your child. At Sacred Heart we ensure that pupils have lots of opportunities to read in lots of different contexts. We continually strive to promote a love of reading through our ‘Literature Works’ programme to ensure that pupils are ready for the next stages in their learning.
In Key Stage One we deliver a consistent approach to phonics using a programme called Letters and Sounds. Every pupil in Key Stage One works through the programme to help them decode (sound out) words that they read and spell. Reading is linked into understanding what they have read and also links into short writing activities. Using small group work on a daily basis allows staff to pin point any individual who may need additional support in this area and will plan intervention activities if needed. Teachers will always keep you informed if your child is having additional support.
Pupils read through a set of book banded books. Each colour in the book band is a different level. We provide a diet and range of books at different levels within a book band. The pupils know which book band they are working at and recognise the book band that they are working towards.
Opportunities for reading
Pupils also read regularly in other areas of the curriculum and in other parts of the school day through:
- Guided Reading – Teachers work with small groups of pupils to teach specific and targeted reading skills in a book that is sufficiently challenging.
- Reading Across the Curriculum – Pupils read a range of books linked to other areas of their learning and have regular ‘reading journal’ lessons to look at texts in more detail.
- Story Time – In Key Stage One, books are read to pupils for them to hear good examples of reading aloud and to develop an enthusiasm for reading books themselves. Class books are shared with pupils, where they read along with the teacher.
Teaching Reading and Writing
Key Stage One Reading Schemes:
We encourage children to read at home both to and with parents not just from the schemes but a variety of literature.