At St. Paul’s with St. Michael’s, we firmly believe that having good literacy skills and a love of reading holds the key to accessing all areas of the curriculum and to better opportunities in the wider world. Literacy covers not only reading and writing, but also speaking and listening. We teach literacy using high quality children’s literature and through a range of sessions. There are specific literacy lessons, covering specific grammar, spelling and handwriting targets, as well as cross curricular sessions, taught through our choice of topic based reading books, drama lessons and debates. We understand the link between good readers, good articulators and good writers.
“Reading for pleasure is the single most important indicator to a child’s success”
With this in mind, we strive to instil in every child, in every class, a true love of and respect for books and reading. Children are taught early reading skills from Nursery, through exciting and engaging texts and story talk. We follow the 'Read Write Inc' scheme to cement the link between word recognition (decoding) and reading (understanding). In reception, Year 1 and Year 2, daily Supported Reading takes place, in small groups. In Years 3-6 daily Destination Reader lessons takes the place of Supported Reading.
Destination Reader lessons are based around high quality texts (linked to the topic) and help to foster a love of reading. They place emphasis on learning behaviours and talk partner work; again strengthening the link between articulation, reading and writing. The lessons focus on seven different reading comprehension strands: questioning, summarising, clarifying, evaluating, inferring, predicting and making connections. The children work in pairs to support and actively listen to each other. These skills are not just important in reading, but are transferable across the curriculum.
To see what book your child is reading each term take a look at the curriculum overview on each class page. For example; in Autumn Term 2 books will be as follows:
Year 1: 'Handa's Surprise'
Year 2: 'The Emperor's Egg'
Year 3: 'Ug: Boy Genius of the Stone Age'
Year 4: Non-fiction: Myths and Legends
Year 5: 'Beowulf'
Year 6: 'Cloud Busting'
You will find some recommended book lists at the bottom of this page.
Writing is taught daily and develops the pupils in two main areas – transcription (spelling and handwriting) and composition. We teach grammar sessions at the start of the week and embed those skills throughout the rest of the week, leading to a longer writing session each week. In our longer writing sessions children write for a variety of different purposes and develop endurance to write for sustained periods of time. Our writing sessions are placed into context through our class reading books which are linked to the class topics. Pupils are taught the skills to plan, draft, edit and improve their own work. We use peer marking as an additional way to support each other in improving our writing – we learn best from each other.
Handwriting and Spelling:
We use the Penpals handwriting scheme to support the correct formation of marks from Nursery (where they practise fine and gross motor control skills) right the way through to Year 6. Children use pencils while they are still perfecting their handwriting, receiving a pen license when they have mastered writing in the correct joined style continuously.
Spelling is taught rigorously through applying phonic knowledge, learning sight words and teaching spelling patterns. Children are tested weekly on spellings, with a cumulative test every term. You can find your child’s spelling lists by using the links below.